New study shows that cats might have to practice social distancing as well

Social distancing is the new norm we must embrace.

Until the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, blows over, everyone is still at risk of being infected, and everyone can be a potential carrier.

It would seem that cats might also have to practice social distancing.

Cats can infect one another with the coronavirus.

A study published by the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, shows that cats can spread the virus to other cats.

Kawaoka and his team took the coronavirus from a human and infected three cats. Each cat was then housed in a room with another cat that didn’t have the virus. After just five days, his team found that all the cats had traces of the coronavirus, but none of them showed any symptoms.

Cat in a Bangkok cat cafe getting its temperature checked. IMAGE: Sakchai Lalit

Virus expert Peter Halfmann who works at the University of Wisconsin said, “There was no sneezing, no coughing, they never had a high body temperature or lost any weight. If a pet owner looked at them … they wouldn’t have noticed anything.

“It’s something for people to keep in mind. If they are quarantined in their house and are worried about passing COVID-19 to children and spouses, they should also worry about giving it to their animals.”

Every day, the research team took nasal swaps from the cats, and after six days, all virus tests came back negative.

Does that mean our pets can infect us?

The researchers said that more studies need to be done on whether pets can transmit the virus to its owners.

It has already been proven that not only cats but dogs can be found carrying traces of the coronavirus. In March 2020, Hong Kong’s government reported that a patient’s dog was tested positive for the virus.

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However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that because of the limited information available, the chances of pets spreading the virus to their owners is considered low.

The researchers also echoed the same thing, “there is no evidence to suggest that animals, including pets, that may be incidentally infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of COVID-19.”

Nevertheless, the virus is still able to spread from human to animals, so practicing proper hygiene should always be a priority.

If you want to get your pet tested for the coronavirus, remember to call up your veterinarian first before bringing your pet in for a check-up. This is to ensure that the clinic has time to prepare a quarantine zone for your pet.

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