Two cats from two separate households in New York City have just tested positive for COVID-19, making the cats the first two housepets to test positive for the novel coronavirus in the United States. According to CNN, the two pets exhibited mild respiratory symptoms before being tested and are expected to make a full recovery. The cats now join ranks with a tiger and a lion from the Bronx Zoo who have also tested positive for the virus since it hit New York City.
In the case of one of the cats, the test was administered by a veterinarian after showing symptoms, though it’s unclear where the cat picked up the virus, though it’s possible it could have contracted it from someone in the same household who was asymptomatic. The other cat hails from a household of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 before the cat started to show symptoms. A second cat in the same household remains asymptomatic.
Before you start freaking out and giving your pet the side-eye, don’t worry, the CDC says that so far there is little evidence to suggest that pets can infect humans with the current strain of the coronavirus, despite a few cases of reported person-to-animal infection. However, it’s probably not a bad idea to keep a close eye on where your pets roam around when they aren’t in the house. The CDC’s recommendation is that cats should be kept indoors whenever possible, and your pets should, in general, remain the recommended 6 feet from others when you’re outside of the household and refrain from spending time with people or other pets outside of your quarantine contact group.