Insect bites and stings can be dangerous to our cats. Cats tend to be intrusive and nosy wherever they go as they are interested in sniffing at everything.
A cat is likely to stick its nose in an area it is not welcomed like an ant hole or a wasp nest/ beehive.
Your feline friends find insects very interesting and tend to disturb and chase them making them react with a sting which can be fatal. In addition, the insects can sting their ears, eyes, nose, feet or any body part that is near them.
Another small insect that can cause damage is a spider, it does not come in a swarm but can sting alone and disappear. Your cat can react when the insect venom gets into the skin by having mild irritation and sometimes shock which can be life-threatening.
As a pet owner, it is good to have a pet first aid kit and know how to administer first aid to your cat/dog when accidents happen at home. The first response and action you can mean life or death for your pet.
Observant pet owners can minimize the reaction by taking prompt action. Use correct treatment for the correct insect. Regardless, of the situation do not treat wasp sting with baking soda as this is only used for a bee sting and for wasp stings, apply apple cider vinegar to the sting instead.
Importantly, keep in mind that although first aid is started at home, severe cases require prompt medical care.
Insects That Can Cause Stings in Cats
Bees and Wasps
Your cat is most likely to suffer from a swollen face or paw when stung by a bee or wasp.
This will lead to irritation on the part where the bee or wasp stung and cause pain. Alongside, this your cat will Nibble at or suddenly give attention to the place they have been stung and can yowl due to pain.
Hornets are often considered pests, as they aggressively guard their nesting sites when threatened and their stings can be more dangerous than those of bees. Individual hornets can sting repeatedly; unlike honey bees.
Their stingers are only visible under high magnification and can easily be withdrawn and so are not pulled out of their bodies when disengaging.
The most threatening kind of ants, both to pets and to humans, are fire ants. Ants have venom which can be fatal to your cat as it creates an allergic reaction. The fire ants do have venom and they can sting keep your cat from their anthills.
It might look like a small accident but any cat attacked by a swarm of bees or wasp can be dangerous and serious.
A spider attacks alone but the venom can be poisonous enough to give your cat shock. Fast identification of the insect that stung your cat can minimize the risk.
Cat Playing with Insect
Cats can react differently to various stings depending on the type of insect and cats’ immune system but most cats are hypersensitive to stings. An allergic reaction to the sting can occur after hours although in other cases it can manifest within 20 minutes.
Most cats are allergic to stings due to the venom (hypersensitive) and could result in a dangerous drop in blood pressure that could be fatal.
If you’re not sure what stung your cat, don’t apply any poultice or liquid to the sting area until you’ve taken your cat to the vet. Using the wrong treatment can cause more irritation.
Symptoms Your Cat will Shows when Stung
Despite, your cat being stung by the bee on the nose, head, throat or neck the swelling can occur elsewhere in her body. The worst area for swelling is usually around the neck and head as it will interfere with her respiration and eating.
A cat may experience excessive drooling as excess saliva remains in the mouth when unable to swallow food due to swelling.
It is good that once you identify the area stung try to remove the sting to prevent further spread of venom into the cats’ body.
Bees are the only insects that leave their stingers in their victims. These abandoned stingers continue to secrete venom so removing them reduces the amount of toxin injected into the cat’s body. If the stinger is still attached to the cat, remove it by scraping a credit card over your cat’s coat and flick it off.
When your cat is stung by a bee and start panting call the vet as cats do not breathe through the mouth. Your cat could be going to shock and fast action is needed.
Subsequently, when the insect venom affects the cat nervous system your cat can becomes agitated, experience breathing difficulties and itchiness.
Bumps on Cats Body
Bees can leave a stinger on your cats’ body causing red bumps. Also, if it is still attached to the cat, try to remove it by scraping a credit card over your cat’s coat and flick it off.
The stingers can cause a lot of itch making the cat uncomfortable. You may find her rolling in the grass or on the floor in an attempt to scratch at hard to reach places.
Try to find the stinger and remove it and give a dose of oral anti-histamine (like diphenhydramine) to minimize the reaction and decrease itching. Unquestionably, do not use tweezers that may squeeze more venom out of the stinger sac.
Dizziness and Shock
This can be the most negative symptom which can lead to fatal or be life-threatening. Immediately this happens call the veterinarian. Some cats can have mild reaction like vomiting when stung by a bee. It is advisable to constantly monitor her to avoid the situation becoming critical.
At this stage medical treatment is necessary to save your feline life. Your vet can give an anti-histamines, or corticosteroids or epinephrine to reduce the negative reaction and prevent shock. Additionally, the vet can administer IV fluids to stabilize the cat and oxygen to help respiration.
Solutions: What to do when your Cat is Stung?
1. Act fast when Cat is Stung.
You can know your cat has been stung if he is biting or nipping on his paws, swells on a body area or is trying to roll on the ground to scratch on unreachable areas.
Depending on the insect that bite him you can look around to see if it was a bee, wasp or spider to know how to handle the case.
2. Identify the Insect.
Search the area quickly to identify any flying insects as well as crawling ones. Bees and wasps can fly while a spider crawls. Although a spider is difficult to identify try to look for it and capture it as it can be very poisonous.
If the bite is from a bee try to look for the stinger and remove it. Removing the stinger using a fingernail, butter knife or credit card not tweezer hence reducing the chances of more venom spreading into the cats’ body.
Flying insects, for instances, wasp and hornets do not leave stinger behind on your cats’ body making it easy to do first aid.
Home remedies of soothing the area includes a thick paste of baking soda and water in the ration of 3:1 which you can apply on affected area once every two hours or opt for a soothing bath.
Frozen ice can help in reducing the swelling before giving an antihistamine recommended by the vet. Just apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes as you remove to reduce swelling if small or a cold towel on a large area. Do not put the cold ice for longtime in the swollen area to avoid making your cat go into shock due to low temperatures.
4. Try to Prevent Allergic Reactions.
Alongside, trying home remedies when your cat is stung by a bee also consult your veterinarian first in case you have to administer oral anti-histamine (like diphenhydramine for correct dosage. Remember severe reactions can be fatal to your cat, hence give the right drug and right quantity for your cat’s size and weight.
5. Take Your Cat to the Vet when Symptoms are Severe
Some symptoms can be severe to a point even first aid at home cannot minimize the risk. Call the vet and take your cat for immediate checkup when he has a rapid or weak heartbeat, collapse or goes into shock, has difficulties in breathing, or has facial swelling.
The vet can recommend an antihistamine, IV fluids or an antibiotic ointment to save your felines life. Be calm and monitor your cats’ progress. Depending on how serious your cat condition is the vet will be in a better position to advise after accessing the symptoms be it difficult breathing, selling, seizures, rapid breathing or collapsing etc.
Cats are adventurous and curious companions. Particularly, they love to hunt and play with insects.
On his/her outdoor roaming the cat may encounter with a bee or wasp, chase an insect or poke his nose in an anthill out of curiosity.
In the event that your cat gets stung, you will need to quickly evaluate your cat’s condition, perform first aid, and perform appropriate aftercare. Clearly, sometimes cats can be allergic to bees and may have dangerous reactions to their stings which can be life threatening.
Immediate medical attention is recommended when your cat reaction is bad, if you know or suspect that your cat has been stung by a bee after quickly assessment.
Finally, this medical treatment may save your cat’s life as it is aimed at reducing the allergic reaction and preventing shock