Cats who slept on your owner's beds had a higher risk of gaining Covid-19, new research suggests.Dima Minakin / Getty Images
Pet cats and also dogs space much an ext likely to contract Covid-19 보다 their stray partner — and also cats are much more susceptible come the virus than their canine counterparts, new research suggests.

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In the new study, researcher at the university of Guelph in Ontario tested 48 cats and 54 dog from 77 different households that had a optimistic Covid-19 instance in the previous ripe months. They compared the results to those that 75 dogs and also cats life in an pet shelter and 75 stray cats that had actually been watched at a low-cost veterinarian clinic. The preliminary findings, which have not however been released in a peer-reviewed journal, will be gift at the European conference of Clinical Microbiology and also Infectious illness in July.

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Nearly 70 percent of pet cats and much more than 40 percent of pet dogs tested confident for antibodies, compared with just under 10 percent of dogs and also cats indigenous the pet shelter. That number shrank come 3 percent for the stray cats. The majority of situations were mild, and only 20 percent of dogs and also 30 percent that cats had symptoms. Dog mostly had loss that appetite and also sluggishness, while cats exhibited runny noses and had an obstacle breathing.


The researchers likewise found that the amount of time a pets owner spent with your dog did not have an impact on the pet’s opportunity of getting Covid-19, however that was not the situation for cats. The more time cats spent with their person companions, the more likely they to be to be infected. In particular, cats that slept on your owner’s bed had actually a higher risk the infection.

It’s tho unclear exactly why cat are an ext likely come contract Covid-19 than dogs, yet some research has argued that felines have a higher capacity because that the virus to thrive in their cells 보다 dogs or also lab mice, making them an ext susceptible.

“It can be something as simple as most dogs have long noses, or the virus no bind too to the receptor in dogs’ cells, or something with the immune system,” stated Sue VandeWoude, university distinguished professor in ~ the Colorado State college College of vet Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who was not affiliated with the brand-new research.


Since the most likely route of infection is from human being to pet, no the other way around, pet owners shouldn’t worry about getting Covid-19 from their pets, stated Dorothee Bienzle, a professor of veterinarian pathology in ~ the college of Guelph and co-author that the study.

Indeed, a 2nd study, also being presented at the clinical meeting in July, concluded that human beings likely infect your pets. The study, from researchers at Utrecht university in the Netherlands, looked at 311 cats and dogs in 196 families with a Covid-19-positive person. Just under 1 in 5 pet tested confident for antibodies, and a little handful — 6 cats and also seven dog — had actually a confident PCR test, meaning they had actually an energetic infection.

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People who have actually Covid-19 should take steps to defend their pets, Bienzle said. That method wearing a mask and also avoiding call with their cats and dogs as much as possible.

“At this point, we have to assume that if we get infected, the our pets room susceptible, too, and they should be cure as any type of other household member,” she said.

According come VandeWoude, two inquiries remain: can pets infect human being who have actually not however been infected, and if they do, will certainly the virus mutate, as it did last year in a mink farm in Denmark.

Mutations are an ext likely to occur when a virus is rapidly transmitted between many hosts, such as in farmed or wild animal populations or human beings living in densely lived in cities. Transfers in between one pet and one human, ~ above the other hand, are less of a concern.

“Still, anytime there is a spillover event, from pets to people, over there is always risk of it becoming more virulent, so it"s miscellaneous we must keep in mind,” VandeWoude said.

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Kaitlin Sullivan is a contributor for who has worked with NBC News Investigations. She reports on health, science and the setting and is a graduate the the Craig Newmark Graduate institution of Journalism at City university of new York.