A cat belonging to a family in the Spanish region of Catalonia tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the professor who conducted an autopsy on the pet has claimed.
It was the sixth feline to be detected with the disease globally.
The cat, however, did not die from the virus, but from a pre-existing respiratory condition.
The said condition is fairly common among cats, Professor Joaquim Segales of Catalonia’s Animal Health Research Centre said.
The cat, named Negrito, belonged to a household in the Barcelona area where several family members had caught the virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said all available evidence suggests the novel coronavirus originated in animals but it is not yet clear how the virus jumped the species barrier from an intermediate animal host, most likely a bat, to humans.
Human-to-cat transmission risks are low enough as to be non-existent, while cat-to-cat transmission is also relatively inefficient, Segales said.
Meanwhile, a study has found that ferrets are most susceptible to catching and passing the coronavirus along to other ferrets. Cats are slightly less so, and dogs barely so. Pigs, ducks, and chickens are not susceptible at all.