But he found no evidence to suggest that the felines could transmit Covid-19 to humans.
Pet owners worried about their cats catching the nasty bug should try to protect them, experts say.
The discovery prompted scientists to guarantee that, although cats are susceptible to the deadly virus that sweeps the globe, there is no reason to fear that you can catch it from your furry friend.
The discovery that cats are able to catch and spread the virus among themselves appeared this week in a new study from China, reports the Guardian.
This has led experts in the UK to warn anyone who isolates themselves with symptoms of coronavirus and shares their home with a cat should stay away from the quarantined animal to prevent it from catching the virus. as well.
The World Health Organization says on its website that there is no evidence that a dog, cat, or pet can transmit Covid-19 to humans.
The research team behind the study, at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China, discovered that cats are very sensitive to Covid-19.
Their study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found that felines appear to be able to transmit the virus through respiratory droplets to other cats – but not to humans.
And other popular pets like dogs have been shown to be unlikely to get the infection, the study found.
Chickens, pigs and ducks were also not likely to get the infection, added their results.
The study follows reports of a domestic cat in Belgium contracting the virus, which has infected more than a million humans worldwide.
According to reports, about a week after the cat’s owner started showing symptoms of Covid-19, the feline also developed breathing difficulties, vomiting and diarrhea.
Tests on cat faeces by veterinarians from the University of Liège then confirmed that the animal was indeed infected with a coronavirus.
It has also been reported that a cat has tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong, following previous cases in which two dogs were weakly positive or positive in repeated tests for the virus.
The laboratory experiments involving a number of animal types detailed in the latest study from China were described in the study, which was uploaded to the preprinted bioRxiv website earlier this week.
In research, animals that have received a high dose of virus.
Five cats were inoculated with a coronavirus and three of them were placed in cages next to cats that had not received the virus.
One of the exposed cats that did not receive the virus directly was also infected, suggesting that transmission between felines could occur via respiratory droplets, as is the case when the virus spreads between humans.
Experts have said the Chinese study’s results are credible and useful in understanding how the virus spreads as the global scientific community rushes to find a vaccine.
The virus is believed to have started in a wet market in the Chinese city of humans, where the virus has spread from animals to humans.
Professor Eric Fèvre, president of veterinary infectious diseases at the University of Liverpool, said that Guardians should always take care to wash their hands when handling their pets.
He said they should avoid too much contact with their pets if they are sick with the virus themselves.
The professor added, “It is important to add that it says nothing about how the virus coming out of a cat may or may not be infectious to humans. “
Professor Jonathan Ball, virologist at the University of Nottingham, added that similar observations had been made on SARS, another earlier type of coronavirus.
“However, it should not be forgotten that cats do not play much, if any, role in the spread of this virus,” he told the newspaper.
“Human-to-human transmission is clearly the main driver, so there is no need to panic about cats as an important source of virus. Obviously, if you think you have Covid-19 and are sharing a house with a cat, it would be wise to limit close interaction with your furry friend until you are better. “