Can You Catch the Coronavirus From a Pet?

Cat with mask
Photo by Viacheslav Rubel / Shutterstock.com

Should social distancing extend to Fido and Fifi?

Pet owners might ask that question after the Centers for Disease Control revealed that two cats in New York state tested positive for the coronavirus. They are the first pets in the U.S. to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

For weeks, experts reassured pet owners that dogs and cats were not at risk for coronavirus infection. However, the news from New York — coupled with other similar stories, such as that of dogs infected in Hong Kong and tigers and lions infected at the Bronx Zoo — seem to contradict the earlier advice.

And in fact, the CDC now says there is a risk after all:

“We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.”

Now, before you quarantine your kitty or pup, know that the CDC also has stated that there is no evidence animals play a significant role in spreading the virus.

The agency believes the risk of animals spreading the coronavirus is low. However, the CDC also admits that its judgment is based on limited information.

Keeping your pet — and family — safe

So, what should you do to keep your pets — and your family — safe?

For starters, the CDC recommends keeping your cat or dog from interacting with people or animals outside your immediate household.

Yes, that means if you walk the dog, it also needs to maintain 6 feet of “social distance” from other dogs and people.

For now, avoid taking pets to dog parks and other public places where people and animals gather.

It is believed that close contact with an infected human caused the infections in animals.

So, if you or someone else becomes sick with COVID-19, the CDC recommends isolating that individual from everyone in the household — including any furry friends.

If you are infected and it is impossible to isolate from your pet — such as if you live alone — follow some basic guidelines. These include avoiding:

  • Petting or snuggling with your pet
  • Allowing your pet to lick you
  • Sharing food or bedding with your pet

Wear a cloth face mask covering while caring for your pet. If the pet needs veterinary care, call your vet and explain that you are sick. Ask what options are available — such as telemedicine — that will prevent you from traveling to the vet while you are sick.

Finally, the CDC reminds you to always practice good hygiene when dealing with pets, including washing your hands after handling pets, and their food, waste or supplies. For more on proper hand-washing, check out “Beware These 7 Hand-Washing Mistakes.”

As for the two cats in New York, they are expected to make a full recovery.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability

Have these tools and accounts in place so you can weather whatever comes your way.

Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You
Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You

Streaming TV might sound like the antidote to sky-high cable bills, but cutting the cord is easier said than done.

5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance
5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance

Auto insurance will cost you more than three times as much in one state compared with another. Here’s how to lower your rates no matter where you live.

14 Products That Keep Foods Fresh Longer
14 Products That Keep Foods Fresh Longer

We’ve rounded up innovative Amazon purchases to lengthen the life of your favorite foods and beverages.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

8 Things That Are Free in August
8 Things That Are Free in August

As summer enters the home stretch, we’ve rounded up these sizzling freebies.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.