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What to Do If Your Cat Is Stung by a Bee

Petmate Academy

May 18, 2023

If your kitty gets stung by a bee it’s important to take appropriate steps to minimize their discomfort and potential allergic reactions. Here’s how to handle a situation like this:

Access the situation
If you witness your cat being stung, take note of the insect responsible for the sting, this information can be helpful if your cat shows any signs of an allergic reaction later. Remove the stinger and try to locate and remove the stinger as soon as possible. The stinger is barbed and can continue to release venom even after detaching from the bee. Use a pair of tweezers or scrape a credit card along the skin to gently lift and remove the stinger. Avoid squeezing the area, as it can release more venom.

Observe your cat
Keep a close eye on your feline for the next few hours. Monitor them for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as excessive swelling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, or collapse. If you notice any severe symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care. Provide first aid to alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling, you can apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to the affected area for a few minutes. This can help numb the area and reduce inflammation.

Check for any secondary complications
Occasionally, a cat may develop an infection or other complications at the site of the sting. Watch for signs of infection, such as increased redness, discharge, or a foul odor. If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet for appropriate treatment.

Minimize scratching
The sting can be itchy, causing your cat to scratch the affected area. Try to prevent excessive scratching, as it can worsen the irritation or break the skin, increasing the risk of infection. You can distract your cat with toys or provide a scratching post as an alternative. Consult your veterinarian: If your cat shows signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing or severe swelling, or if the sting site becomes significantly worse or infected, it’s important to contact your veterinarian for further guidance. They can assess your cat’s condition and provide appropriate treatment or medication if necessary.

Common signs of bee stings in cats
Swelling: Look for a small, swollen bump at the site where the bee sting occurred. It may appear red or irritated. Cats may limp or show discomfort by repeatedly pawing or scratching at the affected area. They may also try to lick or groom the area excessively. If your cat is stung on or around the face, you may notice swelling around the eyes, muzzle, or mouth area. If a bee sting occurs on one of the cat’s paws, it may exhibit lameness or limp. Cats may display changes in behavior, such as decreased appetite, hiding, or being more lethargic than usual.

It’s important to remember that cats may attempt to hide their pain, so you may need to observe them closely for any unusual behavior or signs of distress. Carefully examine the stung area for signs of a sting and monitor their behavior and overall well-being.

Bee sting prevention
Bee stings are unlikely to be serious for cats, but there are also measures you can take to make them less likely in the future. Identify and remove hives. If you allow your cat outside, inspect your surroundings for hives or nests of bees. Be vigilant when observing your cat’s behavior outdoors and ensure they are not playing with harmful insects. If you see your cat attempting to interact with a bee or other stinging insect, immediately intervene and remove your cat from the situation to prevent stings.

Use caution with chemical insect killers
Avoid chemicals insect killers and repellents.  Use with caution or avoid it altogether. Because these products can be toxic to cats and may cause severe symptoms if ingested or exposed to the skin. Consider using alternative methods of insect control in areas accessible to your cat.

Prioritize your cat’s safety
So it’s important to prioritize your cat’s safety and take steps to minimize their exposure to potentially harmful insects. If you have any concerns or specific questions about insect control or preventing bee stings, consulting with a veterinarian can provide you with tailored advice based on your cat’s needs and your specific environment.


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