Two pet cats in New York state have tested positive for COVID-19, according to federal officials. This marks the first time a pet has tested positive for the virus in the United States.
The cats, who live in separate areas of New York state, presented mild respiratory symptoms but are expected to make full recoveries.
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One cat is believed to have caught the virus from its owner, who was positive for COVID-19. Officials believe the other cat was infected by an asymptomatic or mildly ill household member or through contact with a neighbor.
This finding comes after a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the virus on April 4.
While officials said they are still learning about the virus, they noted that there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading it.
In order to protect pets, the CDC recommends keeping them indoors and preventing them from interacting with people and other animals outside the household. In addition, people who test positive for COVID-19 should restrict contact with their pets and wear a face mask during necessary interactions.