Cat in Ingham County first in Michigan to contract COVID

Noelle Gray
The Detroit News

Lansing — A cat from Ingham County is the first confirmed feline case of SARS-CoV-2 in the state of Michigan.

The cat had close contact with its owners, who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 about a week before the cat became ill. The domestic shorthair cat was tested after it began to sneeze. The cat has recovered.

As of Oct. 18, there have been 257 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in animals throughout the United States, including 99 cats, since the start of the pandemic, according to state officials.

The possibility is very low of animals spreading the virus to humans, according to Michigan officials.

"COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking," Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan's chief medical executive, said in a news release. "Protecting pets begins by taking precautions to protect yourself by getting one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines."

Testing is recommended for animals with recent exposure to a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Signs of SARS-CoV-2 in animals can include fever, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, vomiting and/or diarrhea.