COVID-19 Animal Transmission

fruit bat

We have the same questions you do – can animals spread COVID-19 to humans? Here’s what science has told us so far.


Currently, evidence suggests humans can pass the virus to animals during close contact. However, the likelihood of animals passing it to humans is rare.

To clarify, coronavirus is a family of viruses and has multiple strains, including COVID-19. Some strains of coronavirus can only infect animals.  However, COVID-19 was believed to have mutated into a strain that jumped from a bat to a human.

Current Evidence and Published Studies

According to the CDC, cats and dogs have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Earlier in the pandemic, lions at Barcelona Zoo tested positive in addition to snow leopards. A variety of feline species can and has tested positive for COVID-19.

Another study showed that fruit bats, ferrets, and golden Syrian hamsters can be infected with the virus and spread it to each other in a laboratory setting. However, in the same study, mice, pigs, and poultry did not become infected or spread the infection.

Recently, we have learned that animals around the world have been infected with COVID-19. Other companion animals such as ferrets and hamsters have been infected. A more extensive list of infected animals from the CDC can be found here.

CDC Recommendations

The CDC recommends those who test positive for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with pets, livestock, and wildlife.

For house pets, the CDC recommends isolating your pets as you would another human living in your household. It is proven that house pets can spread it to other house pets. Moreover, humans can spread it to animals. If one pet is sick, the CDC also recommends isolating it from other pets in your home.

As more information becomes available, we continue to research and learn as much about the virus as possible. As we work closely with animals, we take all proper precautions outlined by the CDC and PA Game Commission to keep you, your family, and our team safe.