A cat in Belgium has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first known feline to contract the infectious disease.

The sick pet in Liège tested positive after showing symptoms typical of COVID-19, the Brussels Times reported.

Officials believe the cat contracted the virus from its owner, who started showing symptoms about a week before their pet.

Professor Steven Van Gucht, a Doctoral Researcher at Ghent University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, said the cat had diarrhoea, was vomiting and had breathing difficulties.

The virus was picked up when researchers tested the cat’s faeces, he said.

The World Health Organisation states there is no evidence that any pet can transmit COVID-19 to a human
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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The cat’s current condition is not known.

Van Gucht described the instance as an ‘isolated case’ and said the risk of animal-to-human transmission was ‘very small’.

While there have been no other reported cases of cats catching the potentially deadly virus, at least one dog has returned a positive test for COVID-19.

Cat tests positive for coronavirus after catching bug from owner - World News 1

The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are:

  • a dry, persistent cough
  • a fever

If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate yourself for seven days.

It is not necessary to call NHS 111 unless your symptoms get more severe.

Some patients have reported fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath and aches and pains. Sneezing is not a symptom of the coronavirus.

The first dog to ‘catch’ coronavirus died about a fortnight ago, after being cleared of the disease and released from quarantine.

The 17-year-old Pomeranian from Hong Kong, which had been cleared of Covid-19 after initial suspicions of the infection were proven unfounded despite a ‘weak positive’ diagnosis, passed away on Wednesday, just two days after returning home.

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Coronavirus outbreak

Vets in the Asian financial hub said the dog’s death could have been because of the stress and anxiety of being in quarantine and away from its family.

Information provided by the World Health Organisation stated there was no evidence that a dog, cat or any other pet could transmit COVID-19 to a human.

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