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Topic #7: COVID Coronavirus in Pets and Livestock

Question: Can pets and livestock catch COVID coronavirus?

Answer: Cats can catch COVID coronavirus and spread it to other cats. Dogs can catch the virus but are less likely to do so than cats. Infected dogs are not likely to pass the virus to other dogs. Pigs, chickens, and ducks cannot catch COVID coronavirus.

COVID coronavirus is very similar to the coronavirus found in bats. Scientists in China have now checked to see whether pets and livestock can be affected https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/07/science.abb7015 . They found a few interesting things:

  • Cats catch the virus and the virus reproduces very well in cats. Of note, infected cats can pass the virus to other cats through coughing and sneezing, the same way infected humans pass the virus to other people. Younger cats are more likely to catch and pass on the virus.
  • Dogs are less susceptible than cats, but some dogs can catch the virus. In the experiments, the scientists did not find evidence that dogs can pass it between themselves.
  • Pigs, chickens, and ducks did not catch COVID coronavirus when the scientists tried to infect them. These livestock appear safe from COVID coronavirus.

Now that we know cats can catch and then pass COVID coronavirus between themselves, the big question is whether cats can pass it to people. The scientists did not look into this issue directly. The scientists did caution that we have to keep an eye on cats in order to control COVID-19 around the world.

Join us at the next CUTICA Health CORONAVIRUS – Blackboard.


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