Coronavirus: Cats & COVID-19

There are two new cat-specific updates this week as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues. We encourage you to read the previous coronavirus blogs and check back here often as we learn more about this novel SARS-CoV-2 and the implications it potentially has for cats. Below are this weeks updates relating to the cat community. We also encourage the reader to stick with reputable sources from veterinarians. Please avoid social media and other outlets that are dramatizing these news stories. Context is everything!

Update 1

On 3/31/20, a second cat in Hong Kong tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on oral, nasal and rectal swabs. The cat was living with a COVID-19 positive human. The cat is currently in quarantine showing no signs of illness.

Update 2

An article from Nature dated 4/1/20 says coronavirus can infect cats. It is unclear whether cats can spread the virus to humans. The articles states…

“Cats can be infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and can spread it to other cats, but dogs are not really susceptible to the infection, say researchers in China.”

Now before everyone panics, we need to take this finding into perspective. In this study, cats were deliberately infected with high doses of SARS-CoV-2 in a lab setting. It should be noted that this scenario will probably not happen in real life. It is also worth noting that none of the infected cats became ill or showed symptoms related to the SARS-COV-2 infection. The real life implications of this study’s findings are not known yet.

With the above in mind, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with COVID-19 limit contact with their pets, including avoiding stroking them, being licked and sharing food.

Read the full article here.

At this time, there is still no need to worry.
Use common sense hygienic practices.