CDC guidance on pets and COVID-19
Two pet cats from separate areas in New York have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These cats are the first confirmed pet cases in the U.S. Both cats had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. Very few COVID-19 infections have been reported in pets worldwide. Most cases have been due to close contact with a person infected with COVID-19. More studies are needed to understand if and how pets could be affected. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus.
Until more is known, the CDC recommends the following:
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.