Mask-wearing cat becomes internet star during coronavirus outbreak
Photos of cute animals never fail to brighten up anyone's day, and especially so in these trying times.
As pet owners put on protective gear to brave the outdoors during the coronavirus outbreak, they made sure that their furkids were suited up too.
One cat, in particular, has become an internet star lately, as pictures of the mask-wearing feline began circulating on social media.
The bicoloured cat was spotted on the streets of Guangdong, China, peering out of its makeshift mask as its owner shopped at a roadside stall.
As the photos reached other shores, a Twitter user in Japan was so charmed by them, he immortalised the kitty in tiny sculptures.
While the World Health Organisation has said there's no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats can be infected by the coronavirus, some pet owners still prefer to play it safe.
Dog owners in China scrambled to get their hands on pet face masks in recent weeks, according to media reports.
Check out this pupper decked out in full protective gear while out on a walk.
However, not all pets are as fortunate.
As the coronavirus spread, so did panic and fear among people.
Rumours that animals were exacerbating the spread of the virus have recently landed some pets in trouble.
In some parts of China, there were reports of people abandoning their dogs and cats, and in worse cases, throwing their furry companions out of their apartment windows to their deaths.
This behaviour has been frowned upon by health experts as well as animal welfare groups in Singapore.
Even if pets are susceptible to the virus, it does not mean that they will transmit the coronavirus to humans, Professor Wang Linfa of Duke-NUS Medical School said at a press conference on Feb 10.
Still, the best way to protect yourself and others is to practise good personal hygiene such as washing your hands with soap and water.
While a cat sporting a mask may look cute, SPCA Singapore has advised people not to make their pets wear masks as it is unnecessary. Doing so makes the animal uncomfortable, and may cause serious heat injury as the mask prevents the animal from expelling heat.
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