It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… if you are an animal rescuer. As municipal shelters closed to the public, they besieged rescues with requests to take cats. However, with adoption events suspended and PetSmart adoption centers closed, the ability for rescues to find homes for any of those animals seemed out of reach. Yet, when the Feline Foundation of Greater Washington (FFGW) put out a plea for fosters for the cats we already had at our center at PetSmart, we were flooded with offers – and ended up with more potential fosters than we had cats. Continue Reading
Cats, including community cats, are daily reminders of the simple joy animals bring into our lives. In times of crisis, caring for our cats gives us purpose when the rest of the world is beyond our power to control. This is the second part in a three-part series based on my personal experience caring for the campus cats at San Diego State University. Click here to read Part One: The Mad Dash. Continue Reading
Losing a beloved companion is a difficult experience at any time, but several factors come together to make it particularly devastating during COVID-19. From veterinarians handling euthanasias differently than usual to physical distancing requirements that keep us from hugging each other, circumstances are coming together that intensify the isolation many guardians feel after a loss even under normal circumstances. In addition, there is so much grief and loss in the world right now, and we’re all feeling some of that—loss of routine and familiarity, economic uncertainty, concern about loved ones, and of course, for many people, the loss of human loved ones to this awful disease. This collective grief weighs heavily on all of us and can make grieving the loss of a pet during COVID-19 even more challenging.Continue Reading
This past week has been a firestorm for cat parents. First we learned that cats can be infected with a large dose of live SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and may be able to transmit the virus to another cat. The next day we hear that even some shelter cats, assumed feral, had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Then, the icing on the cake, a tiger tested positive for COVID-19 in the Bronx Zoo. But not all the news is discouraging; the latest study from France is demonstrating just how hard it may be to infect your pets¹.
This article is aimed at cutting through the confusion, offering a science-based explanation, and hopefully putting your mind at ease at least a little.Continue Reading
Like many of you, my two Siamese buddies have been keeping me company and keeping me amused while I struggle to figure out how to convert my lab-based life to an online life. With a recent report coming out of Belgium that an owner’s cat not only tested positive, but actually got sick with COVID-19, I am worried about our pets . Yet, as a biologist, I realize that one out of millions is most likely an anomaly, not a trend. There is probably an explanation, and the answer lies buried in molecular science.Continue Reading
The American Association of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA) has updated its FAQ for Pet Owners to reflect the current information about COVID-19 and pets. Of course, we know by now that this is a rapidly evolving situation. The AVMA will continue to update its FAQ as new information becomes available, and I’ll share it with you here as quickly as I can.
The update includes some reassuring information about why it’s unlikely that cats (and other pets) can spread the virus.Continue Reading