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Spiders - Is It OK If Cats Eat Them?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Now that spring is here, spiders have decided it's time to come and visit. Thankfully the cats find them. They want to play with them and eat them. The thing is, are they harmful to the cats?


Can they bite the cats? More importantly, can a spider bite kill a cat? (I killed a brown recluse last year, but that was the only one I ever found, have not seen any since)


Can eating them make the cats sick?


If anyone knows please please let me know. I am terrified of the blasted things as it is and when the cats do find one and I take away their toy by killing it, they are *not* happy campers. Samson especially gives me this angry sulking "Why the heck did you do that for?" look. Poor thing. If I knew the spiders weren't a threat to them, I would let them have at it!

Help!

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post #2 of 12
YES eating a venoumous spider can kill a cat ... Normally cats just kill them and due to thicker skin than humans they are not as likely to have an adverse afect from a spider...

I nearly lost a dog ( a 15 lber so cat size) to a spider bite , she was in anaphalatic shock when I got her into the ER vet clinic...
post #3 of 12
My rule of thumb at this point is to kill or take away any insect they go after, because I've tried to research several different kinds of bugs, and the online information is scarce, and often contradictory. With spiders, it's so hard to tell what's poisonous and what's not (we do have Brown Recluse spiders and Black Widows in Western PA, and I wouldn't recognize a Brown Recluse if it sat up and waved at me), so I just kill all of them.

The biggest worries (for me) are stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, etc)...they get into the house occasionally, and if your pet catches them, they can sting the inside of their mouth or even the esophagus, leading to the same reaction that sharky described. I had a friend lose her chocolate Lab to a bee sting inside his mouth.

Also, for you or any others who are curious about other pests...a few I've researched which are more common in our house than spiders: stink bugs and thousand-leggers (linking to this editorial for "local flavor" - funniest portrayal I've seen of one of the most hideous creatures on earth).
- I've seen pretty consistent info that stink bugs are harmless if the cat or dog gets them, but I still take them away from Sophie if she starts playing with one, because, well - she reeks! Also, if the cat keeps toying with them, the longer they're at it, the more odor the bug will release into the room, making it necessary to air out the room for hours to fully get rid of the smell. So, they shouldn't harm the cat, but they will make them pretty smelly.
- Thousand-leggers, I find little consistent information (I've found the writer's info from the article I linked above to be incorrect - the bugs in question are Scutigera Coleoptrata, or house centipedes, and they can bite, although it's very rare). The main problem with these guys is that there are so many different varieties of insect that are regionally referred to as "thousand-leggers," that sometimes it's hard to tell if you're looking at the right insect when researching them. For instance, the southwestern centipedes (with the reddish, chitinous bodies) are far more poisonous and likely to cause harm. I've found no solid discussion on whether the Mid-Atlantic version has a chance to bite/poison a house pet that ingests them, so I'm playing it safe with these guys too (and really, even if they ARE harmless, can you imagine your cat coming over for a nose-bump and leaving little crunchy legs on you?!)
post #4 of 12
A deadly spider (Brown Recluse, Black Widow, White Tail) Depending on your region. They will kill a kitty, however the little 'house spiders or garden spiders' are nothing but a fun game of "kill" Lol. We have spider legs laying around all the time.

If you have venomous spiders in the home or in a building around there, get the bug bomb that kills them! I hate spiders (skin crawls)

best of luck! mwah!
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvmy10 View Post
A deadly spider (Brown Recluse, Black Widow, White Tail) Depending on your region. They will kill a kitty, however the little 'house spiders or garden spiders' are nothing but a fun game of "kill" Lol. We have spider legs laying around all the time.

If you have venomous spiders in the home or in a building around there, get the bug bomb that kills them! I hate spiders (skin crawls)

best of luck! mwah!
Just a FYI all spiders are venomous, mouth size and fang strength play a role ! A house spider in some regions is a HOBO which is like a brown recluse without being easy to identify. Another thought a bite may not be "venomous" but often causes a allergic reaction in the victim
post #6 of 12
I know a brown recluse when I see him and a black widow, and I kill them as soon as I do! LOL.

I dont think we have many other venomous bugsys like that. Mine murder spiders that actually live to get in the door. They don't "eat" them, just kill them. And most play with the dead bodies that are left from when someone steps on them and not knowing it. Lol!
post #7 of 12
Do you live in a house or an apartment? If house you can go get barrier sprays, or have it professionally done, that will keep a lot of insects and arachnids out. (I need to go get more of the ortho barrier spray tomorrow because our ants are out )

Other things you can do: clean up outside. Make sure there's nothing over grown around the house that can serve as refuge to spiders who like having somewhere to hide.
Your other area is inside. Clean and organize. Don't make your home a spider haven. Regularly vacuum corners, move furniture and vacuum under it. If junk is piled up in your garage, chances are you don't need most of the stuff - have a garage sale. You can also do a barrier spray in garages.

And always be very careful going through any old boxes in garages and sheds. If you can wear gloves do so, and don't just reach in before looking.


It's better to prevent problems then it is to worry after someone gets bit.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thank you all for your very very helpful input, I really appreciate it!


I live in an apt. so thankfully we have a bug guy who comes once a month to spray, which is helping a lot. Unfortunately there is shrubbery and flowers growing outside near the windows. I will check to see if the outside is sprayed, if not, I will spray myself with a can of Raid.


Yes we also have those "centipedes" <shudders> can't stand them! They are the soft shelled ones with legs all around. I read that they eat other bugs like spiders and that if you see them in your house, it is a sign that you have a lot of bugs present <shudders>. I've been killing those whenever I see one.


Oh I am so glad I've not been letting the cats play with the spiders! Thank you all once again!

*Hugs*
post #9 of 12
look into diatomecous earth ... the food grade not pool.. it helps alot... Plus Instead of Raid I use cheap dish soap in a sprayer it works
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanynne View Post
I read that they eat other bugs like spiders and that if you see them in your house, it is a sign that you have a lot of bugs present <shudders>. I've been killing those whenever I see one.
Not necessarily. You said there's a lot of stuff planted around the place - that's the likely reason. Really, you should just get a cup and paper or pencil and corral them into the cup and toss them outside away from the building. They may be creepy looking, but they serve their purpose. A lot of the spiders you find wandering about, and not hiding, are types of hunting spiders. They, too, eat a lot of other spiders. Some of your common little jumping spiders are quite specialized in it (and harmless to you and the cats).

As for the Raid, I don't suggest aerosol cans of anything and in that situation you'd risk breathing too much of it in. The stuff we use is supposed to be a plant based spray - it's pump spray and last for several months. The reason we use it is because DE is useless outside (rain and wind here) and cannot be applied around windows. I still recommend if you go this route yourself that you wear a mask, make sure it's not windy at all, and when you come inside shower and change clothes.
post #11 of 12
I don't even think I know what a brown recluse looks like(other than being brown). I just kill 'em all.. My concern are mice and secondary poisoning. I had a cat die in my arms 15 years ago because he ate part of a poisoned mouse. That was traumatic and ugly to see.
post #12 of 12

I have been very concerned about the same thing because my cat Odie got bit by one. His neck and below his ear were all swollen and it looked abcessed but there was no injury. i could faintly see two little dots next to each other. I took him to after hours emergency and he was in surgery for two and a half hours and they lanced drained tissue sampled bloodwork. Hardly any puss came out. The tissue was thick. He has a hideous shunt and stitches in his neck and he looks like frakenstein. He gets his shunt out today, the stitches in two weeks. His ER visit was 990.00. He still has several visits left. He was bitten by a spider weather poisonous or not they can have bacteria on their mandables which creates infection. Had i not taken him in right away he would have died. I have a friend whose dog got bit by a spider and died of analytic shock on the way to the hospital. Dont mess around with strange swelling. I never saw a spider. I dont even have spiders in my house. Very rare. And my cats are hairless and never ever outside. Like my emergency vet said, it only takes one and once. Dont ignore it. And if it can bite them and do this I am sure ingesting them would be far worse!!

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