Can Coronavirus Infect Cats? (COVID-19)

Can Coronavirus Infect Cats? (COVID-19)

Can Coronavirus Infect Cats? (COVID-19)

Can Coronavirus Infect Cats? (COVID-19)

With the coronavirus outbreak, it is normal that you may be concerned with the little cat that you have at home. 

While the coronavirus has been spreading quite rapidly through the entire world (and therefore the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic), researchers are trying to discover if pets can also get infected. 

Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that some coronaviruses do infect animals that can then spread to humans. This was the case of both the Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The reality is that in what relates to the COVID-19 specifically, many researchers believe that this is also the way it started. However, there are no guarantees yet that this happened. 

While the first infections of COVID-19 were connected to a live animal market in Wuhan, China, it is also true that it is spreading from person to person. 


Can Coronavirus Infect Cats?

According to this report published by Chinese researchers, it is stated that cats can actually get infected with the coronavirus. In addition, the researchers take even a step further and mention that dogs, chickens, pigs, and ducks are less susceptible to get infected.

However, there are two important factors to consider about this report. The first one if the fact that this report wasn't certified by peer review. The second factor to consider is that this was a research conducted in a lab. 

The team, which was led by virologist Bu Zhigao, introduced samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into the noses of five domestic cats. Six days later, the cats were euthanized. This was when researchers discovered the viral RNA as well as infectious virus particles in them. 

The other infected cats were placed in a cage next to uninfected cats. However, researchers only found the viral RNA on one of them. 

One of the most interesting things is that all the cats that got infected were also able to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

According to the virologist Linda Saif at the Ohio State University in Wooster, none of the infected cats showed any symptoms of being ill. So, she concluded that “This suggests the virus may not be highly transmissible in cats.” Besides, it is also important to notice that only one of the cats that were exposed got infected with the coronavirus. So, we can also state that it is still unclear the mode of transmission.


Bottom Line

While we can't say for sure that cats can get infected with COVID-19 under normal circumstances, according to the AVMA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should simply take all the usual precautions when you are cleaning the litter box and feeding your cat.

For now, just let your cat enjoy the beautiful world through the window. Check out our store to entertain your cat, I know they miss the outside world.