Poisonous Spiders and Your Cat

Cats and bugs go together like peanut butter and jelly, but when it comes to spiders, things can get dangerous. Arizona is home to some highly toxic spiders, and if one of these eight-legged critters bites your cat, it could be a matter of life or death. Even indoor cats are at risk if venomous spiders find their way into your home. Don’t worry, though! With a little know-how and quick action, you can protect your feline friend from spider bites. The experts at Katten TrimSalon have put together this guide to help you identify poisonous spiders and recognize the symptoms of a spider bite. Stay informed and keep your cat safe!

Poisonous Spiders in Arizona

When it comes to spider bites, cats are especially vulnerable. They are more likely to provoke a spider and less equipped to handle the venom compared to dogs and humans. In Arizona, there are two types of spiders whose venom is particularly toxic to cats:

Black Widow Spiders

Black widows are a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to cats. Their bites can cause respiratory paralysis, which can be fatal. If your cat gets bitten by a black widow, immediate action is crucial. Anti-venom treatment, along with anti-seizure medications, muscle relaxants, IV fluids, and pain relievers, may be necessary.

Brown Recluse Spiders

A bite from a brown recluse can spell trouble for your cat. Without prompt veterinary treatment, it can cause severe damage to the liver, kidneys, and even be fatal.

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How to Identify Spiders That Are Poisonous to Cats

Identifying poisonous spiders can be a challenge due to their small size and inclination to hide. However, there are some telltale signs to look out for:

  • Black widows are shiny and black, ranging in size from 1.5cm to 2.5cm. They have a distinct red or orange hourglass-shaped mark on the underside of their abdomens. They prefer warm places and often hide in dark, secluded areas like woodpiles, garages, and basements. Although they are nocturnal, black widows spin their webs during the day and may play dead when disturbed.

  • Brown recluse spiders measure between 8mm and 13mm and have long legs. They are characterized by a violin-shaped mark on their upper bodies, just behind their eyes. Unlike other small, brown spiders, brown recluses have three pairs of eyes. These spiders are also nocturnal and tend to seek shelter in dark places like attics, basements, and even underneath rocks or inside dead cactuses.

Spider Bite Symptoms in Cats

If your cat falls victim to a black widow’s bite, watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Severe muscle pain, cramping, and rigidity
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Paralysis
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A bite from a brown recluse can lead to these symptoms in your cat:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Bleeding or bruising at the site of the injury

Emergency Vet in Gilbert, Arizona

If you suspect your cat has been bitten by a poisonous spider, time is of the essence. Don’t wait! Contact Katten TrimSalon immediately or bring your cat directly to our clinic at 480-568-2462. Our experienced veterinarians will administer the necessary antidotes and treatments to ensure a full recovery for your beloved feline companion. We are here to assist you from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Friday and from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

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Photo by Timothy Dykes