Do Cats Eat Spiders? (Risks & Benefits)

In reality, cats and spiders have a lot in common. These hairy creatures are both regarded as predators in their levels of the food chain. They both might even reside in your home. Cats may even feed on spiders.

Cats kill and eat spiders. At first, they may play with the spider before killing it off and eating it. Cats can also eat poisonous spiders without any issues. In fact, most spider bites don’t have effects on cats. If your cat shows signs of sickness after a spider bite, seek the advice of a vet.

It becomes immediately apparent that something that darts around like an insect or a spider might be appealing to your cat, especially if you’ve ever watched your cat play with a laser pointer. Spiders are a popular toy for cats since they enjoy chasing them around.

However, do cats become sick from eating a poisonous spider?

Can cats eat spiders?

Cats do indeed kill and occasionally eat spiders. They frequently use them as toys, although they sometimes kill them while playing or devour them as a nice snack. Fortunately, the majority of spiders don’t harm your cat. 

Although uncommon, spider bites are possible. Luckily, most cats consume toxic spiders without suffering any adverse effects. Cats may also consume spiders as a rich source of taurine, an essential amino acid that cats usually obtain from live food sources in the wild. 

Taurine is water-soluble. Hence, depending on how the meats were prepared, meat-based cat meals may not contain adequate taurine. Therefore, taurine is added to every high-quality adult cat food to ensure that cats get what they need. 

It’s unlikely that cats believe they require a taurine boost in the same way that we would add protein powder, but it does imply that spiders are an entirely typical component of a cat’s diet.

Which spiders are dangerous to cats?

The average house spider is not particularly harmful to your cat. Cats are covered in hair and have robust skin. A spider would have to sneak up on your cat, get past all of its furs, and then bite them to reach its skin. 

Even while most spider bites result in a small, itchy red spot, it’s still helpful to be aware of the signs of a toxic spider bite in case your cat does get bitten. The effects of various forms of spider venom vary.

1. Brown Recluse

For instance, a lesion that keeps expanding is a telltale indicator of brown recluse bites. Recluse bites are initially tiny, but as they progress, the tissue around them begins to deteriorate, turning white, then blue or gray. 

Finally, the skin around the bite starts to deteriorate as a result. The bite of a brown recluse can be fatal if left untreated.

2. Hobo spider

The hobo spider has effects similar to the brown recluse, although routine wound care is enough to treat a hobo spider bite. However, if left untreated, the necrosis in its venom can lead to an infection and even make it fatal. 

3. The widow spider

Cats are poisoned by black widow bites as well. They are characterized by muscle cramps and spasms as well as limb paralysis. 

If this kind of spider has bitten your cat, you might observe that they are lying firmly. Additionally, respiratory discomfort from black widow bites can be lethal. 

A funnel-web spider or an armed spider bite can also cause respiratory difficulty. Take your cat to the vet immediately if you see any of those symptoms. 

4. Tarantulas

Be cautious of tarantula bites. Tarantula venom can be poisonous to your cat even if there is a low chance that it will kill you. In addition, tarantula spiders have long, toxic hairs covering them. If any of these get into your cat’s eye, it could impair their vision.

What do I do after my cat eats a spider?

It’s improbable that eating a spider can make your cat unwell or sick. This is because digestive enzymes start immediately in the stomach when a cat consumes a spider. 

In addition to neutralizing poisons, these digestive enzymes help digestion, so even venomous spiders are not a severe hazard unless they bite your cat.

Poisonous spider bites must be treated right away by a doctor. Your cat is also highly toxic to spiders like the Brown Recluse and Black Widow, which are incredibly toxic to humans. 

Additionally, due to a cat’s small size, the venom will circulate through the body and produce adverse effects much quicker than it would in a human.

Many signs of a toxic spider bite necessitate prompt medical attention, even if you are hesitant. For instance, cats do not pant like dogs. Therefore, panting or irregular breathing should be treated. This should not be confused with typical cat sounds like purring.

Fortunately, your cat will recover from a spider bite with medical assistance. There are numerous instances of cats recovering from spider bites, including one from a black widow.

Because spider toxins act swiftly, it’s crucial to get medical attention immediately. This is particularly true because a cat weighs significantly less than a human, which causes the venom to spread more quickly.

If veterinarians can determine that the bite is what is causing the symptoms, antivenin can also be utilized. Supportive treatments, including local wound therapy and IV fluids, can also be beneficial.

How to prevent cats from eating spiders

In all honesty, there probably isn’t much you can do if your cat decides to eat a spider it finds inside or outside the house. Whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, spiders and cats are destined to cross paths because they inhabit many of the same areas.

There is an excellent probability that your cat will become aware of the presence of a spider in the house before you do, even if you try to prevent them from eating them. 

Due to their keen hearing and ability to detect high taurine levels in spiders, cats can easily locate them. Socio-spatial cognition describes cats’ extraordinary capacity to hear and find prey, even smaller creatures, from a great distance.

For various reasons, cats may unintentionally eat spiders while playing or hunting other prey. Although your cat won’t likely feel satisfied after eating a spider, they are an excellent source of protein and taurine.

There’s no practical reason not to let your cat eat spiders, even if you think it’s a little bit icky. In general, your cat won’t be in danger from spiders. Even in the few instances where dangerous spiders bite cats, your cat should recover with medical help.

On the plus side, letting your cat eat spiders prevents spiders from entering your home.

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