Do Cats Eat Spiders? Will It Hurt Them If They Do?

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely hate spiders. Yuck! They’re so creepy! But, if your cats are anything like mine, they love tiny things that move fast – and spiders fit the bill perfectly. If you’ve seen your cat chasing a spider around your house, you might be wondering: “Do cats eat spiders? And should I be worried if mine did?”

We used to live in a house that had many spiders no matter what we did to keep them out, and I’m pretty sure one of our cats (at least) probably ate at least one in the time we lived there – despite our best efforts to keep them away from them.

Our cats didn’t seem to have any adverse reactions, but that may not always be the case. Let’s get into it.

Do Cats Eat Spiders?

While most people hate the idea of spiders in their homes, for cats, they are fun toys – and sometimes treats. If your cat happens to catch a spider, there’s a chance that it will eat it. But can this be harmful to your furry friend?

Generally speaking, eating spiders is safe for cats. Even if they eat a venomous spider, their stomach acid will typically neutralize the venom. However, if kitty ends up being bitten by the spider in the process, you may have reason to worry.

Of course, you should always keep an eye on your cat to make sure that it doesn’t start showing signs of illness after eating a spider. If you notice your cat vomiting, having diarrhea, or becoming lethargic, it’s best to take it to the vet just to be on the safe side.

The main danger your ferocious feline faces while playing with spiders is being bitten. A venomous spider bite on their paw or mouth will need immediate vet attention.

Overall, though, there’s no need to worry if your cat catches and eats a spider. It’s part of their natural hunting instincts.

Do Cats Eat Spiders In The Wild?

While we often think of cats as finicky eaters, the truth is that they will eat just about anything they can get their paws on – including spiders.

In the wild, cats are opportunistic predators and will take advantage of whatever food is available. This means that they are just as likely to eat spiders as they are to eat rodents or birds. Whether or not cats see spiders as a meal or just a toy is a bit of a mystery.

What If My Cat Gets Bitten By a Spider?

If your cat gets bitten by a spider, remain calm. More often than not, a spider bite is not serious and will only cause minor swelling or irritation. However, if your cat is showing signs of distress, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

If you know for a fact your cat has been bitten by a spider, watch for signs of illness or allergic reaction. If possible, try to identify the type of spider.

In rare cases, a spider bite can be venomous, and prompt treatment may be necessary to prevent serious health complications. If your cat is bitten by a spider and you’re feeling concerned, it is always best to err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian.

What Spiders Are Dangerous for Cats?

Here in North America where Cat Faqts HQ is located, there a few venomous spiders that can cause serious reactions in both humans and pets.

These spiders are:

  • Brown Recluse
  • Black Widow
  • Hobo spiders

A bite from these spiders can cause severe pain, swelling, neurological issues, tissue death, and much worse.  If you think your cat has been bitten by one of these spiders, seek medical attention immediately.

Should I Prevent My Cat From Eating and Playing With Spiders?

It may be instinctual for your cat to want to eat and play with spiders, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. 

While most spiders are harmless, there are some – like the black widow and brown recluse – that can be dangerous. And even if a spider isn’t poisonous, swallowing one could still cause irritation or nausea. The hairs from a tarantula spider can cause problems in your cats mouth and esophageal tract.

If you know the spider is harmless and you don’t mind your cat playing with it, let them carry on. However, if you want to be extra cautious, you can remove the spider yourself.

Cats Can Be Great In-Home Pest Control

It might not be fun to think about your cute, cuddly cat being a natural born predator, but it’s the truth.

Cats have long been companions to humans for many reasons, including keeping pests like rodents and insects out of the spaces we like to inhabit.

While it’s true that some cats are good “mousers”, some cats are great at hunting spiders and other insects, too. 

Cat-Safe Ways to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home

The best way to keep spiders away from your home (and therefore out of your cat’s reach) is to take some preventive measures. These include:

  • Sealing up cracks and gaps around your home
  • Keeping your windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • Eliminating potential hiding places for spiders, such as piles of clothes or paper
  • Regularly vacuuming and dusting your home

By following these simple tips, you can help keep both spiders and other pests out of your home – and away from your curious cat.

In addition, you can consult with your local pest control company to see what options they offer for pet-safe insect and spider repellent.

The Bottom Line – Should You Be Worried If Your Cat Eats a Spider?

It’s perfectly natural – and generally harmless – for cats to eat spiders. Even venomous spiders typically won’t pose a problem if your cat eats one.

However, if you suspect your cat has been bitten by a venomous spider in your home, contact a vet immediately.

If you don’t want your cat playing with or eating spiders, take preventative measures to keep them out of your home and consult a local pest control agency for cat-safe pest deterrent option.

Carrie Wilder

Carrie Wilder is a long-time cat owner, rescue advocate, and she’ll be the first to tell you that she’s cat-obsessed. When she’s not at home writing for Cat Faqts and snuggling her own cats, you can find her trying to pet and hold the cats of friends, family, and any stray she meets.

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