Stoke & Staffordshire

Coronavirus: Cat owners fear pets will make them sick

A generic picture of a cat Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption People are wanting their cats to be rehomed fearing they will catch the virus

Cat owners fear they will catch coronavirus from their pets with some asking for them to be rehomed, an animal charity has said.

Iris's Cats In Need in Stoke-on-Trent has received several calls from owners worrying their pets will make them sick.

The World Health Organization said there is no evidence that pets can be infected by Covid-19.

Volunteer Claire Jones said: "You cannot catch this from a cat."

The 42-year-old said the charity has had several calls about rehoming cats, "Mostly, it's people who haven't got access to the right information online.

"It's a nightmare."

"People are worried about somebody stroking the cat outside and passing it on to them. It doesn't work like that," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Iris's Cats In Need said self-isolation has led to a drop in the number of people able to help.

Food donations are also down as panic buying hits supermarkets, it said.

"We're worried about running out of food. I don't think we've had any at our collection point at Tesco, in Kidsgrove, but we do know they've had a short supply," Ms Jones said.

She said no cats have so far been left at the charity, but it has had "a lot of requests" for cats to be rehomed.

"We've got 12 cats to add to our waiting list now... We do try to help people if they do have problems with their cats first.

"There are a lot of nervous people out there, but we need to be clear your pets are not going to get you sick.

"Now is the time to get a pet because you're going to be home a lot."

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