A Belgian woman has infected her cat with coronavirus. It is the first known infection of a cat.
The cat owner showed symptoms of Covid-19 a week earlier than the cat, which subsequently developed symptoms. It had diarrhea, vomiting and breathing problems.
The virus in the cat has been detected through samples from its stool. Therefore, there is also a little uncertainty as to whether the cat actually has an infection or whether it has just been infected by the virus, points out Professor Anette Bøtner, who works for the State Serum Institute in the Department of Virus & Microbiological Special Diagnostics.
There is a risk that the infected owner has contaminated the environment with which the cat has lived – thus it is contaminated and the samples from the cat’s stool are therefore not safe. However, the clinical symptoms the cat has shown point to it.
Take precautions about your pet
It is the third case of the virus in a pet. In addition to the cat, two dogs in Hong Kong have been diagnosed with Covid-19 coronavirus. The dogs had no clinical symptoms.
The infection of the cat does not cause any particular concern, but one must take precautions when dealing with the dogs and cats of the house.
– The new case in the cat in Belgium means that the situation must be taken seriously and we must be aware, as we cannot rule out that other cats can be infected, says Anette Bøtner.
She also emphasizes that there is no evidence that pets have infected humans.
The professor’s request reads that many of the same steps must be taken to avoid contamination to pets, as is otherwise the case to avoid contamination.
– Wash hands before contact with your pet, and there is no need for close contact, including face contact and sneezing. And you also need to wash your hands after having contact with your pet.
– We must all regard each other as infected and take precautions accordingly. Similarly, one must consider her pets, she adds.
The infected cat in Belgium is recovering and about to recover.