• Researchers have published a paper with evidence that cats can transmit the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to one another, and without showing symptoms.
• The previous most famous case of coronavirus infection among cats, big or domestic, has been that of four-year-old Nadia, a Malayan tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo. She tested positive in April 2020. Within weeks, a few more tigers and lions at the zoo tested positive.
• Among domestic cats, the first known infection happened in Belgium.
• The key finding in recent research is that cats can be asymptomatic while carrying the virus. Also, all the cats went on to clear the virus. The latest findings suggest that cats may be capable of becoming infected when exposed to people or other cats positive for SARS-CoV-2.
• Other researchers have previously suggested reasons why cats may be vulnerable to infection from humans: feline and human cells have similar ACE2 receptors, which are enzymes that facilitate the coronavirus’s entry in the body.
• The general view remains that a cat is more likely to get Covid-19 from a human, than a human getting it from a cat.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: SARS-CoV-2
Mains level: Key findings of the symptoms among cats