Federal officials have announced Wednesday that two cats in New York have been infected with the novel coronavirus. Both of the felines had mild respiratory symptoms, but are expected to make a full recovery.
“There are the first pets in the United States to test positive,” the US Department of Agriculture said in a joint statement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.
According to the agencies, the two cats were tested after showing respiratory symptoms, joining the eight lions and tigers who were also infected at a New York zoo.
Though these animals have tested for the deadly disease, the agencies would like to emphasize to the public that there is still no evidence that pets play a role in spreading coronavirus, especially in the United States.
“There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare,” they said.
The first house cat was tested by a veterinarian after it showed mild respiratory signs, but none of the humans in its home were confirmed to have the virus.
Officials said it was possible that the cat was infected by somebody outside the home and someone in the house with mild or no symptoms could have transmitted the virus to the cat.
In a separate area in New York, the second cat was also tested after it showed signs of respiratory illness. The feline’s owner tested positive for Covid-19 before the cat became ill. Another cat in the household showed no signs of illness.
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