Michigan, USA has its first domestic cat testing positive for Covid

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is not really news but it is all over Bing News. I think I need to report on it and comment. The press is saying that a domestic shorthair cat living in Ingham County, Michigan, USA has tested positive for Covid which makes the cat the first pet to test positive for the disease in that state. And as expected, the cat got the disease from his or her owners because they both had the disease a week before their cat became ill according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Michigan, USA has its first domestic cat testing positive for Covid
Michigan, USA has its first domestic cat testing positive for Covid. Image: MikeB

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The symptoms for a cat when they get the disease are often quite mild and including fever, sneezing, coughing and nasal and eye discharge. In previous reports I have read that domestic cats resolve the disease themselves quite quickly. It appears that their immune systems are superior to those of humans certainly in respect of this disease. Concerning zoo animals, when they get Covid, sometimes they are treated but once again it seems that the big cats have good immune systems with respect to Covid-19.

The experts say that people should not be worried about catching Covid from their pets. My reading of the situation is that in all the cases I have read there has been transmission from people to pets rather than in the opposite direction. This is why the authorities say that people who have Covid should take precautions which I doubt happens.

It is fairly clear that the pets who catch Covid have been in general contact with their owner or caretaker. Ideally people who have contracted the disease should isolate themselves from their companion cat in the home. This would seem to be a very difficult task but at least they should avoid kissing and snuggling with their cat or allowing them to sleep on the bed while they are infected with the disease. My guess is that cat owners are unlikely to take effective steps to protect their pet.

News media reports that Michigan State officials said that as at Monday there have been 257 confirmed cases of Covid in animals throughout the US including 99 domestic cats since the start of the pandemic which is now around 19 months ago.

The report comes from USA Today.

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