Can cats be allergic to bee and wasp stings?

Just like us humans, cats can also suffer from allergies, and insect stings are one of the common allergens that can cause a reaction in our feline friends. As bees and wasps become more active in the warmer months, we want to help provide you with all you need to know about sting allergies in our cats and what you can do to protect them from a nasty surprise.

What are bee and wasp stings?

A bee or wasp sting is a painful injury caused by the venomous sting of a bee or wasp. These insects use their stingers as a defence mechanism to help protect themselves or their colony when they feel threatened. When they sting, they inject venom into the skin, which can cause pain, swelling, and sometimes an allergic reaction.

Bee and wasp sting allergies in cats

When a cat is stung by a bee or wasp, the most common reaction is pain and swelling around the site of the sting. However, while it's not common for our feline friends to be hypersensitive to bee or wasp venom, for cats that are allergic, the symptoms can be more severe and potentially life-threatening. Look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Weakness or collapsing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Pale gums
  • Diarrhoea

If your cat displays any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your vet immediately.  

Remember: Multiple stings can also lead to toxicity even in a cat who is not allergic and stings around the face, mouth and throat can cause swelling that may interfere with breathing. As such, in these situations, it is always important to have your pet immediately checked by a vet. 

a cat looking at a bee

Preventing bee and wasp sting allergies in cats

While it might be impossible to completely stop a bee or wasp from stinging your cat, there are several things that you can do to help reduce the risk.

Keep your cat indoors

One of the easiest ways to prevent bee and wasp stings is to keep your cat inside, especially during the warmer months as this will greatly reduce their exposure to these insects. Bees and wasps are typically most active during the warmest part of the day, so if your cat does need to go outside, the early morning and later evenings may be best suited.

Keep windows and doors closed

While indoors, make sure to keep your windows and doors closed or install screens to stop bees, wasps and other insects from entering your home.

Avoid using scented products

Bees and wasps are attracted to sweet smells, so avoid using scented products on your cat or in your home.

Keep your cat away from bees and wasps

Try and make sure your cat avoids areas that are high in bee and wasp activity. They like places with lots of flowers and even linger around bins.

Consider using a bee or wasp repellent

There are several natural bee and wasp repellents that are also cat-friendly and don’t damage our critical bee populations, including plants, essential oils, and household items such as vinegar. So, while allergies can be a serious health concern for some cats, by taking steps to prevent bee and wasp stings, you can help keep your feline friend safe and healthy.

Looking for more cat advice?

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