Domestic cats and dogs may have to be vaccinated in the future against Covid-19 to protect people

This is a quick note but one worth making nonetheless. I think I can predict that in the long term, perhaps in about 18 months to 2 years time, governments in various countries, perhaps predominantly in the West, will be thinking about vaccinating companion animals as a second phase protective measure against Covid-19.  This is because there is a concern amongst some scientists that animals may create a reservoir for mutant variants of the Covid-19 virus. As the virus is zoonotic it can theoretically and actually be transmitted from animals to people and this must apply also to companion animals. Danish mink farmer with white mink due to be euthanised. Photo per credit Perhaps because of the general panicked nature of governmental responses to the coronavirus pandemic, not enough work has been done on this aspect of the spread of the disease. In addition nobody wants to alarm anybody which may lead to companion animal abuse. In fact, in China, at the outset of the pandemic, there were

Valerian and Cats

Valerian is a herb (V. officinalis). Cats are attracted to it. The plant lives for more than two years and it is hardy. It is not written about that much today (2012) but in the past it was. For instance in 1658 at page 81 of Four-footed Beasts by Topsell he writes, "The root of the herb valerian (called Phu), is very like to the eye of a cat, and wheresoever it groweth, if cats come thereunto, they instantly dig it up for the love thereof, as I myself have seen in mine own garden, for it smelleth moreover like a cat".

Valerian - Photo by helen.2006 (Flickr)

The roots and leaves of valerian have a similar effect on cats as the much better known catnip. Valerian contains a chemical called actinidine. It has a similar effect on cats as the chemical nepetalactone, which is found in catnip.

Both are called "cat attractants" by the Wikipedia authors. We know what some cats do when they smell catnip. It's a kind of mild, safe, recreational drug for the domestic cat.

Associated: Unified Catnip Theory and The Cat Drugs of Catnip and Matatabi.


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