How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has COVID

In this article, we will explore how you can tell if your cat has COVID-19 and discuss important steps to ensure their health and safety.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has COVID
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the world, affecting both humans and animals alike. While much attention has been given to the human aspect of the virus, it's important to consider the impact it can have on our beloved pets, including cats. In this article, we will explore how you can tell if your cat has COVID-19 and discuss important steps to ensure their health and safety.

Understanding COVID-19 in Cats

COVID-19 is primarily known as a respiratory illness in humans, but it can also affect cats. Similar to humans, cats can contract the virus through close contact with an infected individual or exposure to contaminated surfaces. Understanding the symptoms of COVID-19 in cats is crucial for early detection and appropriate care.

Symptoms of COVID-19 in Cats

Respiratory Symptoms

One of the primary indicators of COVID-19 in cats is the presence of respiratory symptoms. If your cat develops a persistent cough, sneezing, or difficulty breathing, it's important to monitor their condition closely.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

In some cases, cats with COVID-19 may also exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms. These can include vomiting, diarrhea, or a decrease in appetite. If your cat experiences these symptoms along with respiratory issues, it's advisable to seek veterinary attention promptly.

Fever and Lethargy

Fever and lethargy are common signs of illness in cats, including those with COVID-19. If your cat appears unusually tired, lacks energy, or has an elevated body temperature, it could be an indication of infection.

Loss of Appetite

Another important symptom to watch out for is a sudden loss of appetite in your cat. If they show disinterest in their favorite food or refuse to eat altogether, it may be a cause for concern and should not be ignored.

Diagnostic Testing for Cats

Veterinary Consultation

If you suspect that your cat may have COVID-19 or are observing concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian. A professional evaluation will help determine the appropriate steps for testing and treatment.

COVID-19 Testing Methods

To confirm a COVID-19 infection in cats, veterinarians may use different testing methods. These can include a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which detects the presence of the virus's genetic material, or a serological test that identifies antibodies against the virus. Your veterinarian will advise on the most suitable testing approach for your cat.

Preventive Measures for Cat Owners


Vaccination plays a vital role in preventing COVID-19 in cats. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat receives appropriate vaccinations and stays up to date with booster shots. Vaccination not only helps protect your cat but also reduces the risk of transmission within the household.

Hygiene Practices

Maintaining good hygiene practices is essential to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission to cats. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after interacting with your cat, especially if you have been in contact with individuals outside your household. Additionally, regularly clean and disinfect surfaces your cat may come into contact with.

Recognizing Common Symptoms

One of the key steps in identifying if your cat has COVID-19 is recognizing the common symptoms associated with the virus. Cats infected with COVID-19 may exhibit the following signs:

Respiratory Issues: Keep an eye out for coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing in your cat. These respiratory symptoms are similar to those seen in humans.

Lethargy: If your usually active and playful cat becomes lethargic and lacks energy, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, including COVID-19.

Loss of Appetite: A sudden loss of interest in food or a decrease in appetite can be an indicator of COVID-19 infection in cats.

Fever: Just like humans, cats can develop a fever when they are unwell. Monitor your cat's body temperature using a rectal thermometer. A normal temperature for cats is between 100.5°F and 102.5°F (38°C and 39.2°C).

Nasal Discharge: If you notice unusual discharge from your cat's nose, particularly if it is thick or discolored, it could be a sign of COVID-19.


Being aware of the symptoms and taking necessary precautions are vital steps in ensuring the well-being of your cat during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you notice any concerning signs, consult a veterinarian promptly to receive appropriate guidance and care. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, you can help protect your feline companion and promote a safe environment for both of you.

Q: Can cats transmit COVID-19 to humans?

A: While rare, there have been instances of cats transmitting COVID-19 to humans. It is important to practice good hygiene and avoid close contact if you are infected or showing symptoms.

Q: Should I keep my cat indoors to prevent COVID-19?

A: While COVID-19 can be transmitted to cats, it is generally recommended to keep your cat indoors to minimize exposure to the virus and other potential dangers.

Q: Can all cats get infected with COVID-19?

A: While cats can contract COVID-19, the majority of cases reported are mild, and most cats recover with proper care. However, it is crucial to monitor their health and seek veterinary advice if needed.

Q: Can I use human COVID-19 tests for my cat?

A: No, human COVID-19 tests are not suitable for diagnosing cats. Consult a veterinarian to determine the appropriate testing method for your cat.

Q: Is there a vaccine available specifically for cats against COVID-19?

A: Currently, there is no specific COVID-19 vaccine available for cats. However, general preventive measures such as vaccination and maintaining good hygiene can help protect them.

Q1: Can cats really get COVID-19?

Yes, cats can contract COVID-19, although it is relatively rare compared to humans.

Q2: Can cats transmit COVID-19 to humans?

There have been rare instances where cats have transmitted COVID-19 to humans. It is recommended to follow good hygiene practices when handling an infected cat.

Q3: How long does it take for a cat to recover from COVID-19?

The recovery time for cats with COVID-19 can vary. Some cats may recover within a few weeks, while others may take longer. It depends on the severity of the infection and the overall health of the cat.

Q4: Should I quarantine my cat if it has COVID-19?

Yes, it is advisable to keep an infected cat in quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus to other animals and humans in the household.

Q5: Are there any preventive measures to protect my cat from COVID-19?

To protect your cat from COVID-19, ensure they are kept indoors, practice good hygiene when handling them, and avoid contact with individuals who are infected with the virus.

Q6: Is there a vaccine available for cats against COVID-19?

As of now, there is no specific vaccine available for cats to prevent COVID-19. However, the existing vaccines for other feline respiratory diseases can help support their overall health.

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to prioritize the health and well-being of our feline companions. While the chances of cats contracting COVID-19 are relatively low, it's essential to be vigilant and proactive in identifying any potential symptoms. By recognizing the common signs and consulting a veterinarian, we can ensure the safety and proper care of our beloved cats during these uncertain times.
Wanda Rater
Wanda Rater

Avid tv junkie. Freelance bacon aficionado. Certified beer lover. Typical food specialist. Infuriatingly humble bacon expert. Hipster-friendly travel lover.

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