A study from Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China found that not only can cats become infected with COVID-19 but can also transmit it to other felines.
Ferrets may also be vulnerable to the virus, however dogs, ducks, pigs and chickens appear to be less susceptible.
Researchers used 8 month old cats and exposed 5 of them intranasally with the virus. They then euthanized 2 of them and found evidence of infection along their respiratory tree (nasal turbinates, soft palates, tonsils, trachea, and in one, the small intestines) signifying infection susceptibility.
For the transmission portion of the study, the other exposed cats were put into cages separately with non-infected cats and the latter were subsequently tested days later to see if they were exposed. Evidence of the virus particles were found in their feces. None of the animals exhibited symptoms however of coronavirus.
Ferrets too were found to be susceptible but dogs did not appear to carry the virus as did their whiskered counterparts.
Although no cat to human transmission of COVID has been found, study authors suggest, “Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in cats should be considered as an adjunct to elimination of of COVID-19 in humans.”
The full text of the study can be found here.
Article written by Dr. Daliah.