Yes, cats can catch and pass the COVID-19 coronavirus to other cats - even their owners. However, according to a new study, they would not develop any symptoms of the disease. </p><div id="single__post"> <figure id="attachment_50167711" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-50167711" style="width: 640px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-medium wp-image-50167711" src="https://www.journaldugeek.com/content/uploads/2019/12/yeux-chat-vision-regard-640x425.jpg" alt="See how animals see us." width="640" height="425"/><figcaption id="caption-attachment-50167711" class="wp-caption-text">Credits: Pixabay.</figcaption></figure>
If you are sick with COVID-19 and confined to your home, also keep out of contact with your cat. According to a new pre-published study available on BioRxiv, this domestic feline can be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and pass it on to other cats – and potentially humans. Several researchers and veterinarians from Kansas State University have confirmed this after observing transmission phenomena between several cats. They directly infected six kittens, aged four to five months, with the virus and put them in contact with two other healthy cats. They then performed biological examinations and virological tests on these cats for 21 days. Each previously infected kitten tested positive for COVID-19 within 10 days. Additionally, within two days of their first encounter with the sick kittens, the two healthy animals tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Viral genetic material was found in the nostrils, pharynx, bronchi but also the rectum of certain infected cats, euthanized and then autopsied only four days after contamination. In the blood, all the felines studied had specific anti-COVID-19 antibodies but none showed any symptoms.
In other words, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can not only be transmitted to a domestic cat but also infect it and especially cause it to contaminate other cats. However, there is currently no evidence that the virus is making him symptomatically sick. If the results of the study in question cannot confirm this, it could nevertheless be that felis domesticus or able to contaminate humans, and thus constitute a “reservoir species” like the horseshoe bat or the Malayan pangolin. “The ease of transmission of the virus between domestic cats highlights the need for public health agencies to investigate the influence of a potential human-cat-human chain of transmission,” says one of the study’s authors., Juergen Richt, a Gizmodo. It is also of utmost importance that pet owners are informed of the risks and preventive measures to be taken in order to reassure them and discourage them from resorting to abandoning their animal. “