Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Hand hygiene is frequently identified as the number one means of preventing disease spread.

WE should also remember that when working with cats our arms and clothing may also have close contact with animals, so hand hygiene alone is insufficient.

PPE use is designed to reduce the risk to employees from possible hazards including the contamination of personal clothing, exposure of skin and mucous membranes, and the transmission of pathogens between cats by staff.

Some form of PPE must be worn in all situations, including any contact with potentially infected cats and their environment.


Gloves reduce the risk of pathogen transmission by providing barrier protection. They should be worn whenever handling a cat, or contact with blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions and mucous membranes is possible. Gloves should also be worn when cleaning pens and environmental surfaces, as well as when doing laundry.

Gloves should be removed promptly after use, avoiding contact between skin and the outer glove surface.  Gloves should be changed as required, i.e., when torn, when hands become wet inside the glove or when moving between cat pens.

  1. Care should be taken to avoid contamination of personal items such as telephones and pens.
  2. When wearing other PPE, gloves should be put on last.
  3. Insert hands into gloves and extend them over suit cuffs.


  1. Grasp outside edge near wrist.
  2. Peel away from hand, turning glove inside out.
  3. Hold the removed glove in the opposite gloved hand.
  4. Slide the ungloved finger under the wrist of the remaining glove.
  5. Peel off the glove from the inside creating a bag for both gloves.
  6. Discard the gloves in the appropriate garbage receptacle.
  7. Hands should be washed or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used immediately after glove removal.
  8. Gloves do not provide complete protection against hand contamination, therefore hand hygiene immediately after removing gloves is essential.
  9. Disposable gloves should not be washed and reused.


Change gloves and perform hand hygiene when:

  1. Moving from contaminated areas to clean areas on the same cat.
  2. Moving from dirty to clean procedures on the same cat.
  3. Between individual cats.

Gloves come in a variety of materials. The choice of glove material depends on their intended use. Latex gloves are commonly used, but if latex allergies are a concern, acceptable alternatives include nitrile or vinyl gloves.

Latex gloves will decompose and lose their integrity when exposed to many chemicals. Reusable gloves must also be disinfected at the end of each task.

* No jewellery or nail extensions are to be worn.


  1. Disposable suits provide more protective coverage than lab coats. They play a crucial role in preventing contamination throughout the cattery, and providing protection for both cats and staff.
  2. They are typically used for handling cats with suspected or confirmed infectious diseases. (i.e. in an Isolation pen).
  3. Disposable suits are also used during the cleaning and disinfection process of isolation pens. If the suit has come in contact with the cat during the cleaning and disinfecting process, it can be lightly over sprayed with disinfectant.
  4. Disposable suits must be removed promptly before exiting the room and disposed of in a garbage receptacle located beside the door.
  5. They are not to be reused
  6. Disposable suits should be changed immediately whenever they become visibly soiled, contaminated with body fluids, or torn/damaged.


  1. Closed-toe footwear must be worn at all times to reduce the risk of injury, and protect feet from infectious substances.
  2. Impermeable shoe covers are required in areas where infectious materials are expected to be present, in order to prevent their spread to other areas.
  3. Such footwear must be removed as the person leaves the contaminated area, and should be immediately disposed of in the garbage (if disposable).


To remove impermeable show covers:

  1. Lift one foot and slide fingers of ungloved hand into inside portion of impermeable shoe cover
  2. To remove, pull elasticized cuff down & away from ankle area and peel impermeable shoe cover off of foot
  3. Step with that foot only over the threshold of the door and set that foot down on floor outside of room
  4. Discard used impermeable shoe cover into garbage receptacle
  5. Repeat process with second impermeable shoe cover on other foot
  6. Perform hand hygiene