A recent study in China found cats could contract the coronavirus, so what does that mean for pet owners?
Dr Dani Muscat from Scone Pet Medical said the study is no cause for concern for cat owners and pet owners can continue to be with their cats.
“I think originally you have to consider that studies are very different from having a cat in your house,” said Dr Muscat.
“We certainly have no indication at this stage that we have anything to worry about with our companion animals,” she said.
“We would be the first people to be alerted to that, they’ve (veterinary board of Australia) been keeping us aware of all research and information which relates to our animals,” she said.
“At this stage I think we just stay at home and do what we are doing, but it has been something that has been looked into multiple times,” she said.
“We do know we can get the virus from people that has been proven,” she laughed.
“So do the right thing stay at home and keep your cat with you, it’s ok,” said Dr Dani Muscat.
Some key things to understand about animal clinical trials:
- In the recent Chinese trial, cats were given an injection containing a large quantity of the virus in order to contract the disease – that does not prove a pet cat could contract the disease in normal living conditions.
- No study has shown cats have been able to pass the virus to humans.
- When injected with a virus in a laboratory, many types of animals may contract the disease. It is that process which allows researchers to conduct animal trials for vaccine and medicine development. Ferrets are being used to help develop a vaccine for this virus because they can contract the disease after being injected and their lungs have similar proteins to human lungs for comparison. Again there is no evidence ferrets can contract the disease in a normal setting and no evidence they can pass the disease to humans.
- Other animals were trialed to see if they could contract the SARS CoV2 virus when injected, one of which were dogs, but they did not contract the disease.