Displaying items by tag: indoor cats

Cats and COVID-19

Information and resources for those concerned about their cats during the pandemic

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Keeping cats indoors is safer for cats, people, and wildlife. ABC has numerous resources to help pet owners transition their cats to full-time indoor living, including enrichment activities, literature, and more. Photo by Nikita Starichenko/Shutterstock

(Washington, D.C., April 10, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, evidence is mounting that domestic cats and other felines may also be at risk of contracting the disease. Professional organizations and new research suggest keeping pet cats indoors to manage infection risks.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) this week recommended that people who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms keep their cats indoors. According to BVA, it is possible that outdoor cats may carry the virus on their fur, just as the virus can live on other surfaces.

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s standing policy is that pet cats be kept indoors. Their policy states that “keeping owned cats confined, such as housing them in an enriched indoor environment, in an outdoor enclosure, or exercising leash-acclimated cats, can minimize the risks to the cats, wildlife, humans, and the environment.”

For people wanting to respond to these concerns by transitioning their cats from the outdoors to indoors, whether temporarily or permanently, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) offers a range of helpful solutions on its website that were developed over years of consultation with veterinarians and pet owners. 

New studies from researchers in China, where the virus was first identified, evaluated SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to determine host susceptibilities and to better understand how the virus may move through the environment. These studies (Luan et al. 2020; Shi et al. 2020; Sun et al. preprint; Zhang et al. preprint), taken together, concluded that domestic cats are susceptible to infection, that infections have occurred both in experimental trials and outside the laboratory, and that infected domestic cats may transmit the virus to uninfected domestic cats.

Domestic cat infections have also been recently reported in Belgium and Hong Kong. Two Malayan Tigers, two Amur Tigers, and three Lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York have also shown symptoms of infection, and the only tiger to be tested came back positive for COVID-19. It’s suspected that people exposed these felines to the virus. So far, the disease does not appear to be fatal to cats, and there is no evidence that the disease has passed from cats to people.

“Keeping pet cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio is always a great choice to protect cats, birds, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at ABC. “At this point, it appears that keeping pet cats indoors is also the safer alternative to ensure the virus isn’t accidentally picked up or transferred by the cat.”

As well as being at risk from diseases, cars, and other threats, outdoor cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion wild birds each year in the U.S. alone.

Since 1997, ABC’s Cats Indoors program has supported responsible cat ownership that not only protects birds and other wildlife but also supports long, healthy lives for pet cats. Cat owners interested in bringing their cats indoors, or providing safe outdoor time for their pets, can find resources on the Cats Indoors website.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

The CURIO® Modern Cat Litter Box Is The Beautiful

Solution To An Unsightly Problem

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Handcrafted from real wood and designed to compliment any room, this innovative piece of fine furniture re-imagines the litter box, or can serve as a modern pet house.

San Francisco, CA (Aug. 17, 2016) – It’s an age old problem that has vexed pet parents since cats became indoor companions - what do you do with that ugly litter box? Up until now the answer seemed to be hiding it away in a closet or back room or trying to conceal it with an ill-fitting cover or enclosure that may or may not integrate well with a room design. Now this problem has been solved with the introduction of the CURIO collection of modern cat litter boxes that will make both cats and cat parents happy.

“We like to say, love your pets, love your home,” said Damian Fagan, Founder of CURIO. “We spent months searching for the perfect litter box solution - one that was attractive enough to be openly displayed and simultaneously serve the needs of our two cats. After a futile search we decided we would have to build our own. The result is a piece of fine, real wood furniture that makes both our cats and us happy. And that’s how CURIO was born.”

The Curio collection is inspired by classic mid-century design and is made entirely of sustainable, furniture-quality, pre-finished europly. This is real wood and not inferior MDF or particleboard. Handcrafted in the United States, there are three styles of CURIOs available - Maple (MSRP $199), Walnut (MSRP $259) and Patterned Walnut (MSRP $299). Each CURIO comes with a 30-day money back return policy and is covered by a limited one-year warranty.

While the CURIO will accommodate many standard size litter pans, the CURIO Litter Liner (MSRP $39) was specifically designed to be used in combination with the CURIO. This liner is custom made to fit perfectly inside the CURIO litter box and is constructed from durable 1/8” ABS polymer. It’s 100% waterproof and its 10” high walls provide maximum litter retention. The convenient handles make it easy to lift out when it is time to replace the litter.

“While we originally designed the CURIO as a complete litter box solution, it also makes a great pet lounge,” added Fagan. “Cats and even small dogs find it to be the perfect place to rest or play. But the real beauty of the CURIO is just that. This is a beautiful piece of real wood furniture that can serve as an attractive side or end table and no one but you has to know what its real purpose is.”

For information about the collection or to purchase a CURIO please visit the website at www.curio-craft.com.

(Aug. 10, 2012)—Katie Lisnik, director of cat protection and policy for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to the cat predation study recently released by University of Georgia researcher Kerrie Anne Loyd:

“A recent study on cat predation, while well intentioned, does not greatly expand our overall understanding of the dynamics of the issue. Some outdoor cats do prey on wildlife, but their contribution to reductions in wildlife populations is hotly debated and not fully understood. The study tracks only 55 pet cats – of whom only 17 pursued prey, with birds constituting only 12 percent of the prey. We urge caution in the extrapolation of this study’s results to policy responses based on the limited findings, which have not been peer reviewed. This is a problem that requires cat and wildlife advocates to come together to find a solution."

The HSUS advocates for cats and wildlife, and urges pet owners to keep cats indoors. Community cats living outdoors must be managed in a way that effectively and humanely reduces their numbers through trap-neuter-return (TNR), the proven approach of safely removing the cats, spaying or neutering them and returning them to a managed colony. By using TNR responsibly and finding homes for kittens and adoptable cats, this strategy can help reduce reproduction while improving the lives of existing ferals.

Facts:

  • From 1998 through 2010 the American Pet Products Association showed increases in the number of owned cats kept indoors exclusively or kept indoors for longer periods of time.
  • Pet cats should be kept indoors for their own safety, and for the safety of wildlife in the area. They should be sterilized by the time they reach reproductive age at 5 months. The HSUS offers more information about making indoor homes stimulating and enriching for cats.
  • Estimates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department show that bird mortality is largely caused by habitat loss and destruction (33.3 percent) and collisions with buildings and glass (31.7 percent). While cats do prey on birds, their impact plays a relatively minor role in overall bird mortality.
  • The "KittyCam"study also documented cats engaging in risky behaviors such as crossing roads, entering tight spaces and eating and drinking potential hazardous substances; all are further reasons to keep cats safe inside homes.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.