Cat in Hong Kong Tests Positive for COVID-19
According to the Hong Kong Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), a cat has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This follows testing of two “weak positive” dogs. Same as the case with the dogs, the owner was confirmed with COVID-19. Also, same as the instance with the dogs, this cat has showed no signs of illness.
Here’s what the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, “On March 31, the AFCD reported that a cat that lived in a residence with an individual confirmed to be ill with COVID-19 has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via oral nasal cavity, nasal and rectal samples. The cat is in quarantine and has exhibited no clinical signs of disease.”
In their press release a department spokesperson reminded pet owners to adopt good hygiene practices (including hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing them) and to maintain a clean and hygienic household environment. People who are sick should restrict contact with animals. If there are any changes in the health condition of the pets, advice from a veterinarian should be sought as soon as possible.
The spokesman emphasized that there is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of COVID-19. Pet owners should under no circumstances abandon their pets.
And the AVMA adds, “If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
“Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.”
Again – as indicated before – infected doesn’t mean infectious. Don’t think twice about loving your cat(s) any less.