28-03-2020, The SPCA (HK)’s Brief Statement in Response to a Cat in Belgium Reported to Have Contracted COVID-19

(28 March 2020, Hong Kong) The SPCA (HK) is aware of a recent news report where a cat in Belgium contracted COVID-19 virus from its owner who is a confirmed COVID-19 patient. The Society would like to remind pet owners to exercise stringent personal hygiene when interacting with their pets. Should a pet owner be confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, he should refrain from interacting with his companion pets.

The Society would like to reiterate that there is no evidence that pet animals will transmit COVID-19 virus to humans, the three cases in the world so far indicate the animals contracted the virus from humans, not the other way round. “In these difficult times we are faced with an enormous amount of information. Responsible pet owners should focus on what is relevant and important, which is to maintain strict personal hygiene so that they do not transmit the virus to their pet,” said a SPCA spokesperson.

“There is only one way for a household cat to get infected that is through its owner. It is why veterinary professionals around the world have been reminding pet owners to strengthen their hygiene practices when spending time with their pets,” the spokesperson continued.

“Our pets are especially important during these times of anxiety and isolation, offering companionship and comfort. Studies have shown pets can reduce stress, lessen depression and anxiety, and lower blood pressure. A pet’s unconditional love is essential to many of us as the pandemic continues to evolve; helping us to sail through this rough water together. Abandoning pets irresponsibly will result in regret and remorse, which will do nothing to a help our emotional state at this already trying time,” the spokesperson concluded.