By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

A team of scientists at the University of Glasgow has identified two known cases of human-to-cat COVID-19 transmission in the UK.

Image by Katzenspielzeug from Pixabay

In the study, led by the University of Glasgow and published today in the Veterinary Record, researchers describe two cases of human-to-cat SARS-CoV-2 transmission, found as part of a COVID-19 screening programme of the feline population in the UK.

The cats, both different breeds, came from two separate households and displayed mild to severe respiratory signs. Researchers from the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) in partnership with the Veterinary Diagnostic Service of the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, believe both cats were infected by their owners, who were also displaying COVID-19 symptoms prior to the cats becoming unwell.

The first cat was a four month-old female Ragdoll kitten from a household in which the owner developed symptoms that were consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection at the end of March 2020, although the owner was not tested. The kitten was presented to its veterinary surgeon in April 2020 with difficulty breathing. Sadly, the cat’s condition deteriorated and it later had to be put down. Post-mortem lung samples later revealed damage to the lungs consistent with a viral pneumonia and there was evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Read more at the University of Glasgow