One of the consequences of being at home and trying to be careful about “social distancing” might be that you have more time to pay attention to your beloved cats. Busy lives full of jobs, children, social obligations, sports and fitness can result in less time than we may find ourselves with now. The effect may be that you have more questions or concerns. If that is so, we are here for you.
At the same time, we are working to keep you and our team safe. Beginning Friday morning, March 20, we will not be allowing family members to accompany their cats into the hospital. We will be available for you to:
We, feline practitioners know a lot about the family of viruses called Corona virus. Your cats cannot get COVID-19, but they have their own corona virus that rarely causes illness. By studying that one, we can tell you about the one plaguing humans now. All of the guidelines you are hearing about hand washing and environmental contamination are being made because the virus lives in the environment quite happily for days to weeks. The cases that began to occur that had no association with international travel could have begun by brief contact with a wallet that had been placed in a TSA bin with a bag that had been somewhere else. It’s that simple.
It is also important to say that you cannot get COVID-19 from your cat or give it to her. This virus is a mutation of an animal virus, probably from bats, that changed from being a benign occupant of bats to a terrible human illness because our bodies have never seen it before. We haven’t been exposed so we cannot be immune.
The other news that you need to hear is that the dates you are hearing about going back to work on April 2 or scheduling graduations in May are fiction. Like the corona virus in cats, it doesn’t cause everyone to get sick. In fact, the one that almost all cats have is so safe that only 0.3% of cats exposed ever get ill from it. Because the testing was slow to begin and it is still nearly impossible to be tested, the virus has been here for weeks or longer in people who don’t know they have it.
Now is the time to be patient with yourselves and your families, find creative ways to connect with friends, especially those that may be at risk. My family is healthy and, thus far, there are no cases in Butte county so we will continue to be in the hospital to help you meet any needs your beloved felines may have.