British authorities on Monday said that the novel coronavirus has been detected in a pet cat in the country for the first time.
The infection was confirmed last week following tests at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge, according to a statement.
The statement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Animal and Plant Health Agency said it is the first confirmed case of an animal infection with the coronavirus strain in the UK.
However, “there is no evidence to suggest that the animal was involved in transmission of the disease to its owners or that pets or other domestic animals are able to transmit the virus to people,” it added.
It said “evidence suggests that the cat contracted the coronavirus from its owners who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.”
The cat and its owners have made a full recovery and other animals in the household have not been infected, according to the statement.
Almost some 45,000 people have so far died of the coronavirus in the UK. It is one of the worst affected countries in the world and holds the top death toll in Europe.