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Can Cats get Monkeypox?

Cat lovers search all over the internet for the question “Can cats get monkeypox?”

Monkeypox outbreak is severe and over 20248 confirmed cases have been reported from 29 EU countries as per ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) report. There are no reported cases of cats getting monkeypox but doctors aren’t stating that cats are entirely safe. As there is a suspected case of human-dog transmission, transmission to other pets can’t be ruled out.

can cats get monkeypox

Keep reading to understand more details about monkeypox and what precautions to consider for cats and humans.

What is monkeypox and how does it spread?

Monkeypox is a viral disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus. The virus can get transmitted between humans and animals. Some animals just act as carriers and don’t get sick, while others act as carriers and get sick. There are multiple ways in which the virus affects the infected animal till it gets transmitted.

The virus enters the human or animal body through the eyes, nose, mouth, respiratory tract, or injured skin regions. When an animal bites humans or if humans come in contact with infected bedding or eat infected meat, there are chances for transmission. Also, respiratory droplets, body fluids, and skin lesions are ways in which transmission can occur between humans.

Can cats get monkeypox?

Though there are no reported cases, there are chances for cats to get affected by the virus. There are very few details known about the virus and the types of animals that it would infect. Currently, monkeys, apes, and a few other small rodents such as mice, and squirrels are susceptible to infection. 

Symptoms of monkeypox in cats

It is very rare that your cat gets monkeypox since there is no discussion about it. However, to be on the safe side, there are a few symptoms you should take note of and reach out to a veterinarian immediately. 

A few important symptoms are:

  • Rashes
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cough
  • Lethargy
  • Swelling in the front and hind limbs.

What to do if your cat gets monkeypox?

If you suspect your cat has monkeypox, take the following measures1:

  • Contact your veterinarian immediately and inform them over the phone about possible symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect locations and items that your kitty would have touched or played with. Since the virus is transmitted through touch, it is better to disinfect and prevent transmission.
  • Minimise contact of your cat with other pets and people for at least 21 days or until the pet is fully recovered whichever is later.
  • Take special care of children under 8-10 years, pregnant women, and people in the house who have low immunity. Isolate them and keep them away from your pet.
  • Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, a face shield, and a face mask before you take care of sick pets, and immediately wash or dispose of them after using.
  • Don’t euthanize, take your cat to an animal shelter if you think it has monkeypox. It will only increase the spread of disease.
  • Don’t use disinfectants or chemicals to wipe your infected animal. Always consult with a veterinarian before you take any action.

Symptoms of monkeypox in humans

Since we travel outside, and meet people and sometimes pets from the neighbourhood, there is a high chance that we might get infected with monkeypox. 

What to look for:

  • Headache
  • Backache
  • Swelling in lymph nodes
  • Rash
  • Fever

How to handle if you get monkeypox?

If you get monkeypox, take the following precautions1:

  • Take proper medications. 
  • If you have people who aren’t infected and are willing to take care of your cat, let your cat stay with them till you recover or for at least 21 days.
  • If you have no friends, you must take care of your pet, wash your hands, cover your face with a mask, use gloves, and don’t expose rashes before taking care of your pet. 
  • Try avoiding close contact with your cat such as using the same bedding, kissing, hugging, cuddling, and sharing food.
  • Monitor your cat for any symptoms of monkeypox and inform the vet immediately if you spot any symptoms mentioned above.


Cats and humans don’t always show signs of monkeypox infection as soon as they get infected. Therefore, being cautious of symptoms and taking precautionary measures will go a long way in averting any untoward incidents and will keep your feline friend safe and healthy. 

Dr. Iulia Mihai

Dr. Iulia Mihai

Dr. Iulia Mihai grew up with cats since she was little – basically all her life! Because she love and appreciate animals so much, especially cats, she became a vet!
She graduated the University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in 2012 in Romania and, since college she started to volunteer in various veterinary clinics. She first volunteered at the faculty’s clinic in her 3rd year of study and continued to pursue her career in small animal pathology and laboratory.
She currently has two cats, five rats, and two African clawed frogs!
She says that having pets comes with great responsibilities, but the satisfaction is commensurate!

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