Cats have a strong prey drive. They love to chase after anything that runs fast, including a spider! But sometimes, that game of chase may become more serious. A cat may catch the spider and eat it! What happens if a cat eats a spider?
Has your cat eaten a spider? Are you worried the spider will make your cat sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your cat eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about spiders and whether they can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What are Spiders?
Spiders are bugs that belong to a family called arachnids. They have eight legs, with fangs that inject venom into their prey. Spiders also create webs from silk produced by their bodies. You’ll be “happy” to learn there are over 45,000 known species of spiders in the world! Oh great!
Spiders can be helpful around the house and in the garden. They catch and eat harmful insects and other small animals, which keeps populations of these creatures down. So, they’re very beneficial.
However, there are some spiders that are venomous and dangerous for humans and their pets, including bites.
While spiders can be beneficial, what happens if a cat eats a spider?
Spiders & Cats
The good news is that the vast majority of spiders are not dangerous to cats (or humans and their pets). What’s more, many spiders choose to hide rather than hunt cats or us. However, spiders may attack when provoked. This can happen when a cat is chasing a spider! Who wouldn’t feel provoked!
The spiders most dangerous to cats are the Brown Recluse, Hobo Spider, False Widow, and the Black Widow. These spiders carry venom that can make a cat sick or even cause death.
Tarantulas may bite a cat, but their venom is not toxic to cats.
In most cases, eating a spider will not make your cat sick. Your cat’s digestive system will treat the spider as any other kind of protein and digest it.
However, if a cat eats a venomous spider and is bitten, she could become very sick.
Symptoms of Spider Bites in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has been bitten by a spider:
- Muscle pain & cramping
- Abdominal pain
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Spider Bites in Cats
Treatment depends on the type of spider that has bitten your cat. If you know your cat was bitten by a black widow, the vet will administer antivenin to counteract the spider’s venom. Recovery may take up to several weeks.
For other venomous spider bites, there are no antivenins available. In that case, the vet will give your cat supportive care that may include cleaning the wound, cool compression on the site of the bite, antibiotics for infections, and more. The good news is that most cats will make a full recovery, but it can take several weeks in some cases.
In some rare cases, your fur baby may require surgery to remove necrotized flesh (tissues that die from the spider bite). But this is very rare.
The prognosis is best for cats who receive prompt medical treatment after being bitten by a spider.
Chasing and eating spiders is difficult to stop in a cat. If you have a spider infestation, it’s best to call a professional exterminator to come in and get rid of them. They know how to keep your cat and family safe from the pesticides needed to get rid of the spiders.