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Safe Cat Transfers During Covid-19

COVID-19
​Safe handling recommendations for transfer of animals
​(Cats & Kittens)

While we want to continue finding caring foster and forever homes for cats and kittens during these difficult times, we also want everyone to stay safe.  Please carefully read and follow the following instructions on how to safely transfer animals during these times.


1. What is the risk of contamination? Leaving your home you are at a higher risk of coming into contact or contracting COVID-19. People most at risk of serious infection include;

  • people with weakened immune systems,

  • people diagnosed with chronic medical conditions such as lung or kidney conditions,

  • people with diabetes,

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have higher rates of chronic illness,

  • very young children and babies and

  • older people

 
We do not recommend leaving your home if you are over the age of 70, over 60 if you have pre-existing medical conditions or over 50 if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander with a pre-existing medical condition.
 
People who are unwell or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 must remain home.

When transferring animals during these times, both the person delivering the animal and the person receiving the animal must answer the following questions:

Ask the person delivering and receiving the animal; 
“Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?” 
“Have you come into contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19?”
“Do you feel unwell?”
“Do you agree to carry out the appropriate safe handling practices outlines in this document”
 
Both people must answer these questions and agree to carry out the transfer understanding the associated risks.

2. Choosing a safe drop off point? An open space where the 1.5m social distancing enforcement can be met. Possibly a car park or a sterile environment like a vet clinic where surfaces can be wiped down. Not a place of residence.

3. Preparation for the drop off. Only two people can gather to complete the transfer. The person dropping off the animal and the person collecting the animal. Both participants must agree to shower, wash their hands thoroughly and wear clean clothing before the drop off. If you choose you can wear paper gowns, gloves and a face mask, however hands must be washed before putting on gloves and clean clothing must be worn under the paper gown. After you have washed your hands do not touch your face. If you touch your face or have travelled a considerable distance after washing your hands, wash your hands again or use hand sanitiser before the exchange. Both people must have their own animal crate, or the animal crate must be sterilized directly before and immediately after use. Material carriers are not recommended.

4. How do I wash my hands properly? As per the World Health Organisation, washing your hands properly takes about as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice, using the images below.

Washing Hands.png

5. How to sterilize a crate. Disassemble any parts. Rinse out the crate. Use a bleach or chlorine and water solution as per directions on the label or a household bathroom disinfectant to clean all surfaces. Ensure you clean inside and out and any disassembled parts. Let sit for 20minutes before rinsing. Spray and wipe with F10 if you have it.

6. The exchange. Once both people have reached the drop off point, the person dropping off the animal is to place the crate on the ground and back away to over 1.5m. The person collecting the animal is to transfer the animal to their crate then back away to over 1.5m. The person dropping off the animal can then collect their crate and take it home to be sterilized. It is ideal for communication to be worked out prior to meeting so there can be a quick exchange.

7. Bringing the animal home. Take the animal straight to the bathroom or laundry where the animal can be bathed in Malaseb Medicated Shampoo as per instructions on the label. Administer flea and worming treatment (wait for the animal to dry if using Revolution/Advocate drops). Sterilize the crate. Have a shower ensuring to clean your hands thoroughly. Put any towels and clothing in the washing machine directly after and leave the animal in the bathroom. The animal is to be isolated for 2 weeks and only handled with gloves and a gown during that period to stop the spread of ringworm. Sterilise any handles, railings, steering wheel or doorknobs touched while transporting the animal from the vehicle to the bathroom or laundry. Be careful to use a disinfectant that will not perish materials such as leather or painted coating.

Q&A

  1. Is the transfer of animals considered a non-essential service? Animal welfare is not currently listed as non-essential by the Chief Health Officer at the Queensland Department of Health https://www.business.qld.gov.au/home.
     

  2. Can the COVID-19 disease be transmitted from animals to humans? There is currently no evidence that companion animals can spread the COVID-19 disease to humans or other animals. There is some concern amongst veterinary practitioners about an animal’s coat acting as a fomite for the virus, which is a possible mechanism for transmission. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises that the probability of becoming infected through contact with virus on animal fur is less than direct contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucus, or through contact with contaminated non-porous surfaces.  
     

  3. How does the disease spread?

  • Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious, 

  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or 

  • indirect contact through touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your eyes, mouth or face.


Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. These can include fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness and shortness of breath. However, people can shed virus for 24 hours before symptoms appear.

What should I do if I contract COVID-19? 


Avoid close contact with your animal and contact FFARQ as soon as possible to discuss the care arrangements.


Many thanks to Amy for writing this document for our pet loving community.

Become a Foster Carer

If you believe that you can give one or more of our cats or kittens a great temporary home, please complete the foster application form and one of our volunteers will contact you.

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