Mayo Clinic, the largest health care provider in the United States, said Friday that it would no longer offer cat allergy medicines to its patients.
The move follows a public outcry over the practice in the US and abroad.
The company said it will continue to offer cat allergies to patients who have been diagnosed with at least one of seven coronavirus strains.
Mayo said the move comes after the US Food and Drug Administration said in May that it was banning the sale of certain cat allergy drugs in the U.S. and other countries.
In June, the FDA said it was “reviewing” its current policy regarding cat allergy medication.
In the US, cats are one of three species of mammals known to carry the coronaviruses, but the other two are dogs and horses.
The most common form of coronaviral disease in humans is the H1N1 coronavillosis.
It is caused by coronavirence virus, a type of RNA virus.
The pandemic has killed nearly 2 million people, mostly in China, and nearly 4 million in other countries around the world.
A second strain of the coronaviogenes has been detected in animals, and a third has been identified in birds.
The FDA has ordered the closure of at least four veterinary clinics and several animal-testing labs in the state of New York.
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology have both urged the FDA to reconsider its policy, saying the new rules would hinder efforts to improve the lives of animals.
“There is a real fear that this policy is going to be used to restrict the supply of cat allergy medications to patients,” AMA President Chris Gaffney said in a statement.
The AMA said it is also concerned about the potential of “bargaining” to limit availability of cat medicines.
“This is a public health crisis that is getting worse by the day,” AMA Executive Vice President Mark Gaffey said in the statement.
“These restrictions may not stop the spread of coronovirus, but they may slow the pace of progress.”
The move by Mayo comes as other countries in Europe are tightening up on the use of cat antibodies to treat their pets, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.
The new rules are expected to be effective in the coming months.
Read more about coronavirosts.