Two pet cats in New York State have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first time a pet has tested positive for the virus in the US, federal officials announced.
The cats live in seperate areas of New York State and were tested after showing respiratory symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No one in the household was confirmed to be ill with the coronavirus, but the virus could have been transmitted to the cat by mildly ill or asymptomatic household members or through contact with someone outside the home.
Samples from the second cat were also taken after the cat showed signs of respiratory illness, and the owner tested positive for the coronavirus prior to the cat showing signs, the CDC said. (RELATED: First Chinese City Bans Eating Cats And Dogs After Coronavirus Pandemic)
The CDC said there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus, and that there is no reason to take measures against pets that may compromise the animal’s welfare.
It is recommended, however, that pets don’t interact with people or other animals outside the household and that dog parks or public places are generally avoided.
Testing animals also does not refuse the availability of tests for humans, the CDC affirmed.