Our coronavirus information on this page is written in line with guidelines issued by the Westminster government for England. Rules are largely the same for all areas of the UK but if you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, regulations may differ. Our advice is a guide for pet owners and should not be taken as legal advice. Alongside government advice, we are giving suggestions from Blue Cross experts to help pet owners apply the new measures to caring for their pets. We are updating this advice as frequently as possible, so please keep checking back.
The virus that causes Covid-19 has been confirmed in one cat in England from a household containing people who had tested positive for the virus. The government has stated this is “very rare” and that there is no evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. The cat has made a full recovery.
There is also no evidence to suggest that this coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) is circulating between pets in the UK. All available evidence indicates that the spread of coronavirus in the UK is due to human-to-human transmission.
It is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after stroking your pets for protection against viruses, and bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella. Government guidelines advise cat owners to wash their hands before and after touching their cats, or handling their food.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals.
Covid-19 is a new strain of the coronaviruses that, like seven other strains throughout history, is thought to have made the jump from animals to humans, though the exact source of this strain is still under investigation.
The most common human symptoms are a high temperature and a continuous cough. This virus can cause pneumonia, coughing, fever and difficulty with breathing and, in extreme cases, death. If you think you may have coronavirus, follow the latest advice found on the NHS website.
Covid-19 is a coronavirus that is affecting humans. Cats can suffer from other coronaviruses, including the often-fatal feline infectious peritonitis, which is caused by a feline coronavirus, however this is not the same strain of the illness that is causing the current global human pandemic.