Seeing cats pursuing mice is a common sight but what if you see one chasing a scorpion? These venomous arachnids are poisonous and some species like the Arizona bark scorpion can easily kill animals like cats.
Do cats kill scorpions?
Yes, cats often do kill scorpions when they encounter one, although this may not apply to all cats. While most felines like to chase, kill and eat these critters, some cats are not interested in them at all. Cats tend to pursue scorpions because they are fascinated with their quick movements and may play with them by batting them as these critters attempt to escape.
Are cats immune to scorpion stings?
No, cats are not immune to scorpion stings. They may feel pain and get very ill depending on the species of the scorpion. Some cats may also have allergic reactions due to scorpion stings although this is uncommon. Cats are unlikely to get stung while chasing and playing with scorpions since felines are quick and able to paw or bat these critters. Also, cats have fur and thick skin that can protect cats from a sting.
How do you know if your cat is stung by a scorpion?
Here are the signs and symptoms that your cat was stung by a scorpion:
- signs of pain like whimpering and yelping
- licking and biting the wounded area
- dilated pupils
- muscle tremors
- difficulty breathing
- loss of bowel and/or bladder control
- the head is shaking excessively
- abnormal eye movements
- abnormal heart rate and blood pressure
What to do if your cat is stung by a scorpion?
If you suspect that your cat has been stung by a scorpion, you should probably take your cat to the vet. Try to stay calm and take care of your cat while waiting for professional help or while on your way to the clinic.
Here are things you can do if your cat is stung by a scorpion:
- Check your cat for signs of scorpion sting and other signs of illness. Observe your cat closely for the next few hours although signs of scorpion sting usually appear within minutes.
- If the scorpion that stung your cat is found, save it as your vet may need to identify its species.
- If you suspect that your cat was stung by the lethal bark scorpion, bring your cat to the nearest vet clinic or animal emergency clinic at once.
- If you plan to give medication to your cat like diphenhydramine to reduce allergic reactions while waiting for your vet to arrive or while on your way to the emergency care clinic, you need to call and consult your vet beforehand.
- Restrict your cat’s movement as it may increase circulation and spread the toxin so try to keep your cat still.
It is worthy to note that in the United States, only the Arizona bark scorpion has a potent venom that may cause severe symptoms and possibly, death. Globally, there are only about 30 among the estimated 1,500 scorpion species that produce venom that is toxic enough to be fatal.
What happens if your cat eats a scorpion?
Since cats may chase and kill scorpions they may also eat them just as they would with other prey. It is not generally harmful to eat them, including the highly venomous ones. Just make sure that your cat was not stung. However, it would be best to consult your vet if this happens.
Will cats keep scorpions away?
No, having cats will not keep scorpions away. If you live in an area where scorpions thrive, they may still get into the yard and inside your house despite having cats around. Having a cat that chases, kills and eats scorpions may reduce the number of scorpions in your home but if you have a persistent scorpion problem, you need to call a professional pest control agency to solve the issue.
Cats do kill scorpions and may also eat them. These critters are potentially harmful and even life-threatening for cats because of their venom. Only a few species like the bark scorpion can fatally harm your cat.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nils Jacobi