Can Cats and Dogs Catch Coronavirus – COVID-19?

We have read different reports on whether cats, dogs and other companion animals can catch coronavirus (COVID-19) and pass it on to humans, but the current advice from the World Health Organization states that, thankfully, companion animals cannot spread the virus and the current spread of COVID-19 is from human to human transmission. However, the World Organisation For Animal Health have also reported that Veterinary Services in Hong Kong did tests to show the presence of genetic material of the virus in a dog that had close exposure to its humans who had contracted the virus, although the dog was not showing any symptoms of the virus. The dog was later released from quarantine having tested negative for the virus, but then sadly passed away shortly after at the age of 17. The Telegraph reported that animal welfare authorities said that the stress from being quarantined could have been the cause of the dog’s death.

What Precautions Should I take?

As mentioned above, there is currently no evidence to suggest that cats, dogs or companion animals can get sick from the COVID-19 virus or pass it on to humans, but the World Organisation For Animal Health do recommend limiting contact with companion animals if you do contract the virus, just until more is known and if you do have to look after your furry friend, make sure you practice good hygiene. Here at Noggins & Binkles the humans have been carefully washing their hands as soon as they walk through the door and not stroking Noggins & Binkles until they have clean hands.   

Is Hand Sanitiser Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

You may have seen various posts on social media that hand sanitiser is toxic to cats and dogs, as it contains anti-freeze, which has the active ingredient ethylene glycol. The active ingredient in hand sanitiser is normally ethanol, which is alcohol, but not ethylene glycol. It’s important to check the ingredients on your hand sanitsier as ingredients can vary, but if it’s not alcohol based (usually 60-70% alcohol) it will have a disinfectant ingredient instead, according to Science Direct, so it’s worth checking all of the ingredients or making sure you have an alcohol based hand sanitiser. The PDSA state that alcohol (ethanol) based hand sanisiters can be harmful if ingested in large quantities, for example a bottle, but if your cat or dog licks your hands after using hand sanitiser, it is harmless and most of it evaporates anyway. Washing your hands seems to be best practice but if you are out and about with your dog, alcohol based hand sanitiser is absolutely fine to use and certainly preferable to not being able to practice good hygiene.

Social Distancing With Your Cat or Dog

Here at Noggins & Binkles, the humans already spend a lot of time at home with Noggins & Binkles, but at the moment and for the foreseeable future whilst the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, will be spending even more. Cats, dogs and other animals are wonderful companions so we hope they will make time spent social distancing from other humans more enjoyable and provide valuable company. At the current moment, at least in the UK, it is absolutely fine to continue walking your dog outside, providing you keep your distance from other humans who you don’t live with, so walking is a good way to keep you and your dog fit and healthy, just be sure to follow government guidance. For indoor cats and those who go outside, we have some fun tips to help keep cats entertained here.

Cat being entertained indoors

Binkles playing indoors with his cat scratcher

We are keeping our fingers and paws crossed that we will all get through this difficult time as soon as possible and everyone stays as happy and healthy as they can. If you want to stay up to date with what’s going on at Noggins & Binkles (i.e. lots of cat and dog photos) head over to our Facebook and Instagram to say hi :)  


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