Apr 22, 2020 - Health

CDC confirms first pets to test positive for coronavirus

Illustration of a repeating pattern of porcelain cats, one is different than all the others.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The CDC has confirmed that two pet cats living in separate New York state homes have tested positive for the coronavirus, the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory said Wednesday.

Why it matters: These are the first pets in the U.S. to test positive for COVID-19, the agency said. The cats experienced a mild respiratory illness from the virus and are expected to recover.

  • The first cat, which was tested after showing mild respiratory issues, was not living in a home with confirmed coronavirus patients.
  • The owner of the second cat tested positive for COVID-19, but another cat in that household hasn't shown symptoms.

What you can do: If you have contracted the coronavirus, limit contact with your pets and wash your hands before and after you touch them. If possible, have someone else care for your pets.

The bottom line: There is still no evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus in the U.S., the agency said in a statement, and routine testing of animals is not recommended.

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