U.K. veterinarian: Infected cats can’t spread COVID-19 to humans

Cats eat food on a street that is almost empty before a nighttime curfew imposed by the government to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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UPDATED 2:35 PM PT — Thursday, April 9, 2020

According to a recent study by the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China, humans can transmit coronavirus to cats. The study also claimed that cats can infect other felines, but can’t pass the virus on to humans.

However, U.K. animal pathologist Professor Ken Smith has noted pet owners should be wary of these findings, because the study has yet to undergo a peer review. He believes the transfer from human to feline is possible, as germs from the hand can spread through a cat’s fur.

However, it doesn’t appear domestic animals can pass it on to their owners.

“There’s no evidence, apart from that single Chinese study, that cats can transmit the virus either to other cats, or especially importantly, not to people,” stated Smith. “So there’s no evidence that cats can transmit COVID-19 to people after they become infected.”

Animal Humane Society veterinarian Graham Brayshaw checks the eyes of a cat named Onyx in Golden Valley, Minn., on Sunday, March 22, 2020. (Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

Cat owners who suspect they may have contracted COVID-19 have been advised to wash their hands often and to have minimal contact with their pets.

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