Do Cats Kill Spiders – Are They Harmful? –

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You’re sitting on the couch relaxing after a long, exhausting day at work and you notice your cat acting strangely. They jump up and tap something round on the ground, but you can’t quite place what it is, so you get up to take a closer look and realize it’s a spider! Thoughts start racing through your mind. “What if the spider bites my cat? What if the spider is poisonous and cats kill spiders?

Cats kill spiders due to their natural hunting instinct. Cats also occasionally eat spiders. They are constantly on the lookout for something they can attack and use their instincts.

Now that you know your cat can help rid your home of these creepy, disgusting critters, you probably have more questions about why your cat eats spiders and if that should be cause for concern. Let’s examine this in more depth.

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Do All Cat Breeds Kill Spiders?

Yes! All breeds of cats can and will kill spiders.

Cats are natural hunters. Their instincts are to seek, chase and pounce on anything that can challenge their inner lion. My cat will hunt anything and everything it can get its paws on, from hair ties and socks to bugs and spiders. It’s completely normal for your cat to chase and pet spiders, which often results in death and possible consumption of the little arachnid.

Certain breeds of cats may be less inclined to show their cat instincts. Lazy cats such as Persians or Himalayans may choose to simply ignore the little intruder and sleep away from their feline duties.

Is it healthy for my cat to eat spiders that are not poisonous

If your cat eats a spider, even a poisonous spider, your cat’s digestive system will naturally neutralize any venom the spider may have.

The harmful effects of spider venom are usually activated when they enter the bloodstream. Most spiders are not poisonous to cats. Therefore, when a cat eats a supposedly poisonous spider, it is highly unlikely to show any symptoms or illness.

What happens if my cat is bitten by a spider

Cat skin is thicker than human skin and most spider bites are harmless to our furry friends.

However, there are a few types of spiders that can appear in or around your home that can cause serious problems if your cat is bitten by them:

harmful spiders Recognize these spiders Symptoms resulting from a bite
brown recluse About half an inch in length. Brown with a dark violin shape on the back. Nocturnal creatures that usually hide in dark, hard-to-reach places. Reclusive spider that will not become aggressive until it feels threatened At the bite: Redness of dead tissue swelling blisters Resulting in: loss of appetite lethargy signs that your cat is in pain
Black Widow About an inch and a half in length. Females – larger than males, all black, a red hourglass can be found on their abdomen. Males – brown in color, with pink or red spots or stripes appearing on their abdomen. Found primarily in the United States and Canada Vomiting and lethargy Excessive salivation Loss of appetite Abnormal behavior that may indicate your cat is in pain Loss of coordination Paralysis
Hobo Spider Half inch long brown body with yellow markings on buttocks. They make funnels, silk like a web to hide. Found in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Lethargy Muscle spasms Paralysis Vomiting
false widow It appears to be brownish, red and orange. Cream marks on its abdomen About an inch and a half in length. Found mostly in Europe and parts of North and South America Swelling around the bite area Trembling Paralysis Loss of appetite
A chart showing harmful spiders and the symptoms cats face after being bitten by them

There are other types of spiders that are commonly found around the home, but bites from these other spiders are usually nothing to worry about.

What should I do if my cat is bitten by a toxic spider

If your cat is bitten by what you suspect is a poisonous spider, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Before your appointment with the vet, it is essential that you monitor the bite. If your cat is exhibiting vomiting or diarrhea, you can treat her symptoms before your vet visit to keep her stable. Keeping your cat hydrated should be your first priority until you can get him checked out by a veterinarian. Feeding your cat wet food and adding chicken broth to their water can help keep them temporarily hydrated.

Depending on the severity of the bite, your veterinarian may administer several types of treatments such as pain-relieving intravenous fluids if needed, or they may even have an anti-venom shot that they can give your cat.

Can I train my cat not to eat spiders

It’s almost impossible to teach a cat not to eat spiders or other insects, for that matter.

Cats have a natural instinct to chase their prey. Spiders are fuzzy little creatures that can often be a fun game for cats. If you’d rather your cat not eat spiders, it’s easier to keep them out of your home than to teach your cat not to eat them.

Spraying insects with a pet-safe insect repellent can help keep spiders away. If you notice your cat still finding spiders around your house, it’s best to leave them alone, as it’s a normal pastime for cats to hunt down small invaders. Keeping your yard clean, grass clippings, and old piles of collected or burned wood is a more natural way to keep spiders away from your home.

Final Thoughts

It is in a cat’s nature to hunt and kill small creatures. Teaching your cat not to eat house spiders can be quite impossible. Keeping spiders out of your home is your best bet if you want to keep your cat from chasing them.

Most races of spiders are harmless to cats. However, if your cat is bitten, you should keep an eye on the bite and your cat’s behavior for any abnormalities in the case of a poisonous bite. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any persistent symptoms or serious injuries.

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