British Vets Warn Tourists To Avoid Cats

Danger: Stay Away From Cyprus Cats Warn UK Vets

Street Cats. Image: Oxana Oliferovskaya /

British tourists headed for one of Europe’s hot spots have been warned to stay away from cats by UK veterinarians.

On Monday, July 24, The British Veterinary Association (BVA) posted a statement advising UK visitors to Cyprus to be extra vigilant when in the presence of cats, according to Cyprus Mail.

Warning For Tourists

The statement reads: ‘A widespread outbreak of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) has been reported in both stray and indoor cat populations in Cyprus since January.

‘Responding to the news, Dr Justine Shotton, Senior Vice President, British Veterinary Association, said: “The reported cases of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in Cyprus are understandably concerning.

However, FIP is a condition seen in cats in the UK and so while tests are ongoing to determine if this is a new strain of the virus, our current advice for cat owners is to contact their vet if they have any concerns about their pet’s health or welfare and discuss any preventative healthcare options.

“Cats being imported from Cyprus to the UK should be tested for the virus before travel and not be moved if they test positive. As a precautionary measure, anyone travelling to Cyprus for a holiday should avoid touching cats there and make sure to clean the soles of their shoes and suitcase wheels before leaving to avoid inadvertently bringing the virus into the UK.”’

Earlier this month, there were shocking statistics published which claimed that 300,000 cats had died from FIP on the island of Cyprus. Something that was quickly downplayed by local media.

The reports followed a statement from Dinos Agiomammitis, vice president of the NGO Voice for Animals, who claimed that his words had been misconstrued.

Agiomammitis clarifies his statement and explained that it was a very loose, hypothetical estimate that there are 1 million cats on the island. And that if a mortality rate of 20-30 per cent of infected animals dying is applied, the resulting number would be 300,000.

However, Charalmbos Pipis, director of Veterinary Services countered that the estimate was ‘baseless’ and said they cannot confirm the number of 300,000 dead cats from feline infectious peritonitis: ‘These data are based on estimations since there is not an official recorded number of the cats in Cyprus.’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.