Bringing a sick cat to the vet isn’t fun in the best of times, and it’s even more concerning now that the COVID 19 pandemic has taken hold. Here are some tips to keep you both safe if kitty’s illness warrants a trip to the vet:
IF YOU ARE SICK, HAVE SOMEONE ELSE BRING YOUR PET
Common sense. Hospital staff won’t be able to do their job if you spread the virus to them.
As always, call ahead for an appointment. If Kitty has a true medical emergency and you must leave immediately, then have the non-driver call the hospital on your way. Calling ahead helps the hospital prepare for your arrival and adjust accordingly.
IF POSSIBLE, STAY IN THE CAR
Call upon your arrival. Many hospitals are transitioning to not allowing the public inside and will meet you at your car or the hospital door. If your vet hospital has not yet made this change, then you can request that they do so for you. The assistant can obtain a brief history of your pet while you sit in the car, then your pet is handed off to hospital staff for examination and treatment.
Paying over the phone is ideal if it is available. Giving the staff member your credit card is the next best thing so long as you wipe it down with alcohol after. Avoid using cash if possible- it’s dirty, and who knows where it’s been! It’s always a good idea to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car to clean your hands with after being out in public. Remember to never touch your face or eat after your have touched something unsanitary!
UPON ARRIVING HOME
Once kitty has been released from the cage, backtrack to sanitize everything that you have touched while being on your journey to the vet hospital. Don’t forget to clean your door handles, steering wheel, and anything else you may have touched with unclean hands! During normal times you wouldn’t want to sanitize a cat carrier with any harsh smelling chemicals, but for safety purposes you should clean the carrier with an alcohol-based solution. Do not nuzzle your face in your pet’s fur for a few days after bringing Fluffy to the vet. COVID-19 can be transmitted to dogs and cats, so we should be taking extra precautions (such as keeping outdoor cats indoors) to prevent the spread. Keep in mind that this disease is still very new to us, and more research will need to be done to determine exactly how contagious this disease is from a zoonotic standpoint. Wash your hands before and after petting animals, and do not allow your animals to interact with any other animals or people outside the household (unless absolutely necessary). For more information on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and how it pertains to animals, refer to the CDC’s official page.
TrainedCat wishes everyone safety and strength during this difficult time for all.