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'But I'm feline fine!'

'But I'm feline fine!'

Thursday 26 March 2020

'But I'm feline fine!'

The States Vet has published advice on how to care for your pets during the island lockdown, saying keeping cats indoors for now "could be beneficial" if owners are concerned.

Although there is no evidence to suggest pets could transmit covid-19 to humans, David Chamberlain suggests owners are "cautious" when interacting with their animals.

"Similarly to dogs, it is possible for the virus to be transported on the surface of cats," he said. "Therefore, if you are concerned that your cat could be visiting homes of others, keeping them indoors for now could be beneficial. Alternatively, if this is difficult/not possible, be more vigilant with hand washing and not touching your face after being in contact with your cat."

Following the strict lockdown measures, which were announced yesterday and are expected to be in place for at least two weeks, Mr Chamberlain took to social media to answer some of the pet-owning public's questions.

Those caring for livestock can continue to do so as usual - as long as they practice good social distancing - while those with other animals can use their daily two hours' exercise time to go out with their pets.

"The two hour period can be used for horse owners to go hacking if they have no alternative means of exercising their horse, ensuring that they are alone or with a member of the same household, and social distancing when passing others," Mr Chamberlain said.

"The two hour exercise period can also be used as a time to walk your pets, so long as you adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

"Please continue to regularly wash your hands and keep your distance when out and about with your pets."

While out on walks, dogs can be let off the lead but no other people should pet them, in case the virus is transferred through their fur. It is currently believed that dogs can carry the virus on their coat for at least four hours and owners are advised to shampoo their pet after a walk if it has come into contact with another person.

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