In my home some small jumping spiders as well as those small spiders with long legs hanging from from spider net are there. My cat stalks and eats them. The process goes on for half an hour. She slowly keeps on injuring and eating the spiders.

The spiders are poisonous so is it safe for my cat to be doing this? If it is not then how can I stop her?

Location - India, Kolkata

  • They are venomous (there's a difference) and mostly harmless to larger creatures. There's very few, actually dangerous spider species Feb 25 '18 at 22:42
  • It depends on what type of spiders she's chasing. If there are black widows in your area, for example, and she decides to go after one, she could be in a lot of trouble. Most spiders, however are not poisonous and will cause no harm. Feb 26 '18 at 3:57
  • Location / geography is very important to answer this question. Can you update with country / area? Feb 26 '18 at 8:33
  • if your cat avoids getting bitten but eat the spider the toxins will be broken down by the acid in the stomach in most cases. Feb 26 '18 at 8:57
  • If it is so then why does human die on ingesting poison?
    – Sonevol
    Feb 26 '18 at 11:47

Spiders are typically venomous not poisonous. The good news is for most part, most common spiders probably cannot hurt a cat, and while I can't really find an academically rigorous source, I can't find any stories of this being dangerous.

Its worth looking at a few things - whether there's generally dangerous spiders in your region. The spider bites wikipedia page and this site on cats, would suggest its mostly spiders that would be dangerous to people too. If you have, say wild tarantulas, or tunnel webs... well you'd want to be a little bit more careful.

From your description - we're talking some variety of daddy long legs - which contrary to popular belief are not venomous at all. I cannot find any references to jumping spiders hurting a cat.

Naturally, if you see swelling or your cat seems ill... well, go see a vet.

  • My main worry is not my cat get bitten as such small spiders doesn't have the capability to bit a cat. My main worry is the spider venom going to cat stomach.
    – Sonevol
    Feb 26 '18 at 11:44

There is a difference between poison and venom. Poison is lethal when touched, swallowed or inhaled. But not venom. For venom to be poisonous it needs to be injected into the blood stream.

Most spiders are venomous and not poisonous.

So the only thing you need to make sure is that the cat has no open wound, mouth or ulcer in stomach through which spider venom can reach blood stream. Otherwise the venom will be broken down by enzymes in the cat's stomach and it will be rendered harmless.

Best thing is not to take any chance. Try to monitor your cat and throw away the kill if it is a spider.


Poison vs. venom: What's the difference? - Rose Eveleth

What would happen if I take snake venom through mouth?

  • For whatever it is worth, I have seen cats catch bees with their mouths with no apparent flinching or reaction to a sting. I think as long as they chew them up quickly the insect should not be able to sting them. I suppose a cat could get unlucky and manage to get stung/bitten or prick the inside of its mouth with a stinger or the like via chewing, thereby receiving a full or partial dose of the venom.
    – Beo
    Feb 27 '18 at 22:14

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