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2 cats test positive for COVID-19; how to protect your pets

Authorities say there’s no evidence animals are spreading the virus to people

MINNEAPOLIS — A new warning from the CDC and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories advised pet owners Wednesday of the do’s and don’t’s when it comes to protecting your pet from COVID-19. 

This all comes after two cats in separate parts of New York state tested positive for the virus. 

"Two cats out of all the cats in New York like that have gotten sick or have gotten tested, I feel okay about that," said Uptown Veterinarian Dr. Antonio Lombeida. 

Dr. Lombeida says respiratory illnesses are common in dogs and cats and the symptoms are very similar to those in humans like coughing and sneezing. 

"Usually see a loss of appetite or a loss of activity, you know they’ll start skipping meals, they wont want to do just normal stuff that they like to do," said Dr. Lombeida. 

In one of the New York cat cases the CDC reports the owner tested positive for the virus, but in the second case health experts believe the transmission took place through an asymptomatic household member or through contact with someone outside the home. 

Dr. Lombeida says there’s no evidence to suggest that pets are contributing to the spread of the disease. 

"We’re the reservoir host, any other species that gets it is going to be getting it from a person."

So how can you protect your pet? 

The CDC advises to limit your pets interaction with people outside the home.

Keep cats indoors.

Keep dogs on a leash while social distancing, and avoid places like dog parks where lots of dogs and people gather. 

"We are monitoring this situation closely not only on an animal front but also the human front to be able to protect ourselves and the animal population as much as we can," said Dr. Lombeida. 

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