LANSING, Mich. — Officials have confirmed the first case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, in a cat in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) confirmed a case of SARS-CoV-2 in a shorthair cat from Ingham County.
According to MDARD, the cat had close contact with its owners who had COVID-19 a week before the feline got sick.
MDARD says the cat was tested for the virus after it started to sneeze. The cat has since recovered.
MDARD reports that as of October 18, there have been 257 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in animals in the U.S. including 99 cats. Officials say animals play no significant role in the transmission of the virus to humans.
“COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Protecting pets begins by taking precautions to protect yourself by getting one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.”
MDARD says steps you can take to protect your pet from the virus include avoiding direct contact with pets if you have COVID-19. If you have COVID-19 and must care for a pet, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet.
Signs of SARS-CoV-2 in animals include fever, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
If you think your pet is sick with the virus, contact your veterinarian.
For more information on SARS-CoV-2 in animals, click here.