First COVID-19 case in cats confirmed in Russia

First COVID-19 case in cats confirmed in Russia

The first case of a novel coronavirus infection in a domestic cat has been confirmed in Russia, deputy head of Russian agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor Nikolai Vlasov said.

"As a result of a test and an additional probe to confirm it, a cat was diagnosed with COVID-19. The animal was placed in quarantine at its owner’s place," he said.

According to Vlasov, the owner of the five-year-old feline brought the animal for novel coronavirus testing after consulting with a vet. A PCR analysis of swabs taken from the cat’s throat and nose revealed the presence of novel coronavirus.

At present, Rosselkhoznadzor sees no need for taking additional measures in connection with the finding.

"Right now, there are no grounds for taking measures against domestic or wild animals that might put their well-being or health at risk, or affect biodiversity," TASS cited him as saying.

The official went on to say that novel coronavirus has direct human-to-human way of transmission.

"According to the official stance of the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health, there is no evidence so far indicating the possibility of animal-to-human transmission of COVID-19 from pets (dogs, cats). Moreover, there is no full scientific data about whether felines can become a natural reservoir for the virus," he added.