Some cats do love to investigate anything and everything, which sometimes includes spiders!
Spider bites can be serious, so while there are home remedies that you can use to soothe any symptoms, we recommend taking your cat to the vet for a consultation. Spider bites can be deadly for cats, so it’s better to be over-cautious.
The good news is that most spider species in the U.S.A. can’t harm your cat, as their fangs are too short to do any damage. Your cat may get a bite, but it won’t cause any long-term harm.
However, there are three types of spiders in the U.S.A. that are venomous, and a bite from one of these can cause serious complications for your cat. These species are:
What Should You Do If You Think A Spider Has Bitten Your Cat?
- Intense scratching at the site of a bite
- Muscle weakness
- Joint pain
- Labored breathing
- Skin swelling
Bear in mind that the symptoms of a spider bite often present a few hours after the bite itself.
Call your veterinarian right away, and tell them that you think your cat has been bitten by a spider. If you saw the bite happen and the spider is still visible, collect the spider in a jar or take a photo. If the spider can be positively identified, it will be quicker and easier for your vet to decide what course of action to take.
While waiting to take your cat to the vet, you can use the following home remedies.
4 Remedies for Spider Bites
1. Restrict Your Cat’s Movement
Allowing your cat to walk or run will increase their blood circulation, making the venom travel faster around their body. Place your cat in their carrier, or keep them in a small space where it’s harder for them to move around.
2. Keep The Bite Below Your Cat’s Heart Level
This can also help slow the spread of the venom.
3. Wash The Site Of The Spider Bite
Use cold water and soap or an antimicrobial spray if you have it. This can help reduce the risk of a secondary infection developing.
4. Apply A Cold Pack
Placing a cold pack on the bite, if your cat will allow it, can numb the pain and help reduce any swelling. The temperature reduction will also slow the circulation in that area, reducing the spread of the venom.
Treatment For Spider Bites
The type of treatment that your vet will decide on will depend on the species of spider that has bitten your cat.
For any venomous spider, immediate veterinary care is critically important.
Bites from a black widow spider can cause your cat’s diaphragm to become paralyzed. This means your cat will no longer be able to breathe. Your vet may give an antivenin, intravenous fluids, or muscle relaxants.
Brown recluse and Hobo spider bites can cause the tissue surrounding the bite to die off. This can leave a red wound with a pale ring surrounding it, as well as itchiness and bruising. It can also cause nausea and a fever. Left without treatment, deep tissue injury is likely. Your vet may use an antivenin and prescribe steroids to reduce any damage to tissues or remove dead tissue. Antibiotics may be used to prevent additional infections. It can take up to a month for your cat to recover.
How to Reduce the Chance of Spider Bites
If you’re concerned about your cat getting bitten by a spider, then remember that most spiders can’t actually harm your cat. Make sure to vacuum corners of each room, both up high and down low, where spiders like to hang out. If you see cobwebs, try to remove them.
Make sure to keep your cat away from areas of the house where spiders may be more likely, such as the basement or attic. If you have a woodpile, keep this away from the house and don’t allow your cat to help when you collect wood, as spiders love woodpiles!
Some spiders like to hide in long grasses, so keep the lawn around your house as short as possible too.
If you spot multiple venomous spiders, there may be a nest nearby. We recommend calling in a pest control company that can remove the infestation for you.
Featured Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay