Pet cats test positive for COVID-19

Two cats are the first confirmed pet cases of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 in humans. ©Andy Miccone

Veterinary tests revealed that a pair of pet cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Earlier research in China had confirmed that domestic cats (Felis catus) and ferrets could contract the coronavirus when deliberately infected, while domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus), pigs (Sus domesticus) and ducks couldn’t. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories announced on April 22 the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in pets in the United States. The cats came from two separate areas of the state. The animal tests used different chemicals than human tests for the coronavirus and are conducted at veterinary labs, though authorities still don’t recommend coronavirus testing for pets. While there is no evidence so far that the pets can spread the disease back to humans, authorities recommend pet owners keep their animals from contact with other pets in order to limit the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Read more at The Boston Globe.