Do I Need to Worry About COVID-19 and My Cat (or Dog)? In Short: No

The one and only animal in the US found to have coronavirus is a Malaysian tiger at a zoo. Tigers are a very different species of cat than domestic cats. “They’re even in a different genus,” said Katen Terio, Chief of Zoological Pathology, University of Illinois and expert on wild cats’ medical issues.

With more than a 1.36M human coronavirus cases globally and 368K in the US—and a multitude of them having cats and dogs as pets—Dr. Terio notes that it’s significant that the first clinical case confirmed in the US was a tiger, not a domestic cat.

If you are feeling sick and suspect COVID-19, restrict contact with both humans and pets, advises the CDC. Have someone else care for you pet. If you are not sick, practice standard good hygiene with care of humans or pets: washing your hands before and after coming into contact with any food, supplies, or any waste.

Worldwide there are reports companion animals starving or being killed—evidence of  the vulnerable existence animals endure at the whim of humans. And there is an influx of animals at rescues abandoned by fearful humans.

Please…have a heart.


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