According to the results of a recent study, it appears that it might be possible for cats to infect each other with the COVID-19.
The discovery was made shortly after a pet owner in Belgium transmitted the virus to her cat. The new research was carried out by a group of scientists at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China.
Its results point out that animals like cats or ferrets are at high risk of transmitting the infection, just like humans.
The researchers also confirmed that cats could pass on the virus to other cats via small respiratory droplets after they tested their theory on a couple of animals by infecting them with COVID-19.
The study summarized: “We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but efficiently in ferrets and cats. We found that the virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets.”
Meanwhile, in Belgium, it was reported that a pet owner, who was sick with the virus, transmitted it to her cat as well.
Allegedly, the animal experienced symptoms like respiratory issues, diarrhea, vomiting, just a week after its owner was reported sick, and later it was confirmed by vets that the cat was indeed sick with the COVID-19.
Following the case with the sick cat, a lot of experts issued statements, urging people not to over-panic about their pets.
According to Prof. Jonathan Ball, who is an established virologist at the University of Nottingham, people should remember that human-to-human transmission was clearly the main driver of the disease, and cats were far from an important source of the virus.
Ball stated: “Human to human transmission is clearly the main driver, so there is no need to panic about cats as an important source of the virus. Obviously, if you think you have COVID-19 and share a house with a cat, then it would be sensible to limit close interactions with your furry friend until you are better.”
The expert also urged for pet owners, who suspected they might be sick, to limit any close interactions with their pets.
In related COVID-19 news, a Bronx zoo tiger has tested positive. Officials hope that the diagnosis will “ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”
One person replied: “Like. ..how?? Did the tiger go on spring break? Weekend farmer’s market? Did he touch his face??? What kind of shotty journalism is this?! People want to know!”
The coronavirus has infected 1,777,515 people worldwide and it has killed 108,862.