British laissez-faire attitude towards letting their cat go outside is under scrutiny due to Covid-19

The Brits are well known for letting their domestic cat companions wander around outside as they see fit. Almost everyone allows it in the UK in stark comparison to the USA and in defiance of the ornithologists who fear for their beloved birds. Almost every day we have new rules and regulations being issued by the government about how to stop the spread of Covid-19. I have just read online that there are some question marks about letting domestic cats go outside if the owner is in that so-called vulnerable group of over 70s, persons with underlying health issues or those who are self-isolating in case they have the disease.

Outdoors cats
Outdoors cats. This is the life. Picture in public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is because there is still a question mark over whether domestic cats can acquire the disease from humans and whether they can transmit the disease to humans (i.e. vectors of the disease). The current thinking is that they cannot but it appears that domestic cats can harbour the disease and it can replicate inside them and further that they can transmit the disease from cat to cat.

Accordingly, there are some doubts about the status of domestic cats with respect of this disease and in order to minimise its spread and due to an abundance of caution it is recommended that those people who fall in the so-called vulnerable category should not let their cat wander outside.

This, I believe, is the advice as presented in newspapers but as I mentioned the advice and guidelines are not completely clear to the entire population. I would bet my bottom dollar that this particular advice, which in fact does not come from the government but from the charity Cats Protection and the PDSA (an animal hospital chain), is not adhered to.

To allow domestic cats to go outside is deeply ingrained in the British way of life. People won’t change unless there is a direct order from government under fresh legislation which is effectively enforced by the police that cats are kept indoors. This scenario won’t happen. The truth is that is impossible to enforce these sorts of laws and therefore they are not enacted.


Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo