The Latest Information For You And Your Cat
In Arapahoe County, where Aurora Cat Hospital and Hotel (ACHH) is located, many people have contracted COVID-19, and social distancing has already helped slow the spread of the virus. We must all do our part to help. This page will continue to be updated as new information regarding COVID-19 and how it affects pets and their human companions becomes available.
UPDATE 4/23: Governor Polis is slowly easing restrictions on non-essential (preventative) procedures starting Monday, April 27th. This means that we will be allowing dental cleanings, spays and neuters to be scheduled. We are currently seeing appointments on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Procedures will be scheduled on weekday mornings. We are offering 20% off all dental cleanings and oral surgeries that are scheduled in the month of May.
Two more domestic cats, both living in New York, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Both cats displayed mild respiratory signs and are expected to fully recover.
Update 4/8: There seems to be evidence that cats are susceptible to this particular Coronavirus. Experimental infections have shown replication in the upper airways of pet cats (not the lungs as described in people). There have been two reported cases of domestic cats testing positive for the virus. One in Hong Kong, which had no symptoms, and one in Belgium with mild upper respiratory signs. Ferrets also seem to be at risk for infection, whereas other pets, including dogs, do not. There is still NO EVIDENCE that cats can pass the virus back to people, so the main concern is human to cat transmission.
IF YOU HAVE COVID-19: You do not need to get rid of your cat! Simply reduce close physical contact with your cat as much as possible (e.g. limit kissing, snuggling your face in their fur, and sharing food items). All cats should remain indoors whenever possible during this time, but this is especially true for cats in households with infected persons. Though it remains unproven at this time, cats could potentially serve as fomites (passive carriers) of the virus. Take reasonable precautions.
ACHH Protocol Changes Continue
In order to maintain quality of care for our patients and keep our human friends as safe as possible, we are continuing the following practices and policies:
- If you have any signs of respiratory illness, including fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, and general malaise, OR have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is highly suspect for it, please call the clinic to reschedule your appointment.
- Similarly, staff who meet these same criteria will be asked to remain home. Please exercise patience during this time as wait times may be longer and phone calls delayed if we become short-staffed.
- PLEASE CALL AHEAD as our hours are limited to reduce cost and allow staff to adequately care for their families. We will work with you to schedule pickups for food, medication, and other items.
Telemedicine And Drop-Off Appointments
Cats will continue to get sick and need medical care despite our being quarantined. ACHH knows that medical care should not be delayed for those patients who are ill or have changes in their behavior. We are now offering telemedicine, on an appointment basis, to discuss your cat’s health with Dr. Anthony.
- Telemedicine appointments will be scheduled during normal business hours at a rate of $35. This includes visual examination of problem areas (that are easily demonstrated), thorough history taking, and medical advice from the doctor, in addition to recommendations for the next steps, whether that be physical exam at ACHH, at-home care, or prescriptions that can be obtained from the clinic.
- If Dr. Anthony recommends a physical exam, the technician will meet you outside and bring your cat in while you remain in your car. Physical examination, diagnostics, and treatments will be performed at this time. The cost of exam will include the telemedicine charge, so there will be no additional cost for this service over the normal exam fee.
- All cats must arrive in carriers. There are no exceptions. If you do not have a carrier, we will ask you to put your cat in one of ours prior to our staff bringing him or her inside. This is for your cat’s safety. The carrier will be appropriately cleaned and disinfected before and after handling.
- You may also schedule a drop-off in advance, with the same curbside service.
Sanitization And Cleanliness
At ACHH, cleanliness remains a priority. Increased disinfection continues in the hospital to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are using EPA-approved virucidal products including accelerated hydrogen peroxide, bleach solutions, and isopropyl alcohol.. High-use items such as doorknobs and phones are disinfected after every use and at the beginning and end of every day. We maintain the cleanliness of the rest of the hospital as before.
Together, we can keep people safe while still caring for our cherished feline companions. With these new protocols in place, you can rest assured that your cat is in good, clean, hands. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any concerns or questions you might have. We are, as ever, here for you and your cat.