Who’s not washing their hands after handling their cat?

America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people wash their hands after they handle their cats. Although there is no evidence that cats spread Covid-19 to people they say that all animals carry germs that can make people sick. It is a good idea, therefore, to wash your hands after touching your cat or dog.

Washing hands after handling your cat

Washing hands after handling your cat. Illustration: PoC on images in public domain.

I totally understand the reason for the advice but I don’t see it as practical or likely to be followed. It won’t happen and I don’t think anyone is doing it. Is anyone you know doing it? I’d be surprised if more than 2 percent of the population are following the advice. I’m. I am doing nothing different to what I have always done in regards to me and my cat. But that is not a recommendation. I am being bad.

Also, CDC advise that people who are sick with Covid-19 should avoid contact with cats and dogs as they would with people. This is because there are examples of wild and domestic cats contracting the disease from people. This concerns some captive tigers at Bronx Zoo and two domestic cats.

That advice is clearly good but what about the substantial percentage of people who are infectious because they have the virus but are asymptomatic? The asymptomatic people won’t isolate themselves from their pets because they don’t know they have the disease.

Cats and dogs should not interact with people outside the home. In other words they should be the same as people under lockdown conditions. This CDC advice is given because the experts don’t know enough about Covid-19, which seems to be a complex virus which can rarely cause an autoimmune response on children resulting on very severe illness. This is of great concern.

We have quite a long way to go with this pandemic. There is more to learn about the virus and how to deal with it. A vaccine is the answer, the holy grail in fixing this crisis. I have read that the Oxford University team have produced a vaccine which was tested on 6 monkeys in the US and it worked. The big question is will it work for humans too?

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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