What do I do if a bee or wasp stings my cat?

Cats are probably at a greater risk of getting stung than people or dogs just because they tend to aggressively hunt bees and wasps if they have no experience with them. The cat will just see them as a fun toy to play with, until it learns the hard way.


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What are the symptoms of bee stings or wasp stings in cats?

Usually the area around the sting will swell up. The cat may be in pain, and it will lick, bite, or paw at the sting site.

The only complication is that like people, some cats are allergic to bee stings. You need to watch your cat closely for about 24 hours to see if it has extreme swelling, red welts or blotches on its skin, blue discoloration of the tongue, or panting/breathing problems. These can be very serious - if a cat is allergic to the sting, it could be fatal. You need to take the cat to the vet, because there are medications that will reduce the allergic reaction.

What should I do?

If your cat was stung by a bee, look for the stinger, because it usually is stuck in the cat. Pull it out gently with tweezers, and try to get a clean pull (don't move it back and forth while pulling). The stinger may have fallen out or been pulled out by the cat, however. Wasps do not leave stingers.

After that, if your cat is not showing any signs of being allergic to the sting, then apply ice to the area around where the cat was stung. This is to stop swelling and make it less painful. Do it for five to six minutes at a time, then take it off, wait a little while, and repeat.

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