My Cat Was Stung by a Scorpion
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Cats are certainly curious, but when they see potential prey, they are not as scared as they sometimes should be. A small arachnid like a scorpion might seem no match for a looming feline, but the sting in their tail is a significant danger. Not only might a cat stalk and try to kill a scorpion, they will often play with their prey for an extended period before going in for the kill. This gives the scorpion plenty of opportunity to sting. Since the cat needs to get up close to bite, the sting can hit them in the face. Since some scorpion venom is fatal, especially to small animals like cats, we need to be very careful.
At AnimalWised, we look at what happens when my cat was stung by a scorpion. We look at the symptoms of scorpion stings in cats and see what possible treatment options might be available.
Are scorpion stings lethal to cats?
Although cats have relatively thick skin, it is not thick enough to withstand the piercing action of a scorpion's stinger. Scorpion stings can be very painful, especially if the sting is deep and a lot of venom has been injected. Not all scorpions are dangerous. The reason for this is due to the toxicity of their venom, only a minority of which are deadly.
To know the possible danger, we need to know whether the scorpion is venomous. We can tell this by using the following criteria:
- Non-dangerous scorpions: have rounded claws, are black or dark brown, have a uniform back and a tail with a stinger.
- Dangerous scorpions: they are light brown or yellow in color, have an elongated body, a back with well-defined stripes, long, fine claws, and a tail with a stinger and a barb, giving the appearance of a double stinger.
Before we explain more about the dangers of scorpion stings in cats, we share a related article in which we find out what happens when a cat is stung by a bee.
Symptoms of a scorpion sting in cats
One of the difficulties in determining the danger of a scorpion sting is knowing whether they have been stung at all. Since the scorpion will likely have attacked the cat outside, we may only see the cat some time after they have been stung. For this reason, we need to know the symptoms of a scorpion sting if we are to know what to relay to the veterinarian.
Although cats are usually very good and hiding their pain, a scorpion's sting is very painful. We can see the intoxication manifest in other ways such as restlessness, agitation, unusual vocalizations and a constant linking of the bite sting. Other clinical signs of a scorpion sting in cats include:
- Tearing eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Paralysis of the diaphragm
- Difficulty swallowing
- Cardiovascular, neurological and pulmonary collapse
- Shortness of breath
- Redness around sting area
- Abnormal behavior
Considering the potential risk, if you observe a scorpion near your house and in your cat has any of the signs mentioned above, take them to a veterinarian immediately. There are 24-hour service veterinarians in many areas, but it is important you find out emergency veterinary information about your area before something like this happens. The scorpion sting can cause the cat to go into anaphylactic shock and may require urgent healthcare.
What to do if my cat is bitten by a scorpion
The first thing we need to do when a cat is stung by a scorpion is take them to a veterinarian. Ideally, we need to take them within 40 minutes of being stung. The reason is because immediate treatment can be vital in preventing death, especially if the sting is near vital organs.
We should also try to capture the scorpion dead or alive, or at least try to take a photo of them. This way, the veterinarian can be better positioned to know whether they are s lethal species. During the journey to the veterinary clinic, we need to best ensure the cat is calm and does not become too agitated or stressed. This can only exacerbate the shock as increased heart rate can cause the venom to spready more quickly.
The veterinarian should proceed as follows:
- Generally, the aim is to remove the stinger.
- Clean the area around the bite.
- Apply cold presses.
- Provide an antidote where applicable.
- Fluid therapy, antihistamines or drugs to relieve pain may also be prescribed.
It is important not to medicate the cat on our own. Due to the metabolic peculiarities of this species, it is a danger to give unsupervised or commercialized drugs for them. Remember that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for human use, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin, can seriously harm your cat and put their life in even more danger.
Are there home remedies for scorpion stings in cats?
The thing to do whenever you know or suspect that a cat has been bitten by a scorpion is to take them to the vet. Not only will they have the expertise to treat the problem correctly, they are the ones most likely to have relevant antidotes to scorpions in your area. This is the only way to reverse the venom and avoid a lethal progression in the case of venomous scorpions. They will also be able to treat anaphylactic shock in cats that are allergic.
However, if you know for sure if the scorpion is not lethal and they are not showing signs they are in immediate medical danger, there are some things you can do. If the cat is calm enough, you can remove the stinger, clean the area with soapy water and place a cold compress to both reduce inflammation can cause vasoconstriction. By constricting the blood vessels, it can slow the progress of any toxins.
However, even after you have provided this first aid, it is best to take them to a veterinarian. They can provide any additional care and may provide treatment such as fluid therapy if the cat requires it.
For related information, take a look at our article on what to do when your cat is bitten by a spider.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to My Cat Was Stung by a Scorpion, we recommend you visit our First aid category.
- Torrente, C. (2017). Quick guide to emergencies in small animals. Grupo Asís Biomedia SL