Cats and Dogs Can be Infected by Novel Coronavirus but Appear Unlikely to Pass It to People
Researchers from the Colorado State University veterinary college report that dogs and cats can be infected by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but that the risk of zoonotic transmission appears to be low. Neither species is likely to show signs of illness. Based on experimental infections, cats did shed virus and were able to infect other cats through direct contact. Dogs, however, were not found to shed virus. Cats also developed a strong neutralizing antibody response and were resistant to a second exposure to the virus.
More information on the study and other reports of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in pets, including ferrets, is available in the New York Times. The original research study on infection of dogs and cats with SARS-CoV-2 can be read in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
More about emerging zoonotic diseases can also be found in the Merck Veterinary Manual.