Dallas (NEXSTAR)-A new scientific report shows that cats have a protective immune response to COVID-19, which makes researchers wonder whether it is worth studying pets to aid the development of human vaccines.
Researchers from the Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedicine wrote: “The fight against reinfection is expected to enable vaccine strategies to protect cats and thus humans.
The report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences confirms that cats and dogs can be infected with the coronavirus, but they are unlikely to get sick. According to the New York Times, although scientists have found that cats can transmit the virus to other cats, they have not found any evidence that these animals can transmit COVID-1
At this point, it is unclear why cats produce “neutralizing antibody titers” against COVID-19. Researcher Dr. Bosco-Lauth said that cats seem to show a stronger immune response than other animals. What is not yet known is how long the immunity will last.
The researchers wrote: “This may provide a useful method for subsequent vaccine trials of human and animal vaccine candidates.”
The authors of the report said that although more than 1 million people died, the number of animal-related COVID-19 deaths was very small.
In the experimental work, the researchers infected cats and dogs in a laboratory environment. They found that cats would spread the virus and spread it to other cats, but dogs would not. It is worth noting that other studies have also found dog-to-dog transmission.
In order to protect cats from COVID-19, the researchers in this paper suggest that you keep your cats indoors and observe the social distance between someone in your home and your pet when they are sick.