I said I’d probably stop reporting on individual animal cases if they’re just repeating what we already know. So, I hesitated on this most recent feline case, but there’s an interesting timing component that’s worth discussing.
SARS-CoV-2 was identified in a cat with respiratory disease in Minnesota. The owners were infected first, the cat then got sick and the cat recovered after a few days of illness.
- That’s not surprising. This seems to be the standard pattern in terms of timing and severity in cats that have tested positive, and we’re probably markedly underdiagnosing infected cats.
- The cat is being isolated at home for 14 days.
The noteworthy component of this case is the timing. The onset of the cat’s illness was after its owner had recovered. Our messaging has been to keep animals away from others for 14 days after their last chance of exposure. That would be 14 days after the date the owner was believed to have eliminated the infection. This approach means restrictions on animals would go past restrictions on their owners, and a case like this shows why that may be prudent. If the household was considered COVID-free after the person’s illness resolved, SARS-CoV-2 infection (and infectivity) in the cat might not have been considered.