Cats and ferrets can catch COVID-19

Cats and ferrets can catch COVID-19

A report has found cats and ferrets are susceptible to SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The same study has ruled that dogs, pigs, chicken and ducks are unlikely to catch the illness.

According to Reuters, the report, Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals to SARS–coronavirus 2, published online in the journal Science, has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to “look more closely at the role of pets in the health crisis.”

But importantly, WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said, “We don’t believe that [pets] are playing a role in transmission but we think that they may be able to be infected from an infected person.”

Simply put: you may be able to pass the virus to your cat if you’re infected, but there’s no evidence currently that cats or other animals are passing it to people.

The report came on the heels of both big and small cats showing signs of infection with tigers at the Bronx Zoo and a housecat in Belgium.

Protecting Pets

To keep your cats and ferrets safe during the pandemic, here are a few tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Keep your pets indoors and away from animals outside the home.
  • If you’re sick/have tested positive, take extra care handling your pets, particularly regarding your sneezing/coughing/breathing.
  • Continue showing your pets compassion and kindness.

If you believe your pet is unwell for any reason, please contact your veterinarian for advice. The Fur-Bearers will continue to provide new and relevant information as it becomes available.

Help Make A Difference

Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us provide alternatives to fur and non-lethal solutions to wildlife conflict. We receive no government funding and rely entirely on donations from supporters like you. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today.



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About Us

The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at

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