Are Cats at Risk for Coronavirus?

According to a new Chinese study, the coronavirus can be transmitted between your feline pets.

Researchers at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute found that cats are not only susceptible to contracting COVID-19, but they're capable of passing it to other felines, as well.

However, other animals, like dogs, chicken, and pigs, are not likely to catch or spread the virus. There is also no evidence that the virus can spread from cats to humans.

A summary of the study reads, "We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but efficiently in ferrets and cats. We found that the virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets."

The study has yet to be peer-reviewed, but experts believe the study's finding are legitimate. Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, said that observations of transmission in felines had also been made in relation to the SARS virus.

However, Ball stressed that cats are by no means a significant source of spreading the virus.

"Human to human transmission is clearly the main driver, so there is no need to panic about cats as an important source of virus," he said.

"Obviously, if you think you have COVID-19 and share a house with a cat, then it would be sensible to limit close interactions with your furry friend until you are better."

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