(CNN)Two cats in New York have been infected with the novel coronavirus, federal officials announced Wednesday. Both had mild respiratory symptoms and are expected to make a full recovery.
Two cats in New York are first pets known to have coronavirus in the US
"These are the first pets in the United States to test positive," the US Department of Agriculture said Wednesday in a joint statement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agencies emphasized that there is no evidence pets play a role in spreading coronavirus in the United States. "There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare," they said.
The two cats were tested after they showed respiratory symptoms, according to the agencies, and they join the ranks of eight lions and tigers who were infected at a New York zoo.
A veterinarian tested the first house cat after it showed mild respiratory signs, but none of the humans in its household were confirmed to have the virus.