Coronavirus is becoming a source of threat for all of us. But we know very little about it. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses in humans, while others also cause diseases in animals such as camels, bats, etc. COVID-19 is an infectious disease outbreak, spreading on a global scale. We fear the unknown more. There is no pre-existing immunity against the virus. The virus is also spreading efficiently from person to person. Therefore, it has caused fear all over the world. Along with humans, people are also concerned about their pets. For cat lovers, here you will get information about coronavirus in cats.
Could a cat be contaminated with coronavirus?
Coronaviruses infect many animal species, including cats and dogs. Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is a virus that causes coronavirus in cats worldwide. It has two different forms:
- FECV (feline enteric coronavirus)
- FIPV (feline infectious peritonitis virus)
FECV infects the intestines, and the FIPV causes feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
Coronavirus symptoms in cats include:
- runny nose
- feeling lethargic
- high temperature
- low energy
- low appetite
If your cat displays these symptoms, immediately contact a vet.
Here, it is important to mention that coronavirus in cats is different from the one infecting many humans these days. Although, there is no COVID-19 vaccine available for humans and animals, fortunately, this virus doesn’t infect pets and don’t transmit the disease to humans. Therefore, there is no need to be afraid of your beloved cats.
Can my cat spread coronavirus in cats?
Oronasal secretions, feces, and possibly urine are the cause of transmission of coronavirus in cats. Though coronavirus affects many cats, it usually resolves by itself. Symptoms do vary according to the organ affected.
Most cats don’t display any sign if infected with feline coronavirus. Some cats get diarrhea for a few days. This is their natural way of eliminating the virus in feces and remain healthy.
However, in a tiny percentage of cases, coronavirus in cats mutates and causes feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). FIP is a fatal disease and is more likely to develop in a multi-cat environment. This can take weeks, months, or years to develop after initial feline coronavirus infection.
A bigger risk is the spread of fear
As you might have heard, fear is worse than reality. The same is the case in terms of coronavirus. A single dog tested positive in Hong Kong doesn’t mean that pets are suspect. But you know the after-affects of that announcement.
The spread of fear is a bigger issue than the potential spread of coronavirus via pets. And as mentioned earlier, cats and dogs don’t get an infection, or they transmit COVID-19 to humans. Just the announcement has created terror. And this terror caused unreasonable problems for pet owners. It has become difficult for them to walk their pets outdoors or to set them to quarantine. Therefore, this is distressing not only to the animal but also to the owners. And also makes people feel more depressed and helpless.
Why are cats worth keeping?
Sadly, the panic that coronavirus has created throughout the world, also made our little cute furry companions, a culprit. Despite all the problems that a pet owner could face these days, cats are still a great sight of coziness, especially for those who work from home or live alone. Cats are perfect companions. We love cuddling and playing with them and taking care of them. All this gives us happiness and life a little more meaning.
Besides that, our cat gives us love, time, and comfort. We should follow precautionary measures. Your pet may be carrying a virus in its mouth or nose, and you don’t know. Your pets don’t get ill, and they don’t transmit infections. But you should protect yourself, your family, and others. Also, try to make sure that your cat’s daily encounter is as sanitary as possible. It doesn’t come into oral contact with any foreign object. Hence, it is important to keep your cat up to date on vaccinations. Avoid their contact with other animals that are likely to be at risk.
The outbreak of coronavirus has caused nervousness and apprehension. Most of us have never heard this word before. The advent of this mysterious COVID-19 has gloomed our lives. We are afraid not only for our family but also for our pets. You might have many questions popping up in your mind. Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. We have given below answers to some of the frequently asked questions about coronavirus in cats.
How does a coronavirus infect a cat?
Cats get infected with Feline coronavirus FCoV when they swallow the virus. Cats shed the virus through their feces or oronasal secretions. Exposure to feces is the most common means of transmission. Nearly every cat that comes in contact with the infection becomes infected. Still, many stay healthy, and also some clear the virus themselves. This virus is insignificant. However, if this virus mutates, it transforms to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Treatment for FIP is generally symptomatic and palliative.
What animal did COVID-19 originate from?
This novel COVID-19 virus has shocked many people, along with researchers. There is little information about its origin. However, some theories have emerged that likely explain the origin of this deadly virus. Few known possibilities are:
- The deadly coronavirus, now called SARS-CoV2, originated in bats. There is a diversity of coronaviruses in bats. And if we look at the genes present in the viruses that cause COVID-19, those genes are similar to bat virus that some Chinese found in caves in China. But we still don’t know whether the transmission is direct or not. There could be an intermediate host.
- In 2002, civets were the intermediate hosts for transmitting SARS. This time around, we suspect pangolins. A part of virus genes infecting us today is similar to the pangolin virus. Chinese medicine considers pangolin scales to be important, and its meat is also becoming popular in people these days.
- Some also traced the source of infection to a Wuhan seafood market. That sold live animals. It is believed that someone might have butchered or eaten the meat of an infected animal.
- Threats like climate change, habitat destruction, and wildlife trafficking drive humans, and animals close together. Thus, exacerbating the risk of such diseases.
These are some of the theories about its origin, but researches are still going on.
If experts believe it is unlikely for a pet to get COVID-19, how did a dog test “positive” in Hong Kong?
Coronaviruses can linger on surfaces and objects. It is the COVID-19 virus that is spreading worldwide. The dog that tested mildly positive could be due to other possibilities besides that the dog itself was infected from COVID-19. One of the possibilities might be that the owner was infected or the virus was just lingering on, as the dog didn’t show any signs of the disease.
Later on, a report of WHO also mentioned that the dog tested positive after being with its owner, who was infected with the virus. It is also reported that there is no evidence that pets get an infection, or they transmit COVID-19 to humans.
Can my pet spread coronavirus to us, humans?
No, they can’t. They even can’t get the coronavirus that the humans are getting infected with.
If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, how do I protect my pet?
The COVID-19 virus spreads from humans to humans. There is no evidence for the transmission of this disease from humans to animals. However, Humans sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets. They must wash their hands or wear a face mask before and after interacting with pets.
What to do if you have multiple pets?
Coronaviruses are common in many different species of domestic and wild animals such as horses, camels, cattle, dogs, cats, and others. Coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to humans, though it is not common. However, it is also a fact that coronaviruses can infect a species without causing or transmitting illness. Luckily! This coronavirus that is widespread today doesn’t spread from pets. But it is always better to implement good pet hygiene.
Should I buy pets now?
Apart from the fact reported that pets don’t get infected from the COVID-19 virus and they also don’t transmit it to humans, it is better to restrain from buying a new pet now. Keeping a pet is a responsibility. You also don’t know precisely about the pet you want to buy, as the dog mildly infected with the virus in Hong Kong. Hence, it would not be an ideal time to buy a new pet.
How many pets are getting infected from coronavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that they didn’t receive any reports of pets being infected with the coronavirus. However, WHO also reported that there is no evidence that pets are getting infected or are a source of transmission of this new COVID-19 virus to humans.
This new COVID-19 virus has put us all in an alarming situation. Nowadays, everyone is afraid of being infected by a coronavirus. The word “Coronovirus” is becoming a nightmare. Where it is affecting thousands of people around the globe, people are also concerned about their pets. When it comes to our naughty little cats, we have provided you with some pieces of information about coronavirus in cats that will be helpful to you.