A report has found cats and ferrets are susceptible to SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The same study has ruled that dogs, pigs, chicken and ducks are unlikely to catch the illness.
According to Reuters, the report, Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals to SARS–coronavirus 2, published online in the journal Science, has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to “look more closely at the role of pets in the health crisis.”
But importantly, WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said, “We don’t believe that [pets] are playing a role in transmission but we think that they may be able to be infected from an infected person.”
Simply put: you may be able to pass the virus to your cat if you’re infected, but there’s no evidence currently that cats or other animals are passing it to people.
To keep your cats and ferrets safe during the pandemic, here are a few tips:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Disinfect commonly touched surfaces regularly.
- Keep your pets indoors and away from animals outside the home.
- If you’re sick/have tested positive, take extra care handling your pets, particularly regarding your sneezing/coughing/breathing.
- Continue showing your pets compassion and kindness.
If you believe your pet is unwell for any reason, please contact your veterinarian for advice. The Fur-Bearers will continue to provide new and relevant information as it becomes available.