It is often that you can see or meet by chance a scene of your cat catching a bug like a spider which always wanders in your house. It’s obviously cat’s normal instinct - hunting. Some cats will only hunt it, kill it and leave it on your window sill. But sometimes your cat will eat the insect whole. Even though cat doesn’t have any reaction to the bug, have you ever thought whether eating spiders might be harmful to your cat or not?
The answer is: spiders is safe for cats.
Luckily, most of the time, it can do no harm. Spiders are a lot like cats. They are little furry predators that live in our houses and are mostly harmless. Cats often eat spiders, and for the most part, spiders don’t hurt cats. There are a lot of rumors that letting a cat eat a venomous spider (which is, frankly, nearly any spider) will kill a cat. The process of consuming and eating a spider digests the proteins in the venom and renders them neutral. Which is why people that eat spiders are fine as well. Also, a regular fly, worm, moth, butterfly, or ladybug, is no problem for cats. These insects are not poisonous and the cat will have no problem digesting it.
But It’s Not Likely All Kinds Of Spiders Are The Same Food To Your Cat
It is possible for a spider to bite a cat, although that is quite rare. Cats bat spiders around in the process of capture. Spiders occasionally object to being a toy and try to bite. The skin of a cat is thicker than human skin, so it’s a rare spider that can get past the barrier of hair and skin to inject any toxin. However, there are still some types of spider you should take a caution if you think your house has them or cat ate that type of bug.
- Black Widow: The black widow spider is highly toxic to cats, dogs, and people. Different varieties of black widow exist all over the United States. The female in particular is recognizable by her shiny black body and the red hourglass-shaped marking on her abdomen. Symptoms of a widow bite include paralysis or rigidity, severe upper body pain that causes yowling, tremors, difficulty breathing, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea and heavy salivation. Antivenin treatment is needed quickly to stave off death.
- Brown Recluse: The brown recluse, aka the fiddle-back, is especially common in the Midwest. The recluse prefers to hide in woody areas where damp logs abound, making run-ins with cats relatively rare. But a confrontation can be painful for a cat. A bite site may sting for up to eight hours. White lesions with dark scabs may develop over several weeks. Less commonly, cats may develop fever, rash or nausea. If left untreated, a brown recluse bite can cause severe tissue damage in a cat.
- Hobo Spider: Bites from the brown and shaggy hobo spider typically mimic those of the brown recluse but can have more severe results. Tissue damage begins at the bite site as an itchy red-and-white lesion. If left untreated, skin and tissue likely will die as the deterioration spreads. Though more common in Europe, American hobo spiders mostly live in the Pacific Northwest. They are most recognizable by the funnel-shaped webs they spin to catch their prey.
How To Recognize When Your Cats Are Poisoned By Spiders Or Bugs
If your cat has eaten a spider or any kind of bugs and you want to know if it is poisonous, try to identify what you cat ate. If you know what bug or spider it is, you can easily research if it is poisonous or has venom. It is important to watch how your cat reacts. If your cat has trouble with breathing, has a lot of saliva near its mouth or nose, or acts strange or unhealthy in any way, it is important that you contact a vet right away.
Anytime your cat has trouble with breathing, it needs to get to a Veterinarian as soon as possible. Cats don’t pant like dogs, so breathing issues are a sign of serious trouble (and usually aren’t spider related). Try to give any information about what kind of bug it is and at what time the cat ate the bug to your vet.
How to stop a cat from chasing and eating spiders/bugs
Maybe you do not like that your cat is trying to snack on a tasty bug. There is not much you can do about it. Cats love to chase smaller animals and bug, so you not liking it, is not going to change that.
The best way to prevent your cat from chasing spiders/bugs is to place screens in your windows and regularly clear to prevent spiders/bugs from entering your house. For a cat, it is good fun and some healthy exercise, so try not to worry about it too much and let your little living room do some bug hunting!
Keep a Friendly Distance
Spiders of all kinds are ubiquitous in the environment, and it can be hard to totally prevent your feline friend from coming in contact with them. They are also beneficial in helping to keep populations of other buggy pests at bay, so you don’t want to harm spiders that are simply minding their own business out-of-doors.
However, you can do your best to minimize any risks to your pets by keeping them out of areas where spiders are noticeably present, such as basements, crawl spaces or outbuildings. Shake out any pet towels or blankets before using. Regularly dust and/or vacuum any webs away from living areas where your pet likes to play or rest. Finally, keep clutter to a minimum to cut down on any likely spider habitat in your home.
Let’s have a happy pet life!