Cats that are allowed to go outside use this to explore their surroundings, but also to stalk prey. Our domestic cats are still natural hunters!
While in nature, cats are also exposed to certain dangers, such as bites from various insects. One of them is a spider.
Most spider bites will cause only minor side effects, and are usually harmless. All larger spiders are poisonous, but, as a general rule, they should not be life-threatening to your cat.
However, it is also possible for your cat to be bitten by a highly venomous spider, whose bite can cause much more severe symptoms.
Let’s learn more about the 5 most common signs of spider bite on cat.
1. Bite Mark
At times, you might notice a visible mark from a spider bite anywhere on your cat’s body. This mark is usually seen as a small, red bump.
Some cats might play with spiders, while some might eat or even kill them. Anyway, these two animals are likely to encounter each other in the outside world, meaning that a frightened spider could bite a cat who’s a hunter after all!
Although spider bites on cats aren’t so common, they are still possible, and some of them can leave a visible bite mark.
2. Redness And Swelling
The next common symptom of a spider bite in a cat is localized redness and swelling.
If you see that your cat suddenly intensively scratches a certain part of the body, you should examine her to find out if there is redness or swelling on the skin.
You need to be very gentle and considerate when doing this, as cats are usually very good at hiding their wounds and pain, so your furry friend may not let you examine her so easily.
3. Behavioral Changes
It’s also possible that a cat manifests some changes in her behavior after she gets bitten by a spider.
This usually refers to a cat becoming lethargic, and not active and energetic like she usually is.
Lethargy most likely indicates that your cat is in discomfort or pain, and isn’t in the mood for her normal activities.
Another symptom that might appear if a spider bites your cat is fever.
According to WebMD, a cat has a fever if her body temperature is above 102.5º Fahrenheit.
A fever higher than 106º F can even damage a cat’s organs, therefore, if your cat has fever, you should contact a veterinarian right away.
5. Skin Changes
In addition to redness and swelling, some cats might also undergo further skin changes following a spider bite.
For instance, you might notice a lump, blistering, or ulceration around the area of the spider bite on your cat’s skin.
If something like a large lump appears all of a sudden on your cat’s skin, the best would be to consult a veterinarian.
How Dangerous Are Spider Bites For Cats?
Some spider bites may go completely unnoticed, while others could result in obvious symptoms.
Moreover, the outcome will hinge on where the spider bites your cat’s body: A bite on the tongue or in the oral cavity will be significantly more dangerous than any other place on the body.
Furthermore, some spiders are extremely dangerous to cats, such as the black widow.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, this spider’s bite might even lead to muscle pain, cramping, vomiting, and tremors in cats.
How To Approach A Spider’s Bite On A Cat?
If you suspect that your cat has been bitten by a spider, you should apply cold compresses to the bite wound yourself at home. However, in any case, I suggest that you still take your cat to the vet for a check-up.
Depending on the severity of the sting, the vet may suggest IV fluids to encourage hydration in your kitty, or pain medications and muscle relaxants to control clinical signs.
The veterinarian will advise you on how to clean the bite wound and how to treat it further at home.
Of course, you should also carefully monitor your cat’s behavior, appetite, and bowel movements during the recovery period. If you notice any changes, you should consult your vet once again.
Beware that outdoor cats aren’t the only ones in danger of spider bites – we all encounter spiders occasionally within our homes.
You should do your best to make sure your home is free of spiders and spiderwebs. If you let your cat go outside, be sure to watch her, and not let her wander around too far without your supervision.
I believe you don’t want to completely forbid your cat from going outside, but you would also like to be sure she isn’t in any kind of danger.
If there are known dangerous spiders in your area, you should consider using an insecticide that’s safe for pets.
Most spider bites won’t have any dangerous consequences on your cat’s health: In fact, sometimes you might not even notice this insect’s bite on your cat’s skin.
However, there might be some signs of it, such as redness and swelling, bite marks, and even fever and behavioral changes.
This can all depend on the spider, as well as on the place of the cat’s skin where this insect has bitten her.
Nevertheless, as soon as you notice any signs of spider bite in your cat, the best would be to consult a veterinarian.
To prevent spider bites in your furry companion, you should keep your house clean of these insects, as well as keep an eye on your cat while outside.