Can cats and dogs catch coronavirus?
There are still many unanswered questions about the novel coronavirus, but this week, new and surprising information about the transmission of the virus was revealed: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive — and health officials say she caught it from a zoo employee who had COVID-19, but was asymptomatic. The big cat is expected to recover, but its diagnosis worried many pet owners. Could their feline friends get the virus, too? Researchers in China say they’ve determined that domestic cats are susceptible to airborne infection with the coronavirus. In a new study published in Science, scientists from Harbin Veterinary Research Institute intentionally exposed groups of cats, dogs, ferrets, pigs, chickens and ducks to the virus, and found some animals are more susceptible than others.Fortunately for dogs, the researchers found that man’s best friend has a low susceptibility to the virus. Livestock including pigs, chickens, and ducks also did not appear to be significantly affected by it. However, both ferrets and cats do appear to be susceptible to infection, the study finds. To determine this, researchers inserted the virus, SARS-CoV-2, into the noses of five domestic cats. Three of the infected cats were put in cages next to uninfected ones.