A study reveals that cats can also get infected with coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
According to the study, which was published on the website of American journal Science, not only can cats catch the coronavirus, but they can also transmit the disease to other cats. Researchers injected lab animals with high doses of the virus and found that while the transmission was weak to dogs, chickens, pigs, and ducks, cats and ferrets were more prone to getting infected. There’s currently no evidence to support the notion that cats can infect humans.
“We found that the virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets,” said one of the researchers from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China. “Our study provides important insights into the animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 and animal management for COVID-19 control.”
Experts noted that cat owners shouldn’t be alarmed just yet as the study was only done on a small number of animals. The study was conducted to determine animals vulnerable to the disease and to use these animals to test experimental vaccines.
On April 6, a tiger held in captivity at the Brox Zoo was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19, displaying symptoms such as dry cough. A caretaker is thought to have transmitted the virus to the four-year-old Malaysian tiger.
Latest reports confirm 87,000 deaths worldwide, from a total of 1.5 million cases of COVID-19.