Cats can be infected with the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and can pass it on to other cats, according to a non–peer-reviewed study published on the bioRxiv preprint server yesterday. But experts caution the work was done on a small number of lab animals, which were infected with high doses of the virus. None of the cats showed COVID-19 symptoms, and there is no evidence that felines could infect people with the virus, Nature reports. Research during the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (a coronavirus relative of SARS-CoV-2), showed that cats could become infected with that virus, but they did not appear to play a role in spreading the disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says right now there is no evidence that cats or other pets can spread COVID-19.
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