Cats Are 'More Likely' To Get COVID-19 Than Dogs

Watch out for your hamsters, too.
COVID-19 In Pets: Calgary Researchers Say Cats Are More Likely To Get COVID-19 Than Dogs

It's no secret that our furry friends are the ultimate isolation companions during this pandemic. So it's only natural to wonder if they can catch, carry, and spread the disease as humans can. The University of Calgary has been studying the risk of COVID-19 in pets, and they found that some animals are more susceptible to the disease than others. 

It turns out cats and hamsters are more susceptible to COVID-19 than dogs, according to the university's research. 

Dr. Rebecca Archer, a clinical instructor at the University of Calgary's veterinary medicine department, took to U of C's official website to answer all the burning questions about the risk of transmission among pets. 

All in all, the chances of your adorable furbabies contracting COVID-19 "appears to be very low," she said.

She added that there's only been two dogs, two cats, and a tiger that have tested positive so far. All these animals had exposure to someone who actually had the disease. 

So it's still a low number by all standards, although Dr. Archer did say that not many pets have been tested so far. 

The university's current knowledge, "based on research and case reports to date, indicates dogs aren’t easily infected, while cats, ferrets, and hamsters are more susceptible to the virus," the post read. 

Out of the infected animals, the cats and the tiger showed mild symptoms while the dog didn't show any signs of illness.

So even if your cats somehow manage to get infected, it's likely going to be a mild case and they'll recover quickly. 

Dr. Archer also said that there is little to no evidence of dogs, cats, or other domestic animals spreading the virus to humans or other animals. This has been confirmed by the World Health Organization as well. 

However, research settings showed that ferrets, cats, and hamsters may be able to spread the virus within their own species.

So if you've been planning to set up play dates for your cat, you might want to hold off on those plans. 

However, if the reverse occurs and we're the ones that have tested positive for COVID-19 or showing symptoms, we should take special precautions around our pets. 

If this is the case, we'd need to maintain physical distancing from our pets and practice more frequent hand-washing and other recommended safety measures. 

Dr. Archer also said that we absolutely don't need to give our pets up for adoption if we contract COVID-19.

Her reasoning is that pets can be a source of great comfort during a stressful situation, which in and of itself is a massive health benefit. 

We don't know about you but having our pets around all day really makes self-isolation more bearable. 

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