While the world is trying to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the deadly novel coronavirus through measures that encourage social distancing and the use of face masks, a group of researchers has confirmed that cats are readily infected with COVID-19 and can pass it on to other cats.
In the study, researchers administered a coronavirus sample isolated from an infected human patient to three cats. The following day, the researchers swabbed the nostrils of all three cats and were able to detect the virus in two of them. Within three days, all three of them were infected.
The day after the researchers administered the virus to the first three cats, they placed another cat in each of their cages. The team did not administer the samples to these other cats. Thereafter the researchers took nasal and rectal swabs from all six cats to check their status. Within two days, one of the previously uninfected cats became infected; and within six days, all six cats became infected. However, none of the cats showed any symptoms and they all eventually cleared the virus.
This study shed more light into the mode of transmission of the novel coronavirus, suggesting that cats can contract and transmit the infection to other cats.