6 things in order of priority you should do if your cat is stung by a wasp or bee

If your cat has been stung by a wasp or bee (and this has never happened to my cat but it might), my research indicates that you should consider doing 6 things, in the order in which they are listed below, to resolve the matter satisfactorily.

My cat got stung by a wasp and his face is swollen. Do I need to do anything if he’s acting fine?
‘My cat got stung by a wasp and his face is swollen. Do I need to do anything if he’s acting fine?’ Nothing as your cat will resolve the matter. Image: Reddit.
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1. Assess whether your cat is exhibiting signs of generalised toxicity or anaphylaxis. What I mean here is how is your cat reacting to the sting? Most often bee or wasp stings are not going to create a severe reaction but if he or she becomes restless, agitated, scratches their face, drools, vomits, has difficulty breathing or is even having seizures, this would be anaphylaxis and you will have to transport him or her immediately to your nearest veterinarian. That is the first thing to do i.e. to check the reaction. Also see below about an EpiPen kit.

2. On the basis that the reaction is normal and not severe, you need to identify the insect that stung your cat. The reason for this is that wasps do not leave their stinger in the skin which means that they can sting again whereas bees leave their stingers behind and it may be attached to the venom sac and therefore more venom can be delivered to your cat. And if it’s a wasp you need to get them out of there to avoid further stings.

3. If it is a bee you need to remove the stinger with tweezers or, according to my book on veterinary medicine, “scrape it out with a credit card”.

4. At this stage, knowing that there is no extreme reaction, you can rely on your cat to resolve the health issue on their own but you can help them on the way by making “a paste of baking soda and applying it directly to the sting”. Baking soda is alkaline (a high pH) whereas a bees sting contains acidic toxins (low pH). Therefore, the baking soda neutralises the bee sting.

5. The next stage is to relieve swelling and pain by applying ice packs to the area in question.

6. Finally, you can apply Calamine lotion and Cortaid which reduces itching. Cortaid is hydrocortisone cream. My research indicates that it is not available in the UK but available in North America. There are, of course, alternatives in other countries such as Lanacane in the UK on Amazon.

That’s it, essentially. Although of course if you know that your cat reacts badly to bee or wasp stings you should ask your veterinarian to provide you with an EpiPen kit which should be on hand. They inject epinephrine into your cat to counteract anaphylactic shock which is the first point mentioned in this list. It should be noted that epinephrine has a short shelf life. It should be checked frequently to make sure that it is not out of date.

Below are some more articles on insects.

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