Cats and dogs at risk of being infected by the coronavirus in China

Coronavirus
Coronavirus
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

DO NOT KILL YOU CAT OR DOG BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY ARE SPREADING THIS DISEASE. PLEASE. THERE IS NO CERTAINTY THAT CATS AND DOGS CAN GET THIS DISEASE AND IN ANY CASE IT IS GROSSLY CRUEL TO KILL COMPANION ANIMALS UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AS THERE IS RUMOUR AND SCARE MONGERING GOING ON. THERE ARE BETTER SOLUTIONS.

What is happening to the cats and dogs of China in the cities under lockdown orders? China has put 60 million citizens living in ten cities in China including the epicentre, Wuhan into quarantine to try and stop the spread of the NEW OR NOVEL coronavirus infection. We all know about it. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. This is not feline enteric coronavirus which can cause FIP which is a well known existing disease.

The virus has mutated and it originally spread from wild animals slaughtered at the despicable Huanan live animal market in Wuhan (Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market). Initially therefore it was an animal-to-human transmission i.e. a zoonotic disease. Since then it has been found to transmit from human-to-human even when the virus is at the incubation, asymptotic stage of the infection which makes it more serious hence the WHO declaration.

Cats and dogs at risk of getting coronavirus
Photo: Zhou Tianxiao

There must be hundreds of thousands of stray cats in these cities or are there? And what is the culture regarding indoor/outdoor domestic cats in this part of China? Are there any cats on the streets wandering around? No one has talked about it. And what about stray dogs?

Is there not a chance that stray animals and domestic animals could become infected and thereby help spread the disease? I have just noticed that Newsweek has reported that a Chinese scientist (Li Lanjuan, an epidemiologist) working on the coronavirus has said that pet cats and dogs can catch the infection.

If pets go out and have contact with an infected person, they have the chance to get infected. By then, pets need to be isolated. In addition to people, we should be careful with other mammals especially pets. — Li Lanjuan.

If people are in lockdown and forbidden to all intents and purposes from travelling around these deserted cities and beyond why isn’t there some sort of government order that all pets are kept indoors?

I am thinking of the animal welfare. I fear that the authorities might be sending out animal catchers and killers to remove them from the street as they did before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. It may be happening as I write this but no one has mentioned it.

I have also discovered that dog owners are placing face masks on their dogs. What about cats who are outside? Face masks won’t work on cats. They won’t accept them. Anyway how effective are they? They are probably ineffective to be honest but it does tell us that citizens are concerned about their pets becoming infected.

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