“There is no evidence that pets can pass Covid-19 to their owners,” she said.
The BVA president also said that while dogs appear not to show symptoms, cats can.
“It is also the case that animals can act as fomites, as the virus could be their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs,” Dos Santos said. “That’s why our main advice for pet owners continues to be to practise good hand hygiene.”
» RELATED: Tiger at NYC's Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus
The BVA recommends keeping cats indoors "as a precaution, for pet owners who have Covid-19 or who are self-isolating."
“It is very important that people don’t panic about their pets,” she said. “There is no evidence that animals can pass the disease to humans.”
The remarks follow a recent report of a Belgian cat testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Experts said it was an "isolated case" and that the owner had recently traveled to Italy, where the coronavirus death toll reportedly exceeded China's in March.
Additionally, a Malaysian tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus in early April.
The tiger is expected to recover, while the cat in Belgium recovered after nine days.