It turns out the cats might be on to something. In a press release today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that two pet cats, each living in a different area of New York State, have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Both cats have mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery.
The press release advised:
Public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including pets, could be affected.The CDC did, however, make the following recommendations:
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.