CATS can catch Covid from sleeping on their infected owner’s bed, a new study has revealed.
It has been previously found that dogs and cats are at risk from getting the bug from their human companions.
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But new evidence shows felines who snuggled up on beds are even more at risk.
In a study 48 cats and 54 dogs from 77 households were tested for antibodies to Covid – a sign of past infection.
Their owners were surveyed about how they interacted with their pets, including whether they petted them and kissed them and allowed them to sit on their lap or sleep in their bed.
They were also asked if they allowed their pet to kiss them or lick them on the face and how long they spent with their pet each day.
Other questions asked if their pet had got sick when they have covid, and if they had symptoms.
The study also tested 75 dogs and cats living in an animal shelter for antibodies.
Around 67 per cent of the owned cats and 43 per cent of the owned dogs tested positive for antibodies, showing they had had Covid.
This compares to just 9 per cent of dogs and cats from the animal shelter.
More than 20 per cent of the owned animals had also had symptoms linked to coronavirus, such as a cough or a runny nose.
The amount of time an owner spent with their dog and the type of contact they had with them did not affect the animal’s chance of getting infected.
Cats that spent more time with their owners, however, seemed to be at higher risk of infection – and cats that slept on their owner’s bed and near their face were more likely to have Covid.
Professor Dorothee Bienzle, a professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Guelph, said: “If someone has Covid-19 there is a surprisingly high chance they will pass it on to their pet.
“Cats, especially those that sleep on their owner’s bed, seem to be particularly vulnerable. So, if you have Covid-19, I’d advise that you keep your distance from your pet – and keep it out of your bedroom.
“I’d also recommend that you keep your pet away from other people and pets.
“While the evidence that pets can pass the virus on to other pets is limited, it can’t be excluded. Similarly, although pets have not been shown to pass the virus back to people, the possibility can’t be completely ruled out.”