Two cats in New York recently tested positive for COVID-19, making them the first house pets to be infected, Federal officials announced Wednesday.
According to The Center for Disease Control and The Department of Agriculture, the cats are from two different parts of the state but both showed mild respiratory illnesses.
While in the first cat’s home, the owner is asymptomatic, in the second cat’s home the owner tested positive but has another cat in the same household who is not sick.
It is presumed the cats contracted the virus from a human who is COVID positive, said Palm Valley Animal Society Medical Director, Dr. Erin Katribe.
” Pets haven’t given it to other pets or animals haven’t given it to other animals so it appears that this virus is really tailored towards humans right now, ” said Katribe.
There’s no evidence pets play a role in the spread of the virus nor that animals can transmit it to people, she added.
Dr. Katribe said there’s many different types of respiratory illnesses that pets can get and doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Corona virus.
” There’s different viruses and bacteria’s that can cause it. The signs that we typically see are similar the ones that we see in people that have the cold or the flu . Coughing , sneezing, maybe some nasal discharge and ultimately if you have a pet that’s sick is contact a veterinarian and consult with them,” said Katribe.
While experts further their studies regarding COVID-19 and pets, the CDC is recommending the following :
Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household
Keep cats indoors
Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals
Avoid dog parks
They also suggest staying away from your pet if you are sick. The CDC wants to emphasize there’s still no cases of a human being infected with the virus through their pet and urges you to remain calm and refrain from taking measures against your furry friends.