Can Cats Get COVID-19? Exploring the Risk and Facts

In the midst of the global pandemic, questions have arisen about whether our feline companions can contract COVID-19. As responsible pet owners, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and facts surrounding this topic. In this article, we’ll delve into the science, explore the susceptibility of cats to the virus, and provide practical guidelines for keeping our furry friends safe.

The Science Behind COVID-19 and Cats

COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, originated in humans but has shown its ability to infect various species. Cats, in particular, have been identified as susceptible to the virus. The initial cases of cats testing positive for COVID-19 raised concerns about interspecies transmission. This phenomenon underscores the intricate interaction between viruses and different animals.

Can Cats Really Get COVID-19?

Yes, cats can indeed contract COVID-19. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that cats can become infected with the virus. While the majority of cases have been mild, it’s crucial to acknowledge the potential risk. Understanding this risk is essential for both the well-being of our pets and for public health considerations.

Factors Influencing Feline Susceptibility

Several factors contribute to a cat’s vulnerability to the virus. The presence of ACE2 receptors, to which the virus attaches, plays a significant role. Cats have ACE2 receptors in their respiratory tract, making them more susceptible. Additionally, breed variations might also influence susceptibility, highlighting the complex interplay between genetics and the virus.

Risks and Symptoms in Infected Cats

In infected cats, symptoms can range from mild to severe. Common signs include respiratory issues, fever, coughing, and lethargy. It’s essential to monitor your cat’s health and seek veterinary care if you suspect any symptoms. While severe cases are relatively rare, it’s crucial to address any health concerns promptly.

Preventive Measures for Cat Owners

As responsible pet owners, there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to our cats:

  • Maintain good hygiene practices, including regular handwashing before and after interacting with your cat.
  • Keep your cat indoors, limiting their exposure to potentially infected individuals.
  • If you are sick, avoid close contact with your cat, just as you would with other humans.

Research and Ongoing Studies

The scientific community is continuously studying COVID-19 in animals, including cats. Ongoing research helps us gain a better understanding of the virus’s behavior and how it affects different species. Staying updated on the latest findings can guide our efforts in keeping our pets safe.

Expert Recommendations and Guidelines

Veterinary experts and organizations have issued recommendations to safeguard our feline companions:

  • If you’re infected with COVID-19, try to isolate yourself from your cat until you recover.
  • In high-risk areas, consider keeping your cat indoors to minimize exposure.
  • Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your cat is showing symptoms or has been exposed to the virus.


In the ever-evolving landscape of the pandemic, our pets’ well-being remains a priority. While the risk of cats contracting COVID-19 is present, understanding the facts and implementing preventive measures can help mitigate this risk. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, we can ensure the health and safety of our beloved feline friends.


Could my cat have COVID?

Yes, cats can contract COVID-19. While cases are typically mild, it’s essential to monitor your cat’s health and consult a vet if you suspect any symptoms.

Can cats get Omicron?

The Omicron variant primarily affects humans. As of now, there’s no evidence that cats can get the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, it’s essential to stay updated on any new developments in research.

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