What to do if your cat is stung by an insect ?

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The UFI (Unidentified Flying Insects) are irresistible for playful kittens or hunters like us : butterflies, mosquitoes, flies, wasps, bees, bumblebees, hornets, horseflies…
In time, we learnt to identify dangerous insects ; however, many kittens and young cats risk get stung. The unpleasant experience arrives generally only once. Most of the time, an insect sting will ache but be harmless for the cat. It can be dangerous if the cat is stung on the face, in particular in the mouth, in the throat, or down on the nose.

What to do if your cat is stung by an insect ?

Wasps and hornets

The venom of wasps and hornets is released under the skin ; it contains among others histamine, which causes inflammation, oedema, and pain at the place of the sting. The cat shows that it hurts and licks constantly the spot of the sting. An anaphylactic shock is possible if the cat is allergic, or if he is victim of multiple stings. The venom of wasps is alkaline, you can dab the location of the sting with some cold water with vinegar to neutralize it.

Image Thomas Bresson via Wikimedia Commons

Image Thomas Bresson via Wikimedia Commons

Bees and bumblebees

Their venom is similar to that of wasps, and causes the same symptoms. Contrary to wasps and to hornets which have a smooth sting, bees have a barbed sting which stays in the wound. As possible, remove the sting with a tweezers without touching the bag poison which is hung on it. Bumblebees, them, have a smooth sting. You can then dab the location of the sting with some cold water added by sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the venom, because the venom of bees is rather acid.

Gadflies and stable flies

Their bite aches, and they can pass on viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It is important to disinfect the location of the bite.


Mosquito bites are irritating but harmless under our latitudes, and go unnoticed most of the time.

Any insect bite in the mouth, the throat, or the nose of your cat is a veterinary emergency !

Zorro dans les oeillets
For any sting in another zone, watch closely your cat. In case of doubt, contact immediately your veterinarian : he can advise you and give you if needed antihistamines or corticoids to treat your cat.

30 thoughts on “What to do if your cat is stung by an insect ?

  1. Sammy

    Pawsome………I’ll make sure that Mom reads this…………so she’ll know what to do in case i’m attacked!

    Hugs, Sammy

  2. The Menagerie Mom

    This is all such great information! None of my kitties have ever been stung by an insect, thank goodness. However, last year my pup Astrid got into a brawl with a bee. She got stung on the nose several times. We immediately gave her a full dose of benadryl, which helped keep the swelling to a minimum. Luckily, she’s not allergic and didn’t even seem to notice her enlarged nose. She was back to normal by the next morning.

  3. Cathy Keisha

    Great info! Syssiknyfe was bit by something and had a huge “abscess” which TW successfully lanced on the back porch. She didn’t seem bothered by the limp but TW knew it must have hurt. Lots of stuff came out of it and TW put Bacitracin on it. She didn’t need medical care and was fine.

  4. Deziz World

    Very innerestin’, but mosquito bites are far from harmless. They can pass on heartworms which are deadly in cats as there’s no treatment, only purrvention.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

    1. The Swiss Cats

      You’re right, and that’s the reason why we specified “under our latitudes” in our post : mosquitoes do be harmless in Switzerland, but we know that it’s another story in other areas. Purrs

  5. da tabbies o trout towne

    thanx for sharin thiz post pixie & zorro…..we hafta bee care full oh moe skeetoez round heer… tho knock on wood…. ther haz knot been manee round…yet ~~~~~~ ♥♥♥

  6. Glogirly Cats

    Very helpful advice! We’ve never been stung or bitten here, and hadn’t even really thought about it until now! It’s very smart to be prepared so we don’t panic if something happens.

  7. Tootsie

    Super useful. Thank you! We carry Benadryl in case of an allergic reaction… but the dosage is really small for me (as a mini doxie). Do cats ever use it?


  8. Robin

    I have had bees and wasps make their way into our apartment before. When it happens, I am always terrified that the cats will try to chase the insect and end up getting stung. Being the sensitive kitty mom that I am, I would probably be frantic if they did get stung. Luckily, I’ve been able to shoo them out of the window before anything came of their visits.

  9. Raven

    Excellent information. One of my kitties was once stung by a bee. Luckily, we got the stinger out quickly and he did not have a bad reaction. Unfortunately, mosquitoes here can transmit heartworms. ;-(
    We’ve used benedryl in our dog. Benedryl can be used in cats, but it is NOT a very effective antihistamines for them (there are better antihistamines for cats such as cetirizine and Chlorpheniramine maleate but check with your vet if you think you need to use them )

  10. jansfunnyfarm

    Used to get a lot of wasps in here every year. This is first year of peace. Jan is always terrified we’ll catch one in the house and the dogs try to catch anything that flies outside.

  11. Kitties Blue

    Thanks for a very informative post. One of our angel kitties was stung on her paw when she was a kitten, and it swelled up huge. Mom didn’t know about any of these remedies and held her paw to an ice cube wrapped in a wash cloth. Mom was more upset than the cat. Zorro, C.J. says that you are looking quite handsome and dapper today. She sends a sweet kiss for your nose. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  12. Sherri-Ellen TD.

    Mee-you Pixie an Zorro what a timelee bloggie post…..mee gotted stung by a hone bee over thee weekend an LadyMum did not know what to do……
    Shee tried to get stinger out butt mee not co-opurr-ate….so shee managed to put on sum Aunty-bye-otick oinmint…..
    Mee gotted thee stinger out an mee iss OK now……LadyMum was havin 6 fitss wurryin about mee! Mee will not do that again!! Swat a bee; what WAS mee finkin?????
    ***paw patsss*** Siddhartha Henry xxxx

  13. Mark's Mews

    TBT gets nervous when we whap at a bee on our Nip flowers, but none of us have ever been stung. But it is good that he read this “just in case”! Fortunately, while we seem ta sit around where there are wasps they never bother us.

  14. Meow Lifestyle

    My first cat was stung by a hornet she was playing with. One side of her face swelled up. I called the vet at the time and they told me to give her half a Benadryl mixed with her food. I remember she avoided eating the powder but eventually got her to ingest some. The swelling went down within a few hours and she was back to normal.

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