My Cat Can Get COVID-19?
Crazy cat ladies—don’t get too worked up. Everything will be fine!
While pets (in particular cats, pigs, ferrets, and Syrian hamsters) have been in the news lately for contracting COVID-19 and even dying (although no COVID correlation has been proven regarding the deaths), little is still known about this; however, within reports from reputable sources they say there is no cause for alarm. It is highly unlikely that a pet contract COVID-19 or spread the disease to you—but it is still possible. Remember—we did likely begin this pandemic with the spread originating via bats.
Poor Rufus and Sassy!
Does anyone remember tigers and lions from the Bronx Zoo getting the virus? This happened in April and was all over the news causing panic in zoologists, veterinarians, and animal lovers alike.
“All eight cats continue to do well. They are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced,” a representative from the zoo stated.
Shortly after on April 22, the first known pets (domestic cats) to have contracted COVD-19 were discovered in New York. Hmmm…had they visited the zoo recently?
The following statement comes from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
“Both cats had signs of mild respiratory illness and were expected to make a full recovery. The owner of one of these cats was confirmed to have had COVID-19; a second cat living in this same household tested negative for the virus. The second positive cat was an indoor-outdoor cat whose owner had no symptoms of COVID-19 and was never tested. However, it lived in an area with a high number of human COVID-19 cases. It was presumed that this cat was infected by either its owner, who was asymptomatically infected with SARS-CoV-2, or by another infected person in the neighborhood.”
The professionals at the CDC state: “It appears that it (COVID-19) can spread from people to animals in some situations, especially after close contact with a person sick with COVID-19.”
If you are a pet owner and are worried about transmitting the virus to a pet or are worried that an animal who has been around the virus may transmit it to you, there are some precautions you can take, which have been recommended by the CDC.
- A small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
- Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
- It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations.
- Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
- If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
- This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
All in all, don’t worry too much about your friendly fur-children. The likelihood is extremely UNlikely given that there are less than 25 known pets worldwide who have developed COVID-19 symptoms. That means don’t go signing your pet mini pig up for drive-thru COVID testing, please.
Enjoy your pets during this time! They can be wonderfully therapeutic.
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