Being stung by a bee isn’t pleasant for a human or cat. You might think cats are likelier to swipe a bee or wasp away with a paw or tail. But they can still get stung, and they can have reactions similar to humans. Keep reading to learn what to do when this happens and what signs to watch for.
Let’s get into it.
Is a Bee Sting On a Cat Serious?
A bee sting on a cat can be serious for some. It depends on where the cat was stung, how many times, and the cat’s reaction to the bee’s venom. Some felines, like us, are allergic to the poison injected by a bee or wasp. In these cases, you need to treat the cat right away, or the results could be fatal.
For most cats, a bee sting is likely to cause some pain, swelling, and redness at the site. You should monitor the affected area, but it’s nothing to be overly concerned about unless the cat shows additional symptoms.
What Are the Signs a Cat Has Been Stung By a Bee?
In most cases, when a cat is stung by a bee, it’ll have some swelling and irritation. Their symptoms will go away after a few days, similar to when a human is stung. If the sting is on a visible part of the body, it’ll be quite obvious. But if it’s under a heavily furry area, you may notice it because your cat favors the spot by licking or biting it repeatedly. Or it could vocalize the pain by meowing. Pull back the fur to see if there are signs of a bee or wasp sting.
If your cat has an allergic reaction, it can display signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, weakness, pale gums, or may go into anaphylactic shock. Take these symptoms seriously; if your cat is going into anaphylactic shock, get it to an animal hospital immediately.
The veterinarian will recommend a course of treatment for severe incidents. Your cat may need to take antihistamines or pain medication for a short time. And you’ll need to monitor your pet to ensure it tolerates the treatment well.
What Do You Do When Your Cat Is Stung By a Bee or Wasp?
If you can, take action when your cat gets stung by a bee or wasp. Sometimes, you will have no idea why your cat seems agitated. Unless you witness the event, you must use deductive reasoning to determine the issue.
If you do witness the bee sting your cat, start by looking for the stinger. Wasps don’t leave a stinger. As long as the bee’s stinger is in your cat, it’ll continue to secrete venom. So, try to remove it as soon as possible to reduce the amount of poison going into the body.
You can use a credit card to run across the cat’s coat and scrape off the stinger. We don’t recommend using tweezers, as they might push more venom out of the stinger.
Administer First Aid
If your cat doesn’t have an allergic reaction that requires a trip to the animal hospital, administer first aid. You can use baking soda and water to make a paste and apply it to the sting site. This will help reduce pain and inflammation. Make the paste thick and let it sit on the punctured area for five to ten minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
You can also minimize swelling by applying an ice pack to the area for up to 10 minutes. That is, if your cat will tolerate it for that long.
Make sure to monitor your cat after a bee or wasp sting. And keep it eating and drinking like normal. If your cat gets stung in the mouth, moisten its food to help reduce any pain in the area.
Giving your cat diphenhydramine, also known by the brand name Benadryl, after a bee sting will help minimize the reaction and itching. If your cat scratches the sting site too much, it can cause trauma and delay healing. You can also use an Elizabethan collar or cone if your cat won’t stop scratching.
To know exactly how much Benadryl to give a cat, call your veterinarian. The dosage can vary depending on the size and age of your pet. General dosing is about 1 mg diphenhydramine per pound of weight. So if your cat is about 12.5 pounds, it can usually have 12.5mg, which is half of a 25mg tablet.
Should I Take My Cat to the Vet for a Bee Sting?
Making the decision whether or not to take your cat to the vet for a bee sting will depend on if they are having an allergic reaction. Like us, many cats can recover from a bee or wasp sting without much medical help. Monitor it closely, and if there are any signs of an allergic reaction, go contact your vet or go straight to their office or an animal emergency center if it’s after-hours.
If your cat reacts to the sting mildly, you can treat it at home using the first aid methods we mention in this article. But, if you’re unsure what to do, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and get veterinary care.
How Long Does a Wasp or Bee Sting Hurt a Cat?
The length of time a wasp or bee sting hurts a cat will vary depending on the severity. Some cats may have a higher sensitivity to the venom than others. It’ll also depend on how long and deep the sting went.
Generally, pain or discomfort can last for a few hours. In some cases, your cat may show signs of discomfort for a few days. And the redness and swelling may take a couple of days to go away. Monitor the situation to ensure no infection sets in. If it worsens, contact your vet.
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Stay Calm If Your Cat Is Stung By a Bee
If your cat is stung by a bee, remember to stay calm. Keeping from panicking will help you address the issue more efficiently. And your cat will respond to the vibes you’re giving off. So, if you’re calm, your cat will be less scared and more likely to sit still while you assess the situation. Fortunately, our feline friends are usually pretty smart, and will likely leave most stinging insects alone…especially after the first time.
Has your cat been stung by a bee? If so, share your experience in the comments below.
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