Can Coronavirus Be Spread From a Cat to a Dog?

Don't worry, your dog won't catch the feline coronavirus from your cat.
i Cat and lapdog in studio image by Ulf from

If you have dogs and cats, one of them coming down with a virus might make you worry that it will spread to the other pets in the household. If your cat is diagnosed with coronavirus, could it be transmitted to your dog?


In his book on infectious diseases, H. Krauss explains that the canine coronavirus is a pathogen of dogs, while the feline coronavirus infects cats. This means that your cat can't catch the coronavirus that your dog might have and your dog won't contract coronavirus from your cat.


With dogs and cats each having a version of the coronavirus specific to their species, it's not surprising that cats and dogs have different symptoms when they've contracted the virus. For dogs, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and anorexia are symptomatic of canine coronavirus. Feline coronavirus has a longer list of symptoms and affects the respiratory system as much as the digestive system. Sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea, weight loss and bloating are just a few of the symptoms, according to Vet Info.


Although the two different coronaviruses affect dogs and cats differently, the transmission of coronavirus is similar in the two species. Coronavirus is spread through contact with feces, although with dogs the virus is spread via the mouth while with cats it can be spread though nasal and oral secretions in addition to feces.


There is no direct treatment for coronavirus in dogs or cats, although the symptoms can be treated to comfort the pet. Treating the diarrhea in cats and dogs and treating the respiratory symptoms in cats is all that can be done in addition to providing subcutaneous fluids for extreme cases. The virus is serious for both dogs and cats because it can leave puppies vulnerable to parvovirus and feline coronavirus can lead to the more serious and sometimes fatal feline infectious paratinitus. Prevention of the virus is the best way to combat it. Keep kennels and litter areas clean and keep your pets' immune system healthy by providing a nutritious diet, sufficient opportunity for exercise and reduce stress when possible.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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