At this point, we’ve all heard about Covid-19 more than we ever cared to, but we wanted to clear up some potential confusion about feline coronavirus or FeCV. Covid-19 and FeCV are completely different viruses. According to the Cornell Feline Health Center:
Most strains of feline coronavirus are found in the gastrointestinal tract and do not cause significant disease. These are referred to as feline enteric coronavirus (FeCV). Cats infected with FeCV usually do not show any symptoms during the initial viral infection, but may occasionally experience brief bouts of diarrhea and/or mild upper respiratory signs from which they recover spontaneously.
Current scientific studies show that feline coronavirus cannot be passed to humans from infected cats. However, it can turn into something extremely serious and even deadly for cats. Certain strains of feline coronavirus can cause feline infectious peritonitis or FIP in about ten percent of cats affected with FeCV. FIP is a virus that typically affects younger cats, however, there are no definitive tests to diagnose FIP and relatively few treatment options.
Keeping cats as healthy as possible, including preventing infection by other viruses such as feline leukemia virus and calicivirus by appropriate vaccination, where indicated, is likely to decrease the likelihood of FIP. Litter boxes should be kept clean and located away from food and water dishes. Cornell Feline Health Center
So if you hear your vet talking about feline coronavirus, please remember it is not the same virus as Covid-19 and you cannot catch Covid-19 from a cat infected with feline coronavirus.
A note about Covid-19 and pets:
At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.