Cats are more susceptible to Covid-19 than dogs: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 05, 2020 Published on October 05, 2020

Fortunately, the research does not suggest any proof of cat-to-human transmission

New research on cats show that they can spread, as well as get infected, by the SARS-CoV-2 more easily than dogs.

However, the lead author of the research suggested that there is still no proof of the cats-to-human transmission. But, these feline creatures can contract the virus from their owners.

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The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author Angela Bosco-Lauth said in a statement: “People should not worry about getting Covid-19 from their cats; rather, cats should worry about getting it from their people. We have no evidence to date that cat-to-human transmission has occurred and we believe that cats pose a very low health risk to humans.”

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She cautioned pet owners that they have to be very careful while interacting with their pet cats.

For the research, Bosco-Lauth and her team infected cats and dogs by inducing anesthesia and then putting pipettes containing the virus up their noses.

It found that infected cats shed the virus while dogs did not. Cats shed for five days after exposure; they shed the most virus on day three. Also, infected cats in the study spread the virus to healthy cats.

The study further noted that none of the animals had developed fever or other symptoms of the virus.

The researchers speculated that this might be because the animals, a total of three dogs and seven cats, were young and healthy.

“This is not altogether different from human infections, where the majority of cases are relatively mild but more severe disease tends to occur in older patients with significant comorbidities,” read the paper.

According to the study, cats that were infected developed antibodies, which suggests cats might be a good model for vaccine development.

Earlier studies also suggested that other animals, including tigers and ferrets can get infected with the coronavirus.

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Published on October 05, 2020
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