Today, an article in The Guardian provided new information after a Chinese study found that cats can infect each other with the virus. At this current time there has been no evidence to suggest that cats can transmit the coronavirus to humans. However, the advice is to remain careful around our feline family members, remembering to wash hands and avoid kisses and licking.
The Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China discovered that cats are susceptible to the virus, unlike other animals including dogs, pigs, ducks and chickens. Cats can not only catch it; they do transmit the disease to other cats through their respiratory droplets.
Experiments from the institute team consisted of a small group of animals that were given a dose of the virus. They did say there was no evidence to suggest that they could infect people, but their findings were important as it provided insights into how animal management could play an important role in controlling the pandemic. The report is available online and can be accessed here. At present the report is not peer- reviewed. However, experts have said the report is credible.
Professor Jonathan Ball from the University of Nottingham said that they had discovered similar observations in the transmission between cats in relation to Sars. He stated that human to human transmission is the main driver and therefore there isn’t any need to panic about cats being a source of the virus. The advice to limit close interaction with your pet cats and other pets sh0ould you have symptoms or contract COVID-19.
This information follows the reports of a Belgium cat who became infected with COVID-19. The symptoms appeared around 7 days after the cats’ owner showed symptoms. The cat suffered with breathing difficulties, diarrhoea and vomiting. The cat was tested by the University of Liege and this revealed that the cat was indeed infection with the coronavirus.
This is a worrying time, and everyone is adjusting to the new ways of living with social distancing, shielding and isolation. It’s also a strange time for our pets who will be aware of the changes in the home and may pick up on levels of stress in the household. Stay safe, we will continue to share any news regarding cats and COVID-19 to help everyone stay updated on the latest information.
Our team are also on hand to help you with any cat containment system DIY projects you may wish to begin at this time. Please get in touch and we will help you come up with the best solutions for your family, home and cats.