HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania has confirmed its first coronavirus-positive cat, state Department of Agriculture officials announced Tuesday.
The 16-year old Cumberland County cat lived in a household with multiple individuals who had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19. The feline in early October began suffering mild respiratory illness that ultimately led to humane euthanization.
The case is still under investigation, and a primary cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
The cat is one of a handful of COVID-19 positive pets from across the United States that died or were euthanized while infected. The infected pets had known prolonged exposure to COVID-19 individuals and none to appear to have directly died from COVID-19 but rather underlying illnesses.
“As Pennsylvanians have spent more time at home throughout the pandemic, our companion animals have undoubtedly been the recipients of extra love and attention,” state veterinarian Kevin Brightbill said in a news release
“If you or a loved one becomes diagnosed with COVID-19, take steps to keep your pet healthy, just as you would your family.”
Many of the same recommendations for protecting people apply to animals. To help protect Pennsylvania pets, households with COVID-19 positive individuals should adhere to the following guidelines:
Avoid contact such as petting, holding, snuggling, facial contact, and sleeping in the same bed.
There have been 8,533 coronavirus deaths in Pennsylvania since the outbreak began in March. Thirty-three new deaths were reported statewide on Tuesday by the state Department of Health.
The health department reported 1,557 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 184,872.
Allegheny County reported 106 new cases, Delaware County reported 109 cases, and Philadelphia reported 158 cases.
This article originally appeared on the Pittsburgh Patch