March 14, 2021
A buzzing bee whizzing through the air must seem like a fun game to a cat, until they get stung. Head nurse Kate Locke wants cat owners in London to learn some basic first aid so they know what to do if their cat gets stung by a bee.
If you can, try to determine whether your cat was stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet. Quickly search the area where it happened for the insect.
Wasps are long and thin, have little or no hair, and are distinctly bright yellow and black. Bees are typically furry. A hornet is much larger and more aggressive. Our nurses have found some fun facts and advice on how to tell the difference:
Fun facts from the BBC: www.bbc.co.uk
Advice from the British Pest Control Association: bpca.org,uk
If your cat is unfortunate enough to get stung by a bee or another buzzing insect, Kate has these first aid tips:
- If the insect is still attached to your cat, use something flat like a credit card to scrape it and its stinger away. Be careful not to get bitten or scratched by your cat, you may need a friend to help hold them.
- If you didn’t see the incident occur, look out for excessive licking of an area, which could also be red and swollen.
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the area to reduce the swelling, and prevent your cat from scratching it – a cat head cone would be ideal.
- You can apply a home remedy to reduce pain and neutralise the sting;
- Bee/hornet sting: a thick paste of water & bicarbonate of soda/salt.
- Wasp stings are alkaline: lemon juice or vinegar.
- Contact your vet quickly if your cat experiences severe swelling or agitation, hives, excessive drooling, collapse, or seizure.
- Monitor their health and behaviour for 24 hours and keep up with hydration and food intake.
- You may also want to contact your vet for advice if the sting is near your cat’s eyes (can affect vision), and mouth or throat (can affect breathing).
- Some antihistamines for humans can be used, however, never give your cat human medication without instructions and the correct dosage from your vet.
In case your cat ever gets stung by a bee and requires urgent treatment by a vet, pop our emergency number in your phone. Our emergency info