Can Cats Get COVID?
With the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, people are wondering if their pets can get infected with this virus. In particular, many pet owners are asking whether cats can become infected with COVID-19.
The short answer is yes – cats can indeed contract SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. However, it’s important to note that cases of cat infection have been very rare and that there has not yet been any evidence of cats passing on the virus to humans or other animals.
What We Know So Far
While scientists are still working on better understanding how exactly this virus affects cats and other animals, here’s what we know so far:
* A study published by Chinese researchers in March 2020 examined samples taken from two family pets – a Siberian cat and Tibetan mastiff dog – who had been living close to an individual who tested positive for SARS CoV-2. The results revealed that both animals were carrying traces of SARS CoV- 2 RNA but were otherwise healthy. This suggests that cats may be able to be infected by people with confirmed cases of COVID 19 without showing outward signs of illness themselves.
* Another study conducted in April 2020 looked at eight domestic cats from three households with confirmed cases of human infection by SARS CoV – 2 . Of these eight cats , three tested positive for viral RNA (Sars – Cov – 2 ) which indicated exposure multiple times over a four week period . This suggests longer term transmission between human and cat hosts is possible , although further research is needed .
* There have also been reports from veterinary hospitals around the world about isolated instances where symptoms consistent with Covid 19 have appeared in some pet felines , however further scientific evidence does not exist to confirm these stories .
Overall , it seems clear that while transmission between humans & felines may occur , it appears less likely than other forms such as canine species due to differences in airway anatomy amongst species . Moreover , current data indicates severe effects seem unlikely and so far there has not been any evidence linking feline infections leading directly or indirectly towards human disease transmission either via direct contact or via environmental contamination routes e.g airborne particles etc..
Precautions Still Necessary
Despite all this new information –it’s important for pet owners to take precautions when handling their beloved furry friends just like they would when interacting with fellow humans: wear gloves when cleaning litter boxes; wash your hands after touching them; avoid physical contact if you suspect yourself being infectious ; keep up good hygiene habits ; seek medical advice if exhibiting symptoms/signs related illnesses; etcetera… All together — based off current scientific findings —felines appear much less susceptible to contracting Covid 19 compared against our beloved canine companions meaning taking reasonable precautionary measures should continue helping reduce potential contagion risks among both ourselves & our beloved animal pals!