What To Do If Your Cat Was Stung By A Wasp Or A Bee

One of the most efficient ways to keep your cat safe is to keep it strictly indoors.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that indoor domestic kitties are 100% safe from the outdoor world. Pests like fleas, ticks and other insects can still come into contact with your beloved furball. Bees and wasps are also among the dangerous outdoor pests that can often find their ways into your home.

If your cat gets stung by a wasp or a bee, you can expect some pretty nasty outcomes – from mild allergic reactions to a deadly threat. Fortunately, there are ways to treat your cat for wasp and bee stings without having a vet degree.

What will happen if your cat was stung by a wasp or a bee?

Each kitty is unique, so no one can predict the outcome for sure. Your pet may experience one or more side effects or none at all. Some cats are more tolerant to bee and wasp venom, whereas others might be allergic to it.

Here are the most common side effects to bee and wasp stings in cats:

  • Swelling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Disorientation
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Suffocation/ death

Bee and wasp stings are a common problem for domestic, as well as for feral kitties. Unless the cat is allergic to the insect’s venom, the side effects will be mild to minor. However, if your cat is stung by a wasp or a bee multiple times, it may be fatal.

The worst possible case is for the insect to sting the kitty inside/ around the mouth/ throat area. In such cases the swelling can cause suffocation, which in return will cause death.

I’m not saying this to scare you. There are ways to ease your pet’s pains and even treat it with homemade remedies if it doesn’t require emergency veterinary care. I’d still advise you to immediately call your vet, though, even if your cat is experiencing only a mild reaction to the sting.

What to do if your cat was stung by a wasp?

The nasty, persistent and often attracted by leftover food wasps are more likely to attack an unsuspecting cat that’s not provoking them. Fortunately, wasps usually don’t leave their stinger in their victim’s skin. Moreover, they inject only a tiny amount of venom. Nevertheless, it’s still possible for the venom to trigger an allergic reaction.

A wasp’s sting has an alkaline base, so you can neutralize it with acid.

Lemon juice or some vinegar will do the trick. Just remember that you mustn’t allow the cat to lick the spot. After you’ve neutralized the sting, carefully apply a cold compress over the area. You can either soak a cloth in icy water or opt for an ice pack. The cold compress will reduce the swelling and will ease the pain from the stinging sensation.

You can use this technique even if the sting is around the mouth/ throat area. Just don’t postpone calling your vet and report the incident as soon as you’re aware of it.

Don’t forget to observe the cat’s behavior for any side effects and its body for additional wounds. Chances are the cat will be irritated, scared and in pain, so try handling it as gently as possible for the purpose of its safety, as well as for your own.

What to do if your cat was stung by a bee?

Bees are less likely to get offensive than wasps, but they are just as dangerous, if not even more.

Unlike wasps, bees tend to leave their stinger inside the victim, which in return results in more venom being injected into the cat’s skin. Their sting is acidic, so you mustn’t try any acids for neutralizing purposes.

If you’re sure a bee has stung your cat, the first thing you need to do is remove the stinger. Don’t use tweezers and don’t squeeze it with your fingers. This way you’ll only keep squeezing the venom from the stinger into your pet’s body. Instead, scrape the stinger with the help of a blunt object like a card or a butter knife. Once the stinger is out, neutralize the spot with baking soda and apply the cold compress.

If you aren’t sure the sting came from a bee or a wasp, don’t neutralize the spot!

Call the vet even if it’s after working hours. Keep monitoring your pet for any delayed symptoms when you return from the vet’s office/ clinic. If the doctor approves, you can use additional medications like Benadryl.

Not all kitties will start showing symptoms of discomfort right away. Nonetheless, I strongly advise you call the doc even if you’re absolutely positive about the origin of the sting and even if the side effects are minor.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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