This advice by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) applies to any country. Dr Michael Lappin the chairman of the association has encouraged all cat owners to keep their companion animals indoors for the time being.
This is interesting advice because no one, not a single person, in the UK is listening to it. Nothing has changed in the UK with respect to cat guardianship. Has anything changed anywhere else?
Admittedly the advice has only just been issued but I can say with almost complete certainty that 99.9% of world cat guardians will not change their habits. As is normal in the UK, if a cat guardian lets their cat go outside all the time now she won’t change because of the advice.
In Europe, the UK and the US, my assessment is that people don’t feel the danger of the novel coronavirus (formerly 2019-nCoV and now labelled: COVID-19) at present (mid-Feb 2020). Things are evolving daily but we were told that there is no evidence that cats and dogs can contract the virus.
It is a question of risk and people in the UK don’t currently feel that there is a genuine risk and certainly not to the extent that they should keep their outdoor cats indoors. The hassle that it would bring is not worth the increase in safety from the virus. Cats used to free movement through the cat flap (door) would become agitated if they were trapped indoors for weeks. I can’t see it working.
Although more drastic steps are being taken as the death toll rises to 1,400 worldwide with 63,000 infected. But how reliable are these statistics? Is it a lot worse as suggested by some commentators? Russia has closed its border with China for instance. Tourist businesses are due to go bust if it lasts much longer. The Chinese economy will shrink which is the last thing that President Xi wants.
SOME MORE ON THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC IN CHINA: