When you are searching for the phrase “coronavirus in cats,” we know what you are facing.
Although there is no data that cats have infected humans with COVID-19 according to the World Health Organization (WHO) as of March 2020, will they be safe completely?
Since you are here, Catpicky.com will explain everything related to this topic so that you have a clearer background as well as good preparation for your beloved pets.
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All About Coronavirus in Cats
While the world is coming up against the pandemic, you suddenly found that your cat has some symptoms such as
- Low energy and appetite
- Runny nose
- High temperature
- Feeling lethargic
Of course, you need to bring him to the vet hospital without hesitation so that a vet can make him more comfortable.
However, if you still worry whether your beloved cat is infected by COVID-19, please keep reading.
Can Dogs and Cats Get the New Coronavirus?
As mentioned above, it’s unlikely that your pets can contract the new coronavirus from people and become a source of infection with this virus.
It’s highly recommended that you must do basic hygienic precautions like washing your hands with soap and water before and after getting in touch with them.
In case you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not use both cats and dogs to prevent exposing them to danger and avoid getting the new virus on their fur or skin that might be transmitted to another person who contacts them.
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not have any reports of dogs or cats or other animals contracting the COVID-19.
Though an article (1) in the New York Post titled that the first dog in Hongkong has died of this new virus.
Is that true?
That dog has died after coming back home with a negative test for the virus. He is 17 years old and belongs to an elder woman who recovered from the coronavirus herself.
However, there is not enough evidence that the new coronavirus affected him because his owner refused an autopsy to examine his cause of death.
What is the Difference Between COVID-19 and “Canine” and “Feline” Coronavirus?
In fact, your cats or dogs can get coronaviruses, which is the group of viruses the coronavirus belongs to. Just note that they are not the ones related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Let’s explain clearly!
Cats infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV) typically develop mild diarrhea, especially in kittens. But in some cases, the virus might lie dormant in their body and then mutate into a new form and cause feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) (2).
More about FIP, watch this video below
Meanwhile, canine enteric coronavirus (CECoV) develops diarrhea in dogs. Although puppies are at higher risks, most of the dogs of all ages often regain with specific care or on their own.
What if COVID-19 Mutate? Could It Spread from Humans to Pets and Vice Versa?
Similar to every organism on Earth fighting for survival, they evolve or mutate for sure.
This new coronavirus has transformed its internal structure to suit the new species of their host. To be more exact, about 20% can be mutated while most are kept close enough to its origin species.
For instance, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus epidemic was associated with dromedary camels. Meanwhile, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus started from civet cats.
Importantly, both viruses originally arose in bats.
So, can we pass the new coronavirus to the pets?
Yet again, there is currently NO data that pets have infected humans with it, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.
Although there is a report on an infected dog in Hong Kong, he didn’t come with any clinical symptoms of the disease.
That’s why we cannot jump to conclusions that the pets can spread the virus or the virus can make them fall ill.
How about the contrary situation? Can you get coronavirus from your pet?
Of course, NO.
To date, studies have pointed out that we cannot contract this new coronavirus from dogs or cats and they cannot do the same thing. Even, we and our pets do not pass other viruses to each other.
How to Keep My Pet Safe from Contracting Coronavirus?
Instead of being infected by droplets like humans, the pets might contract forms of the coronavirus through oral contact with infected fecal matter or infected food or bowls.
And they will not show any symptoms or signs until 4 days after getting the virus.
So, if you want to keep your beloved pets safe, the best thing is not to allow them to have any oral contact with any unknown objects from outside. Besides, remember to keep them as sanitary as possible.
In case you want to be sure that you aren’t exposing your cat or dog to any virus, simply steer clear of any public places he may come.
In our opinion, it is okay to let him enjoy his familiar park. Just make sure not to allow him to put anything in his mouth. And always bring his water and bowl and never share them to any dogs, or the virus can be transmitted.
In terms of dealing with COVID-19, although your pet is not infected by this new virus, you should update some information so that you can protect them better.
Here are some precautions to follow.
The first and foremost thing is to know that this coronavirus in cats and dogs is always evolving.
Although it does not occur on these pets, it might change in the future or our knowledge of this virus is better.
Hence, staying informed by reading news from reliable sources is a MUST or you can examine further information here (3).
Prevent the expansion of COVID-19
Since this new coronavirus spreads via droplets, carrying out good hygiene is one of the most effective ways. Among them, washing your hands with soap and water frequently is necessary.
As pet owners, you must wash your hands after being around them, according to the CDC.
In case you or your cat is sick, instantly find suitable medical attention and take a doctor’s advice when it is relevant to vaccination and any preventive care.
Make a plan in advance
It is important to have your pets in your family’s preparation planning.
In case you suddenly get sick or are quarantined, you need to ensure you have enough pet food in stock. Additionally, you need to inform your neighbors about your pet if you cannot make it back home.
#1 – Should we be testing the pets of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19?
Well, it is unnecessary since testing humans is the top priority at this point.
However, if we find any cases, it should be discussed again.
#2 – Can pets serve as a reservoir of the virus and pass it back to us?
The answer is YES if you don’t know whether your pets can become infected or not.
What you should do is to treat them like the way you are doing with human situations. Bring them to the vet hospital so that a vet would have to be prepared for a rise in the number of situations.
At this time, you can set your mind at rest that your beloved pets do not contract COVID-19.
But it doesn’t mean that they are 100% safe in this outbreak.
Make sure you follow all our suggestions above to protect them well. And always remember that washing your hands with soap and water is a MUST.
If you still wonder, simply leave your comment below so that we can help you in time or subscribe to us so that you can get the latest information about coronavirus in cats.