Two Cats Tested Positive For The Coronavirus
The news that two cats in NY have tested positive for the coronavirus, making them the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in companion animals in the U.S., is giving many dog and cat owners pause.
Although health experts have repeatedly assured the public that people and pets can’t pass the novel coronavirus to one another, the CDC is now updating its guidance for pet owners in light of these feline cases, although it is still not recommending routine testing for pets.
The cats are believed to have contracted the virus from people in their households or neighborhoods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the CDC told the Associated Press.
Earlier this month, a Bronx Zoo tiger tested positive for COVID-19, while six other big cats were showing symptoms of the virus. And the zoo told National Geographic that four more tigers and three lions have also tested positive. NYC zoo revealed that a 4-year-old tiger tested positive for the novel coronavirus after developing a dry cough. The big cats are all expected to recover. It is believed that they were infected by a person caring for them who wasn’t showing symptoms.
This adds to a small number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in animals worldwide, and health experts continue to state that while it appears some animals can indeed get the coronavirus from people, there is still no indication that the animals are spreading it to humans.
“We don’t want people to panic. We don’t want people to be afraid of pets or to rush to test them en masse,” CDC official Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh told the AP.