Cats & Covid
Whilst over 80% of those that become infected with coronavirus will recover, fears for our personal safety remain, understandably, at the forefront of our minds. A number of people are classed as particularly vulnerable, falling into the Covid-19 ‘high risk’ category. Our pets and those around also need to be given consideration at this time.
Current evidence suggests that humans cannot catch Covid-19 from your cat, and you cannot infect them with it either.
Changing your cats routine?
When cats go outside, they have the opportunity to exhibit their natural hunting instincts. If you are currently keeping your cats indoors or restricting their access, your cat needs an appropriate outlet for these behaviours in the home. It’s important to remember that while some cats may adapt to this, others may become stressed and potentially, changes in their behaviour occur.
Providing a variety of toys will mean your cat is able to have a choice of what they play with, these should include toys that allow you an interacting role, taking part in the game with them.
- Feathers on a stick are always a favourite for them to chase around.
- Rolling toys to them that they can stomp on and then kick at will help them to re-enact their natural hunting pattern.
- Scratch and stretch facilities, such as sturdy scratching posts will be very much appreciated by your feline friends.
For some cats, mental stimulation can be provided through games with their food. Simply hiding food in cardboard tubes or throwing their biscuits so they chase them, will keep their minds working while also providing them with some exercise. Please make sure that they are supervised for the first time, if this is something you decide to do.
Don’t overcrowd them
We need to remember that our cats are likely used to being alone and sleeping in favourite spots while we are out at work and school. Whilst we will undoubtedly enjoy being at home with our cats more, we mustn’t forget that on average a cat will sleep around 16 hours a day, therefore we must make sure to not overwhelm them with unwanted attention and to allow them the space they need to aid in keeping them calm and relaxed.
Provide access to litter trays
Some cats will be used to toileting outside rather than in a litter tray. If you are keeping them in, a suitable tray and litter will need to be in place. This may mean using soil if they are used to going outside.
Litter trays should be in a quieter part of the house where the cat can easily access them and should be cleaned regularly. If you have more than one cat the rule of thumb is generally a tray each, plus one. Place these in separate parts of the home where possible rather than all in one area.
Other things to consider
If you are able to get a shopping trip in before self-isolation, buying a little extra food for your pet than you normally would buy is a good idea, so that you’re able to feed them for the duration of your time indoors. It’s recommended you have sufficient food to last 2 weeks. You also need to be sure to check that you have enough medication to last you through should your cats be on regular treatment.
A good back-up plan to put in place is to see if a family member or close friend could look after your cat for you should you suffer from more serious symptoms.
Remember to follow good hygiene rules and wash your hands regularly.
We can’t put a measure on the joy and companionship that our pets give us, either in normal times or in difficult periods like those we are experiencing now; for them, their world revolves around their owners, and they have neither thought for nor comprehension of the big wide world beyond. Keep yourself safe and they’ll stay safe too.
If you need reassurance about your dog (or any other pet) during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us.