Cat becomes first animal to test positive for coronavirus in the UK

A pet cat has become the first animal to test positive for coronavirus in the UK.

Evidence suggests the cat contracted Covid-19 from its owners who had previously tested positive, the government said.

Downing Street said the cat had symptoms including shortness of breath.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The test was carried out by the Animal and Plant Health Agency laboratory having been referred by a private vet who the owners had taken the cat to see."

"Its symptoms were a respiratory infection with a nasal discharge and some shortness of breath," they added.

The feline and its owners have made a full recovery and there was no transmission to other people or pets in the household.

Medical Director at Public Health England Yvonne Doyle said the animal's infection "should not be cause for alarm".

Meanwhile, three lions and four tigers tested positive for coronavirus at Bronx Zoo in New York in April.

At the time, an investigation into it suggested that the infection was spread from humans to animal, not the other way round.