Cat Owners: No Need to Panic About the Tiger That Tested Positive for COVID-19
You may have read in the news recently that a female tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19. Some of the other tigers and a few lions were showing mild signs of the infection as well. This news will most likely cause cat owners to become concerned, asking themselves if COVID-19 can infect their cats, and if their cats can transmit the infection to humans. Dr. Bryan Langlois, the Medical Director of the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County and the Immediate Past-President of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, says that there still is no reason for cat owners to panic about this.
“There still is no science that says cats are able to spread the COVID-19 infection to humans,” explains Dr. Langlois. “There have been no case reports of this out there and the only form of transmission we are aware of in the U.S. right now is human to human transmission. Veterinarians and researchers have expected that some cats would become mildly infected as this pandemic continued, since the receptors for the virus in their respiratory tissues are similar to humans. However, with that being the case, there still is no evidence that says even if a cat does become mildly infected, they will spread the virus to a human. As such, we want to reiterate again that there is no reason for cat owners to consider having to surrender their cats or try and remove stray cats from their home areas out of fear they could infect humans.”
“The recommendations we have been saying from the start still remain the same,” says Langlois. “Practicing good common sense and hygiene around all animals is the best thing one can do, and if you happen to be infected with COVID-19 the best thing is to see if someone else can take care of your pets for you while you recover.”
More research is expected to be done on these big cat infections at the Bronx Zoo and we remind everyone that the best place to get the most accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 and your pets is from your local veterinarian and the web sites listed below.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 pet owners are encouraged to visit PaVMA.org.
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About the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)
Founded in 1883, PVMA is PA’s only statewide professional membership organization for the veterinary profession representing over 3,400 veterinarians, certified veterinary technicians, assistants, practice managers, and other support staff. Our mission is to ensure the vitality of the profession by promoting excellence in veterinary medicine, advancing animal health and welfare, and protecting & enhancing human health. To learn more visit PaVMA.org.
Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)
Director of Marketing & Communications JMarkle@PaVMA.org