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Home > Rabbits > Can a Rabbit Get COVID? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Can a Rabbit Get COVID? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When you’re not feeling well, all you want to do is cuddle up with something for the day. And since your pet rabbit still needs you to care for them, this might seem like a win-win. But while it’s highly unlikely for your pet rabbit to get COVID, it is possible for a rabbit to get COVID, and that doesn’t mean you should hang out with them.

In fact, even though it’s unlikely for your pet rabbit to get COVID or to give you COVID, the CDC still recommends not interacting with any type of animal if you have a COVID infection. But why is this the case, and what else do you need to know? We’ll break it all down for you here.


How Can Rabbits Get COVID?

While there haven’t been any documented cases of a human spreading a case of COVID to a rabbit or a rabbit naturally catching COVID from another cause, there have been cases of rabbits being experimentally infected with COVID in the lab.

This highlights that while it’s highly unlikely for your rabbit to catch COVID, it is at least theoretically possible. And because it’s possible, you’ll want to take all the necessary precautions to ensure you don’t want to accidentally give your rabbit COVID.

testing a white rabbit on a laboratory
Image By: Mongkolchon Akesin, Shutterstock

Can Rabbits Give You COVID?

Not only is it unlikely for you to spread COVID to your rabbit, but it’s also unlikely for them to spread COVID to you. That’s because a COVID that they catch would have to mutate again back into a form that humans could catch. It’s theoretically possible, though. But because any transmission of COVID from a rabbit to a person could create a whole new variant of the disease, if you were ever near a rabbit with COVID, you should still proceed with extreme caution.

Can Rabbits Give Other Rabbits COVID?

It’s currently unknown how quickly they could spread COVID to other rabbits if they catch it. Once again, it’s theoretically possible they could, but we don’t know how likely or how quickly it would spread.

Broken Castor Mini Rex Doe Rabbits
Image By: Kassia Marie Ott, Shutterstock

What Other Animal Species Can Get COVID?

While there currently haven’t been any confirmed cases of a rabbit with COVID, there have been confirmed cases of other animals infected with COVID around the world. Other pet animals that have been reported to be infected include cats, dogs, hamsters and ferrets.  However, while the animals tested positive for COVID, there’s no evidence that these animals play a significant role in spreading the virus. People are much more likely to get COVID from other infected people than from animals.

It seems the virus spread is rare, and pets usually only suffer from mild signs of illness, if any at all. However, just because it hasn’t happened often, doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future, so you should always proceed with caution and take the necessary steps to help ensure you don’t spread COVID to any of your pets!


Final Thoughts

While there haven’t been any confirmed cases of a pet rabbit catching COVID outside of the lab, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, and that doesn’t mean you should handle your pet rabbit if you have COVID. You should always take the necessary precautions to ensure your pet doesn’t develop COVID, even if it means you can’t cuddle up with them when you’re not feeling the best!

Featured Image Credit: santypan, Shutterstock

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