Researchers say there’s an urgent need to find out whether animals can catch the virus and pass it to people. Soon after the new coronavirus started spreading around the globe, reports emerged of cases in animals — pet cats in Hong Kong, tigers in a New York City zoo and mink on farms in the Netherlands. Now researchers are urgently trying to discover which species can catch the virus, and whether they can pass it to people. So far, there have been only two reported cases of animals — both mink — passing the virus SARS-CoV-2 to people. At the moment, the chance of contracting the disease from an infected animal is negligible compared to the risk of catching it from an ill person, say researchers.