Hold on to your cats!
The rapidly-spreading coronavirus can be transmitted between your feline pets, according to a new Chinese study.
Researchers at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute found that cats are not only susceptible to contracting COVID-19 but can pass it on to their furry friends as well.
But other animals — such as dogs, chicken and pigs — are not likely to catch or spread the virus, the study found. And there is no direct evidence that cats would be able to infect people.
“We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but efficiently in ferrets and cats,” reads a summary of the study. “We found that the virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets.”
The study has not yet been peer-reviewed, however, experts not involved in the study said the findings were credible.
Professor Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, told The Guardian that similar observations of transmission in cats had been made in relation to the SARS virus.