My Cat Ate Black Widow What Should I Do?
Does your cat love to play with spiders? Many cats love to play with spiders and things that move in interesting ways! Arachnids are intriguing to cats because they move around fast, then slow down, climb on different surfaces, and more. Cats have a strong instinct to hunt, and spiders are the perfect challenge for indoor cats. But what if you live in a place where black widow spiders are common? What happens if a cat eats a black widow?
Has your cat eaten a black widow spider? Are you worried the black widow 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 put together information about black widow spiders and whether they can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is a Black Widow Spider?
Black widow spiders are arachnids in the Latrodectus family. This is a genus of spiders called “true widows,” which includes black widow spiders and brown widow spiders. In this article, we’re taking a look at black widow spiders.
Black widow spiders are a shiny black, with a red or orange hourglass shape on their abdomen. The spiders are called “black widows” because they predate on the male spider after mating. Yuck! So, it’s no wonder that males tend to look for females that have already eaten. They try to mate with these lady spiders to avoid being eaten!
The black widow spider is venomous. That means if she bites someone or a pet, the person/pet is affected by the venom. In most cases, the bite will heal on its own; however, there are instances where the bite becomes infected or can lead to other conditions.
But what happens if a cat eats a black widow spider? Can a black widow spider make a cat sick?
Black Widow Spiders & Cats
It is possible for a black widow spider to make a cat sick. However, it depends on whether or not your cat is bitten by the spider.
If your cat is playing with the black widow, kills and eats it, then chances are small the spider will make your fur baby sick. That’s because the spider may not have had time to bite and release its venom into your cat.
However, if your feline companion is playing with the spider and tries to eat it without killing the arachnid, she could be bitten. When the spider bites, it releases the venom immediately into its victim. The venom can cause paralysis and even death in cats.
Symptoms of a Black Widow Spider Bite in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has been bitten by a black widow spider:
- Severe pain
- Howling, or loud vocalizations
- Muscle rigidity
- Tremors & cramping
- Uncoordinated movements
- inability to stand
- Weakness in the limbs
- Trouble breathing
- Respiratory difficulties and/or respiratory collapse
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Drooling or excessive salivation
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, or suspect she’s been bitten by a black widow, then call the vet immediately. This is a life-threatening emergency. Black widow venom can kill cats.
Treatment may include antivenin to fight the spider’s venom. The vet may also use analgesics for pain and muscle relaxers and provide your cat with supplemental oxygen. It’s probable your feline companion will need to spend some time in the hospital until she’s stabilized and stronger.
The prognosis is best for cats who receive prompt medical treatment after being bitten by a black widow. So, do get your cat to the vet ASAP if she’s been bitten by a black widow spider.