The American Association of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA) has updated its FAQ for Pet Owners to reflect the current information about COVID-19 and pets. Of course, we know by now that this is a rapidly evolving situation. The AVMA will continue to update its FAQ as new information becomes available, and I’ll share it with you here as quickly as I can.
The update includes some reassuring information about why it’s unlikely that cats (and other pets) can spread the virus.
“COVID-19 appears to be primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze. COVID-19 might be able to be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or object (i.e., a fomite) and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this appears to be a secondary route.
Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, door knobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur), because porous, and especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the pathogen (virus), making it harder to contract through simple touch. Because your pet’s hair is porous and also fibrous, it is very unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with your pet.”