New research indicates that pets may face a higher risk of catching COVID-19 from humans than previously thought.
There have been several reported cases of zoo animals being infected by their keepers. New research indicates that about one in five pets will catch COVID from their owners. Cats are particularly at risk.
Dutch researchers collected samples from more than 300 cats and dogs whose owners had tested positive for COVID. Almost 5% of the pets tested positive and 17% had antibodies that indicated a past infection.
In a second study, Canadian researchers studied 102 pets from households that had a COVID case in the previous nine months. Nearly 70% of the cats and more than 40% of the dogs tested positive for antibodies.
Scientists said that cats that had spent more time with their owner had a higher risk of infection, especially those that slept on their owner’s bed. That link was not seen with dogs.
All of the infections were believed to have come from the owners and no transmission was found from animal to animal. Symptoms tended to be mild in pets and some showed no symptoms.
Experts say if someone in your family has COVID, or thinks they might, it’s important to quarantine away from pets too.
Getting vaccinated can reduce your risk of bringing the virus home to your pets.
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