British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

Feline unwell: Pet cat becomes FIRST UK animal to test positive for Covid-19

Feline unwell: Pet cat becomes FIRST UK animal to test positive for Covid-19

A pet cat in England has tested positive for Covid-19, in the first confirmed case of the infection in an animal in the UK, according to the government.

The unfortunate feline is believed to have caught the virus from its owners, who had tested positive for coronavirus. The cat and humans have fully recovered, and there was no further transmission to others.

The unfortunate feline is believed to have caught the virus from its owners, who had tested positive for coronavirus. The cat and humans have fully recovered, and there was no further transmission to others.

“This is a very rare event with infected animals detected to date only showing mild clinical signs and recovering within a few days,” Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said. “There is no evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans.”

The cat’s illness was confirmed with testing at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on Wednesday, July 22. A vet first diagnosed the cat with feline herpes virus, a common infection for cats, but a sample was also tested for SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease, as part of a research program.


Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said that while this is the first case of a domestic cat testing positive in the UK, it “should not be cause for alarm.”

Elsewhere in the world, a number of cats, dogs and mink have tested positive for the virus to date following contact with humans known or suspected to be infected, the World Organisation for Animal Health reports. A few cases of cats testing positive for coronavirus in households where their owners were infected have been found in Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

The research program that tested the cat’s sample has screened hundreds of felines in the UK. The team has now managed to complete a genome sequencing of the virus found in the infected cat.

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