A couple of weeks ago it was a tiger, now smaller cats are being caught up in the Coronavirus pandemic in New York.
Two pet cats have tested positive for the virus, with the pair of felines believed to be the first companion animals in the US to have contracted the virus.
Both animals have mild respiratory issues but are expected to recover, according to the USDA and CDC, who believe they caught the virus from either their owners or people in their neighbourhood.
The news comes not long after a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19, while two dogs in Hong Kong are believed to have contracted the disease too, despite previous reports claiming canines were immune.
The CDC says there is no evidence that pets can spread the disease to humans but have recommended that owners keep their companions from interacting with neighbours and other animals as the pandemic continues.
The tests used on the two cats were performed at veterinary labs, using different testing methods than would be used on humans. The animals are in different parts of NY State, with one displaying COVID-19 symptoms a week after someone in their home had a short respiratory illness (though this wasn’t confirmed as Coronavirus), while the other cat became ill shortly after it’s owner tested positive for the virus.
Along with cats, ferrets are believed to be the pets most susceptible to contracting Coronavirus.