The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that cats, dogs and other animals keep the same social distancing as recommended for humans.
The recommendation was made after a small number of animals — including dogs and cats — were reported to test positive for COVID-19 after they had had close contact with a person who had the disease.
While the first coronavirus infections were thought to be linked to a live animal market, the virus is now “primarily spreading from person to person,” the CDC said in a statement on its website. “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”
However, it now appears that the virus can spread from people to animals. Earlier this month, a Malayan tiger in the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the virus. Last week, at least two cats in New York tested postive. Now the CDC is reporting “a small number of pets, including cats and dogs … to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.”
It advises pet owners to avoid letting their pets interact with people or animals outside your household. Cats should be kept indoors if possible. Dogs should be walked on a leash and kept at least 6 feet away from other animals or people. It’s best to avoid dog parks and other public places where lots of people and dogs gather.
And if someone in your house becomes sick, they should isolate themselves from everyone in the house, including any pets.