Cats can get COVID-19 by sleeping in their owner's bed

A cat, in stock image.

A cat, in stock image.

The people that have covid-19 frequently transmit it to their pets Y cats who sleep in bed with their owners "seem to be at special risk infection, "suggests a study presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Previous research has shown that cats and dogs can get covid-19 through their owners, but it was unclear to what extent they were susceptible and what, if any, increased their chances of being affected by the virus.

To answer these questions, a team from the University of Guelph (Canada) studied dogs and cats who lived in homes and their owners had passed the covid-19, as well as animals from shelters and other strays. The team tested 48 cats and 54 dogs from 77 households for antibodies, which are a sign of previous infection, as well as 75 from shelters and 75 stray felines who had been treated at veterinary clinics. In the case of domestic animals, their owners answered a questionnaire about how they interacted with pets. How much time did they spend with them each day, if they caressed and kissed them, did they let them lick their faces, sit on their lap or sleep in their bed. The questionnaire was also interested in whether the animals had been sick and what type of symptoms they presented.

In the case of owned animals, 67% of the cats and 43% of the dogs were positive in the antibody test, compared to 9% of the shelters and 3% of the stray felines. The dogs that had passed the covid-19 had mild symptoms that disappeared after a short time; As for cats, the situation was similar, although three suffered severe cases. The amount of time an owner spent with their dog and the type of contact they had with it did not affect the possibility of the animal becoming infected. However, cats that spent more time with their owners "appeared to be at higher risk infection "and those who slept in the same bed" were more likely to have covid-19, "according to a congressional statement.

The study authors indicated that the biology of cats, including their viral receptors, makes them more susceptible to COVID-19 than cats. dogs, and they are more likely to sleep close to their owner's face, which increases their exposure to any infection. The higher rate of infection in owned animals, coupled with results from previous genetic studies, suggest that the "most likely" route of transmission is from humans to pets, not the other way around.


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