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Can Pets Get the 2019 Coronavirus?

Orange tabby cat and black dog nuzzling together.

Can Pets Get the 2019 Coronavirus?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan China cannot be spread to cats, dogs or other pets. This strain of coronavirus can only be transmitted between people. There are many strains of coronavirus however and some of those strains infect pets on a regular basis. Following is information on the other strains of coronavirus that affect pets regularly and some home remedies for treating them.

If you want tips on super anti-viral supplements to protect yourself from the new coronavirus and other illnesses like influenza, please check out Supplements for Coronavirus Protection on our sister site

What Strains Of Coronavirus Can Infect Pets?

Some coronavirus strains can cause mild infections in pets but some can cause more serious problems like Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). The new coronavirus that came out of China in December of 2019 called the Novel Coronavirus is not a danger to pets at this time.

Coronaviruses in Cats

Most coronavirus infections in cats only produce mild symptoms such as watering eyes and running nose.

Feline coronavirus cannot be passed to people.

On rare occasions (about 5%-10% of cases) a coronavirus in cats can turn into Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) which is usually deadly since it destroys white blood cells. It is caused by a mutation in the coronavirus or a reaction by the immune system.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Symptoms can include:


Running nose,

Watering eyes,



Loss of appetite,

Weight loss,

Difficulty breathing,

Jaundiced eyes,

Ulcers in eyes,

Conjunctivitis/Feline Pinkeye (redness, swelling and discharge from eyes).


This is not a complete list of potential FIP symptoms.

How Do You Know if a Cat has FIP, Conjunctivitis or an Upper Respiratory Infection?

Conjunctivitis is a painful condition that can be caused by a foreign body in the eye, a bacterial or viral infection or an auto-immune condition. A cat with conjunctivitis should be checked out by a vet.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections are extremely common and are usually caused by the feline herpesvirus (FV1) or the feline calicivirus (FCV).

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections can include the following symptoms:


Running nose,

Discharge from eyes,

Squinting of eyes,





Loss of appetite,

Excessive salivation,

Pneumonia can develop

Cats who are infected may become carriers of a virus for the rest of their lives. They may not have any symptoms or symptoms may appear periodically. Symptoms are usually brought on during illness or stress. Moving, travel, bringing new pets or people into the home or other disturbances may bring on symptoms.

Cats may need topical treatments for the eyes and antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection emerges. If your cat is seriously ill always take them to a veterinarian for treatment. The same symptoms could indicate a number of other more serious conditions such as feline leukemia, though this is rare.

A vet check is always the best course of action but some cats would be in and out of the vet every few weeks for mild upper respiratory symptoms. If a dog or cat has a mild upper respiratory infection they can be helped at home with this recipe using common a common ingredient you likely have in your home already. How to Treat An Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats.

There are vaccines to prevent upper respiratory infection if a cat has not been exposed to the viruses that cause it already.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a serious condition that may be caused by a mutated coronavirus with symptoms including those listed above and range from sneezing and runny nose to conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, diarrhea and fever. If your cat has serious symptoms please see a vet. FIP is rare but often deadly.

Coronaviruses in Dogs

Canine coronavirus (CCV) is found all over the world in both domestic and wild dogs and can infect any breed of dog. It is very contagious and causes intestinal problems but is generally mild unless it affects young puppies or is found along with another virus such as canine parvovirus.

Canine coronavirus may have no symptoms at all or include:



Loss of appetite


CCV is caught from other infected dogs and may remain in a dog’s system for up to 6 months after infection.

The symptoms of canine coronavirus can be similar to parvovirus, distemper, parasites and other conditions so take your dog to the vet for a check up and possibly testing.

There is a vaccine against canine coronavirus but it is usually included in vaccines for other conditions such as distemper or parvovirus.

Canine coronavirus is highly contagious among dogs so clean affected areas with diluted bleach to kill it.

How Can You Treat a Pet With Coronavirus?

You may not know if your dog or cat has coronavirus if they have mild symptoms. If they are sick with mild symptoms or the vet has checked them out already, you can try the following home treatments.

Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM recommends the following home remedies for coronavirus in his weekly newsletter:

  • Honey (that is local and unpasteurized if possible). Dr. Jones recommends 1/2 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight twice per day.
  • Juice from Elderberry. He recommends 1/2 a tsp per 10 lbs of body weight twice per day.
  • Licorice Root Tincture. He recommends 1/2 mL which is 1/2 of a tincture bottle dropper per 20 lbs of body weight twice per day.

Make sure your dog or cat with coronavirus does not become dehydrated.

In dogs the canine coronavirus is mostly an intestinal condition and can cause dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. If necessary you can use a plastic syringe to get some liquids in a puppy or dog who isn’t drinking.

In cats, dehydration is always dangerous since cats (especially neutered males) are very susceptible to UTIs and blockages that can quickly turn deadly.

Get your cat to drink water in any way you can. Keep bowls clean! Cats like cleanliness. I change my cat’s water every day and also wipe out the water bowls as slime can build up quickly. Some cats prefer a drinking fountain, or a glass or ceramic bowl over plastic. How Can I Get My Cat to Drink More Water?

Keep Your Pet Warm, Comfortable and Stress Free

Pets are sensitive to stress. This is especially true of cats. A stressed cat often becomes a sick cat as the viruses the cause feline upper respiratory and other infections can activate when a cat is stressed and their immune system weakened. Help your pet get better by keeping them stress free. No loud noises, don’t scare them, yell or make them feel unsafe or unsure.

Try to Get Your Pet To Eat

They may not feel hungry. A cat with an upper respiratory infection or coronavirus may not eat because they can’t smell. Try to tempt your cat with a smelly treat.

Use Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar on Fur 

This may sound strange but it works. Check out the details and recipe here. Apple Cider Vinegar For Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats and Dogs

Apple cider vinegar is naturally antibacterial and antiviral and helps a pet’s immune system. It can be diluted with water and used to treat ear infections and skin infections in dogs and cats as well as for fighting viruses.

How Can I Protect Myself From Coronavirus?

You can protect yourself from coronavirus by washing your hands frequently and not touching your face when out in public. The coronavirus can be spread through your eyes, nose or mouth.

You can also check out these amazing anti-viral supplements which have been clinically tested to kill many viruses including SARS which is another strain of coronavirus as well as drug resistant staph infections like MRSA and hundreds of other viruses and bacteria. Supplements for Coronavirus Protection.

I take some of these supplements everyday to prevent colds and flus so I was thrilled they can protect against more dangerous viruses as well.

Note: I am not a veterinarian. Please see a veterinarian if your pet is sick to rule out serious illness.


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  1. Nuttanee

    That is a very interesting subject. I never thought of my Snow Snow and Shiro getting the Corona Virus! Oh my gosh I am glad that I found your post. I know for that fact that NYC, there is no case has been found yet but you never know. Those feral cats can be carrying it or even human. I will look out for the sign and be on top of it. Thank you so much Jessica. I will  follow all the precautions.


    1. Jessica (Post author)


      Please understand dogs and cats cannot get the new coronavirus. There are other forms of coronavirus that they can get but those are not the same as the the one people are getting now. 


  2. Stephanie

    I thought this virus was highly passed through animals and humans. It’s good to know, based on your article, that the chances are actually low. I have two dogs and two cats. One of the cats it’s currently pregnant and I was wondering, do you think it’s better to take her to the vet without any symptoms just to make sure or is that not necessary?

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      The current mutated strain of coronavirus that came from China cannot be passed to pets. It can only pass between people. It would have to mutate again in order to be able to pass to animals. Now, I won’t guarantee this 100% since I don’t know if what I read is always true, but this is what official government sources are telling us. 

      There would be no point getting her checked for this coronavirus since I am sure vets couldn’t even test for it. Special testing kits are required and only certain medical facilities for people even have those now. 

      As long as she has no symptoms I would not be worried. If she does have mild symptoms it is most likely she would have an upper respiratory infection or another mild form of coronavirus. Of course if she is sick I would take her to the vet. 

      Thank you for your questions and thoughts here,


  3. Steve

    Amazing…I had no idea that dogs and cats were able to contract some form of coronavirus! Thank you for this post as the list of symptoms is really helpful. I work in a school and you can bet I have been washing my hands a great deal this winter to avoid things like the flu and any possible coronavirus (though thankfully I haven’t heard of any infections in our area). I am really hoping that health authorities can get it under control soon. Thanks again for the post!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks Steve,

      I agree. It is nice to know the 2019 Novel Coronavirus cannot affect our pets at least. One less thing to worry about!


  4. Robert

    This was a ery timely post that my best friend needs to and will read. She has two cats and four dogs. We were just having a discussion about this the other night because she was worried about whether her pets could catch the Novel Coronavirus. I told her that coronavirus is very common in BOTH pets and people and cannot be transmitted between the two.

    One of the many problems with society nowadays is that people live in fear and are not educated in those things that they fear. When this new 2019 coronavirus came out people were scared but didn’t take the time to realize that there EVERY person alive except toddlers, has been infected with some strain of coronavirus in there lifetime at least once at most a few times.

    This information is easily available on the websites of the CDC, NIH and PubMed to name a few. People hear scare stories of mass infections and hundreds of deaths but quickly forget that the seasonal flu virus infects millions more people and hundreds of thousands die because of it. Fearing coronavirus and not fearing the influenza virus makes absolutely no sense.

    You post here should be another fine example of knowledgeable information for pet owners living with fear of the unknown when it comes to both feline and canine infections of the coronavirus. My friend will be happy to read your recommendations for treating the infection in pets and also to recognize the symptoms. I am going to share this with her. Thank you!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Robert,

      Unfortunately, people seem to latch onto a word and don’t take the time to look up the facts. That is why dogs and cats are in danger right now as people somehow get the idea pets could catch the 2019 Novel coronavirus and pass it to people. I am afraid people will be dumping any sick pet out of fear and misunderstanding or freak out if their pet has any symptoms and assume the worst. Unfortunately, there are people spreading this misinformation since there are other coronavruses that are common in cats and dogs. 

      I hope to combat this misinformation, help alleviate people’s fears and help pets. 

      The 2019 Novel coronavirus has a much higher death rate than the flu. In the U.S. the flu is still a much greater risk however due to the number of people infected. Hopefully we can keep the new coronavirus contained. 

      In the meantime we need real information and not myths and assumptions. 

      Thank you, 

      I am so glad this post was useful for you and your friend. I am sure she will be glad (as I was) to learn her pets are not at risk from the new coronavirus. 


  5. Justin

    This was a fascinating post, I didn’t consider whether animals would be at risk of this disease.  Obviously animals get colds and flu’s and most of these come under the coroner virus umbrella.  I’m also very grateful that you included a link to suppliments that can help to protect against many infections and other things.  I’m very happ I read this post, it was very detailed and beneficial.


    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Justin. I am glad you found this information useful. 


  6. Sheila

    I’m glad I came across this article. I don’t have pets because my apartment complex doesn’t allow it but I’ve always wanted to get a cat and a dog and to learn all this information has really helped me for the future. You never know, our pets are very important in our lives therefore this type of information is useful. Thanks!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Sheila,

      I am very glad you found this useful and hope you are able to get pets soon. 


  7. Travis

    This is the first I had thought about the coronavirus being able to infect pets, thankfully it is not the one that is going through Wuhan at the moment. Although it appears that there have been many different coronaviruses around for some time, why is it just now making the news? I do appreciate the tips though for my pets in case they catch a strain that is contagious to them, I will keep elderberry juice around, we already have honey in the pantry. Hope everybody stays safe out there!

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Travis,

      This is not the first time a coronavirus has been in the news. SARS is another strain of coronavirus that caused widespread panic in 2003 when an outbreak occurred in China. Most coronaviruses are not very dangerous however and only produce symptoms like a common cold. SARS and the new 2019 Novel Coronavirus are mutated forms that are much more dangerous. 

      Luckily, we don’t have to worry about this new coronavirus infecting our pets. 

      Thanks for stopping by,


  8. Lalita

    Hello Jessica, I thought this virus was highly passed through animals and humans. It’s good to know, based on your article, that the chances are actually low. I’ve always wanted to get a cat and a dog and to learn all this information has really helped me for the future. You never know, our pets are very important in our lives therefore this type of information is useful. Thank you so much Jessica. I will follow all the precautions.

    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Lalita. I was also surprised to learn pets can’t get this strain of coronavirus since all the news stories talked about it coming from animals. I was relieved to find out pets cannot get this however. It was useful to learn about the other strains of coronavirus they can get. 

      I am glad you found this useful. 



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