Keeping safe during a pandemic can be a daunting task. With the world currently experiencing massive disruptions to daily life while trying to keep loved ones safe, we must not forget our furriest family members in the process. How can you keep your cat safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, are cats susceptible to catching the virus, and how can you best navigate being quarantined at home with your cat while we all practice social distancing?
Although there have been a small number of cases reported of some pets getting coronavirus, including wild tigers at the Bronx Zoo in NYC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that their is currently no evidence that pets can pass COVID-19. There are precautions humans can take around their pets to make sure their furry friends safe and healthy in the event that their humans contract the virus.
There are a number of good hygiene practices humans should take to stay healthy. Washing your hands after handling your cat, cleaning the litter box, feeding daily meals, and playing both indoors and outdoors is important. If you or your pet becomes ill, minimize contact to prevent the spread of germs. Also, make sure you and your cat do not share household items like cups, plates and utensils.
Call your veterinarian to see if they may be able to have a virtual visit for your pet for non-urgent visits. Save in-person visits for true emergencies. If you are feeling unwell, make sure to wear a medical mask when taking your cat to the vet office, or better yet, have a trusted and healthy caregiver take your cat on your behalf. Consider paying for your visit over the phone to minimize contact with office staff and surfaces.
As in any medical emergency or natural disaster, it is important to have a plan and supplies in place for your family, including your cat. Having a few days supply of food, water, litter, medicine and toys is important for maintaining the health and well-being of your cat. For more tips on what to consider, check out our article on Natural Disaster Preparedness for Cats.
Many humans are working from home and actively practicing social distancing, which is great! However, it is important to have a routine and breaks throughout the day to take care of your own mental well-being and health, as well as your cat's. Make sure to incorporate a few minute intervals throughout the day to play with your cat. Try leaving their favorite toys around the house, or create new fun environments with lots of empty boxes. Have you been wanting to clicker-train your cat, teach them how to walk on a leash outside, or learn new tricks? Now is the perfect time to practice while you are at home more than usual. It's great enrichment for your cat, and fun and rewarding for the humans too! If you are looking for some great toys, beds or ways to explore the outdoors safely with your cat, we offer some great options.
Consider donating to a local shelter or fostering a cat at home. Many shelters are not able to host adoption events amidst the pandemic, so they need our help. Contributing funds to help the cost of maintaining and keeping animals waiting for their forever home is a great way to show your support. Choosing to temporarily bring in a cat to your home and help with their socialization by fostering is another way to give that animal a great shot of being adopted after this pandemic is over.
Living through a pandemic is never easy, but with some careful planning you and your cat can stay safe. Don't forget to take care of yourselves and loved ones during this uncertain time and stay optimistic. In time, we will get through this as a stronger community.
Comments will be approved before showing up.