CAN DOGS AND CATS GET CORONAVIRUS?
Despite the massive number of coronavirus infections worldwide, only a few pets living with infected people have tested positive so far: two dogs (Hong Kong) and two cats (Belgium and China). The cat in Belgium was hospitalized for digestive symptoms unrelated to COVID, according to the attending veterinarians. All of the animals have recovered.
A study on 102 cats in China showed that 11 of them had the antibodies without any evidence of viral genetic material. This suggests they had been in contact with the virus in recent weeks but were not infected at the time of testing.
Outside these few documented cases of natural infection, a study was published on the susceptibility of different animal species to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus was deposited directly into the nostrils of the animals in the study. Although that is not how a “normal” infection occurs, certain general findings from the study may be of use.
Dogs are not very susceptible and don’t seem to transmit the virus. Cats and ferrets are more susceptible to the virus—so, more easily infected. But there is nothing to indicate that they are a direct source of infection for humans. Chickens, ducks, and pigs are not susceptible to the virus.