Can cats get COVID? Yes, they can! In fact, they are even more likely to catch the disease than dogs. Here are some things you should know about this virus. If your cat has ever caught SARS, you may want to get in touch with a veterinarian to see if they have any advice. COVID is an illness that affects cats and other animals, and there are steps you can take to protect your pet.
SARS-CoV-2 in cats
A new study has evaluated SARS-CoV-2 in cats and dogs in households with confirmed human infections. The study used a comprehensive sampling and testing protocol, with the focus on dogs and cats in high-risk areas. Of the 123 cats and dogs sampled, RNA from one of them was detected after seven days. The pet cat with the positive results showed signs of respiratory and gastro-intestinal disease. The cat owner confirmed that the cat was infected two weeks prior to the test.
Interestingly, SARS-CoV-2 infections in cats are rare in domestic animals. One study found that approximately 20 percent of domestic cats have the virus, compared to as high as 90% of wild cats. The symptoms of Feline CoV (FECV) infection are typically mild and self-limiting. However, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in cats could have dangerous implications for humans. This case study also highlighted the need for further research.
SARS-CoV-2 in dogs
A study conducted in Germany found that a dog had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 at least seven days after contact with its COVID-19-positive owners. This finding was remarkable, because the dog remained asymptomatic and showed no signs of illness until its second RT-qPCR. However, this was thirteen days after the dog’s first COVID-19-positive test, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 could replicate in an asymptomatic dog for nearly a week after exposure.
The sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was compared with that of the Alpha strain of human SARS-CoV-2. Using the IQ-TREE 2 program, the researchers constructed a phylogenetic tree using the GTR + G model of nucleotide substitution and bootstrapping of 1000 replicates. The Pangolin tool was used to determine lineage clades.
SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets
The presence of antibody titers to SARS-CoV-2 in ferretes may be related to the viral replication. The virus requires sufficient replication to induce seroconversion. A cellular response is induced when the naive ferret comes into direct contact with an infected ferret. This cellular response is characterized by the presence of viral RNA and shedding.
The presence of genomic and subgenomic RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in ferretes is a clue that the virus may be able to infect various tissues in the respiratory tract. This may explain the anosmia and olfactory bulb infection of COVID-19 patients. However, the absence of infectious virus by the TCID50-assay raises the question of whether SARS-CoV-2 production begins within a few days of inoculation.