Veterinary school in Paris, France confirms the country’s first case of Covid in a cat.
A CAT in France has been infected with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 – which causes Covid-19 – in the first reported case in the country, leading vets to advise people who are ill to limit their contact with their pets.
On Saturday May 2, the Alfort veterinary school (EnvA) in Val-de-Marne, near Paris, confirmed the first case of a cat becoming infected with the virus in France. The cat is strongly suspected to have caught the virus from its owners, who tested positive for Covid-19.
The case was confirmed in a study by the virology research unit EnvA, and health agency Anses which included around a dozen cats that had been in contact with owners suspected to have Covid-19. Each cat was PCR tested to check for the SARS-CoV-2 infection, the results of which were then confirmed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The EnvA said that the cat had actually tested negative for the virus, but “it had clinical signs such as respiratory and digestive issues.”
EnvA has advised cat owners who have Covid-19 to limit close contact with their pet, always wear a mask in their presence, and to wash their hands before and after stroking or picking up their animal. At this moment in time cats are not thought to be able to spread the virus to humans or otherwise worsen the spread of the infection.
There have now been four confirmed cases worldwide of cats having caught the virus from humans; in the US, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Wuhan, China.