Vets say cats from COVID-19 households shouldn't be let outside

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Hey, all you cool cats and kittens… stay inside!

The British Veterinary Association is advising that certain cat owners keep their cats inside (if possible) to help curb the spread of coronavirus. According to the BVA, the concern is that cats could carry the disease on fur.

In a statement on its website, the BVA clarified that its stance was that cats from households with confirmed or possible COVID-19 infections should remain indoors, if possible. The association acknowledged that some outdoor cats may not be able to be kept indoors.

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"We are not advising that all cats are kept indoors," the BVA wrote. "Only cats from infected households or where their owners are self-isolating, and only if the cat is happy to be kept indoors. Some cats cannot stay indoors due to stress-related medical reasons."

The BVA explained that "animals can act as fomites, as the virus could be on their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs. That’s why our main advice for pet owners continues to be to practice good hand hygiene."

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As COVID-19 is still being studied, the BVA believes that the small number of cases of animals being infected was transmitted from "human to animal." It also says that there is "no evidence that pets can pass COVID-19 to their owners."

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The statement also clarified, "From the small number of cases it appears that dogs do not show symptoms, but cats can show clinical signs of the disease."