Can my pets get COVID-19?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says “It appears cats and dogs are not readily infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), we have little to no evidence they become ill, and no evidence that those that may be naturally infected spread [it] to other pets or people.” The entire statement can be found here, and it is helpful for pet owners and those who care for community cats.
I heard a tiger was infected by a zookeeper. Is that true?
Yes, there are several tigers at the Bronx zoo who are showing symptoms of being infected and one that has tested positive. You can read the full USDA statement here. The good news is the tigers seem to be doing okay, and again there is zero evidence that tigers or companion animals can transmit this to people.
I heard the 2 cats in New York were recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Now should I be concerned?
There is still no need to worry. You can read more about it here. Happily, both are expected to make a full recovery. And there is still no evidence dogs and cats can spread the virus to humans.
Is HTAT housing cats whose owners have COVID-19?
Not yet. Arrangements have been made with Dakin to perform the 14 day separation for cats from COVID+ houses in our service area. If the owner is still unable to care for the cat after 14 days, HTAT or Dakin can continue to care for the cat until the owner is able to take the cat back.
How do I prepare to keep my pet safe at home if I get COVID-19?
It’s all about having a solid plan. Make sure your pet has a temporary caregiver in case you are hospitalized, and put together an emergency supply kit for your pet. See the step by step guide on this page.
If I get sick, can I still cuddle with my pets?
The CDC recommends that if you are sick, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people. You can read their complete recommendations here. The important thing to remember is there are a lot of unknowns, and while experts believe the risk of human to pet transmission is very low, it’s better to be cautious and avoid close contact with your pets while you are sick. If you do need to handle your pets while you are ill, the CDC recommends avoiding being kissed or licked by your pet and washing your hands before you interact with them.
Do I need to worry about COVID-19 being carried on the fur of my pets or other pets I interact with?
The CDC guidance says at this time, “there is no evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.” You can read their complete FAQ on pets and COVID here.
If I care for community cats, should I be worried about them getting and spreading COVID-19?
There is no current evidence to suggest community cats will become infected or spread COVID-19. If you care for cats or any other pet that appear to be sick, you should consult your veterinarian.
Are you still taking in and adopting out cats?
Yes. We are doing “no contact” intakes and adoptions by appointment only. See our cats available for adoption. To make an appointment please call 413-324-8224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We check messages daily.
I’m experiencing food insecurity or I cannot afford care for my pet due to job loss or other impact of COVID-19. What can I do?
If you need pet food, HTAT operates a pet food pantry and would be happy to help you feed your pet. You can also call your local food bank or Animal Control Officer. If you live in our service area and need other forms of pet assistance, please call 413-324-8224 or email email@example.com. We check messages daily and will do our best to help you.
The Information on this page was provided with help from Pima Animal Care Center.