In the interests of human and domestic cat welfare and in the need for transparency I have to report this. I do so reluctantly because cat welfare is my primary concern. All cat owners should act responsibly and in the best interests of their cats during the pandemic.
There is a letter to the editor of The New England Journal Of Medicine by a host of scientists lead by Peter Halfmann PhD in which they say that domestic cats can get the disease from infected domestic cats who typically showed no signs of the disease i.e. were asymptomatic.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SEE THE ORGINAL DOCUMENT. IT IS QUITE EASY TO READ FOR NON-SCIENTISTS.
There is concern that asymptomatic domestic cats might spread the disease to people. Hence the recommendation by the scientists that:
Given the need to stop the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic through various mechanisms, including breaking transmission chains, a better understanding of the role cats may play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans is needed.
As mentioned you can read the letter by clicking on the above link. In simple terms the scientists infected three cats and placed them with three more to see how the virus spread between cats.
It took five days for all three cats to be infected by the “inoculated cats” – i.e. the cats deliberately infected with Covid-19 (I don’t like that part). There were no symptoms and no signs of the virus in rectal swabs. In this group of cats there was no elevated temperature, no weight loss or conjunctivitis (bacterial infection of UR tract).