Huntsville veterinarian says cats could contract coronavirus but it's highly unlikely
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We're taking another look at coronavirus and animals after two household pets in New York tested positive for the virus.

WAAY-31 spoke with a Huntsville veterinarian today about what you can do to keep yourself and your pet safe during this pandemic.

One vet at Chase Animal Hospital told WAAY-31 pets have some of the same respiratory issues a human can have.

So if you notice your cat is coughing more or straining to breathe, call your vet immediately.

"It has shown that it can a little bit more easily be passed to cats," said Wesley Clendinen, a vet at Chase Animal Hospital.

He told us he's not surprised two cats contracted the coronavirus because it can make cats sick more easily, even though it's not severe.

"It's showing that felines, canines, what have you, they're all very very very low risk,"he said.

He told WAAY-31 the research shows it's not possible for an animal to pass the virus to a human.

But, if someone in your household has coronavirus, you should monitor your cat for symptoms like abnormal breathing.

That's because experts say it could be possible for a human to pass it to animal.

The New York times said the 2 cats that tested positive were taken to the vet because they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

For most pet-owners in North Alabama, your basic every-day precautions should be enough to keep everyone safe.

"Keeping them inside and maintaining the normal routine is probably what's best. It's not something where you should like you suddenly have to relinquish your animal or anything like that," he said.

So far, no cats have been tested here in Huntsville that we know of, but Clendinen did tell us because of more outside time, he's seen an increase in cases for ticks or heart worms.

Another important note, animals aren't tested for coronavirus the same way that humans are.

So, no humans had to go without testing because of these cats in New York.

The cats' tests were tested at a private lab and confirmed at a national vet lab.

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