Unused COVID Meds Meant for Humans Earmarked for Cats in Cyprus as Thousands Die

According to a piece in The Guardian, unused medicines will be made available through veterinarians after a COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc among Cyprus’s robust feline population.

Cats have been dying by the thousands from feline Covid there, officials noted. So, the government gave them the green light to use the medications, which was said to be in line with a recommendation from the agriculture ministry.

sick cat
Photo: Pixabay/AmberShadow

Feline Coronavirus

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), which is a variant of the coronavirus, has been wreaking havoc on the island’s cat population. It’s important to add that feline COVID is not transmittable to humans, but cases of it have skyrocketed among cats.

“Stocks of preparations that were used to treat human coronavirus cases and are no longer used can be made available,” the cabinet shared in a statement today.

The medication comes in the form of anti-Covid pills known as Molnupiravir, and will be supplied through veterinarians.

sick cat
Photo: Pixabay/mochawalk

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Activists there have said that Cyprus was morphing into an “island of dead cats,” adding that the disease had likely killed off much of its feline population, which numbers in the millions. However, the country’s veterinary association said reports of as many as 300,000 cats dying was a gross exaggeration, and put the number at less than 10,000 cats. Still, 10,000 dead cats is a lot and nothing to sneeze at if the numbers are accurate.

Estimated in 2022 to be home to 1.5 million cats, Cyprus has more cats than people, which amounts to 1.2 million human inhabitants. To put it into perspective, those 10,000 cats would account for less than 1 percent of the feline population, but it’s still far too much if it can be avoided.

sick kitten
Photo: Pixabay/ashalightbearer

Cats & the Cradle of Civilization

Archaeological evidence of the domestication of cats on the Mediterranean island reportedly dates back to 9,500 years ago to the Neolithic village of Shillourokambos, where the remains of a cat and a human were found buried together in 2004.

As more research is conducted, it’s becoming clearer that feline domestication dates back even further than the Egyptians, who used to demonstrate their love for the animals by shaving their eyebrows off when a beloved pet died and continuing to mourn them until they’d fully grown back. Now that’s dedication few people would resort to today.

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