Can my cat catch COVID-19? Yes, but it is unlikely
UPDATE: August 2020
It seems that more data has suggested that while domestic cats may contract COVID-19, the chances are low. The possibility of your cat spreading COVID-19 to another cat or a human are also very low.
Our original article is below.
Can my cat catch COVID-19 from me, or me from it? The nasty Coronavirus pandemic that began in 2019? The short answer is, scientists are not sure. There is that evidence cats may be able to catch COVID-19.
In these crazy times, we must think about all aspects of our health and safety. However, there is no firm evidence that your cat can spread COVID-19 to humans. Researchers are working hard to find the answers. It makes sense to keep up with developments and take precautions.
Evidence that cats may be susceptible to COVID-19
A team at China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute has found that cats appear to be susceptible to COVID-19. They have discovered the same in ferrets but not dogs, chickens, pigs, or ducks.
The research follows a recent report of a pet cat in Belgium. After showing symptoms, the kitty tested positive for COVID-19. The cat’s owner had already tested positive for COVID-19.
The Harbin Veterinary Research Institute study found that the virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets. COVID-19 was previously detected in horseshoe bats but has never been detected in other animals.
No evidence that cats can transmit COVID-19 to humans
The study found no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from cats to humans.
The Harbin Veterinary Institute research has not yet been peer-reviewed.
IDEXX Laboratories, a US veterinary diagnostics company, has tested thousands of canine and feline specimens. To date, they have detected no positive results for COVID-19.
What does this mean for cat owners worried about COVID-19?
As we deal with the wild changes to our lives, we still think can my cat catch COVID-19 in 2021. We watch and wait.
We want to stress that human-to-human transmission is how COVID-19 is spreading. The early investigations suggest COVID-19 causes severe issues for infected cats. If you think you have COVID-19, it would be sensible to limit interactions with your cat to stop the spread of the virus and to be kind to your kitty.
For general cat health tips, check our articles.
Better to be safe than sorry!