CDC announces new guidelines for pets after 2 cats test positive for coronavirus
Following the announcement of the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in two pet cats, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has new recommendations for pets.
These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. Previously, a tiger and a lion tested positive at The Bronx Zoo.
At this time, routine testing of animals is not recommended. Should other animals be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) will post the findings here.
The CDC says that while public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States.
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.