A pet cat has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Hong Kong after its owner was tested positive for having the virus, the city’s Agricultural and Fisheries division stated, cautioning that the animal has not shown any indicators of the disease.
In a notice late Tuesday, the division stated there’s currently no proof that pet animals can be a source of COVID-19, the disease attributable to the coronavirus, and owners shouldn’t abandon their pets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) writes on its web site that there is no proof any pet can transmit COVID-19.
The cat is the third animal to be diagnosed with the Coronavirus in Hong Kong, following earlier cases through which two dogs tested weak positive or optimistic throughout repeated tests for the virus. Authorities said the cat will continue to be monitored.
Samples amassed from the cat’s mouth, nose and rectum screened positive for the virus after it was sent in to isolation on March 30.
There has only been one other positive case of coronavirus in a cat, in Belgium, which is believed to have become infected from its owner, based on a statement from the Hong Kong Veterinary Association (HVA).
The Veterinary Association stated the most likely way pets could be exposed to the virus is from their owners or other individuals they come into contact with, and the cases had been no cause for alarm.