Clinical and epidemiologic features of SARS-CoV-2 in dogs and cats compiled through national surveillance in the United States Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Abstract Objective To characterize clinical and epidemiologic features of SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals detected through both passive and active surveillance in the U.S. Animals 204 companion animals (109 cats, 95 dogs) across 33 states with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections between March 2020 and December 2021. Procedures Public health officials, animal health officials, and academic researchers investigating zoonotic SARS-CoV-2 transmission events reported clinical, laboratory and epidemiological information through a standardized One Health surveillance process developed by CDC and partners. Results Among dogs and cats identified through passive surveillance, 94% (n=87) had reported exposure to a person with COVID-19 before infection. Clinical signs of illness were present in 74% of pets identified through passive surveillance and 27% of pets identified through active surveillance. Duration of illness in pets averaged 15 days in cats and 12 days in dogs. The average time between human and pet onset of illness was 10 days. Viral nucleic acid was first detected at 3 days post exposure in both cats and dogs. Antibodies were detected starting 5 days post exposure and titers were highest at 9 days in cats and 14 days in dogs. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance Our data support that cats and dogs primarily become infected with SARS-CoV-2 following exposure to a person with COVID-19, most often their owners. Case investigation and surveillance that includes both people and animals is necessary to understand transmission dynamics and viral evolution of zoonotic diseases like SARS-CoV-2.

altmetric score

  • 23.23

author list (cited authors)

  • Liew, A. Y., Carpenter, A., Moore, T. A., Wallace, R. M., Hamer, S. A., Hamer, G. L., ... Group*, C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Liew, Amanda Y||Carpenter, Ann||Moore, Taylor A||Wallace, Ryan M||Hamer, Sarah A||Hamer, Gabriel L||Fischer, Rebecca SB||Zecca, Italo B||Davila, Edward||Auckland, Lisa D||Rooney, Jane A||Killian, Mary Lea||Tell, Rachel M||Rekant, Steven I||Burrell, Sierra D||Ghai, Ria R||Behravesh, Casey Barton||Group*, Companion Animals Working

Book Title

  • Research Square

publication date

  • September 2022