Scorpions are a common enough sight in many parts of the world and as such, they will of course be noticed by any cats! Scorpions are regularly chased by cats – they are the right size, they are a challenge for a curious cat, and they tend to be plentiful, especially outdoors.
If your cat is chasing, catching, and eating scorpions, do you have to worry about an upcoming vet visit? Can cats eat scorpions?
Yes, cats can eat scorpions. There are no health concerns around eating scorpions and while you want to be sure your cat isn’t getting stung (if nothing else, it’s painful), eating their catch won’t harm them. Of course, there are a few things you’re going to want to keep in mind before letting your cat loose on the local scorpion population.
Do Cats Like Scorpions?
This is going to largely depend on the cat. Chances are that if your cat also eats spiders and bugs, they will probably eat scorpions too. Scorpions have protein and vitamins that are good for cats to eat and they provide a good challenge on top of that, so don’t be surprised if your cat tops up their usual meal with a catch. But it really will depend on whether your cat is hungry and will even eat insects, spiders, and scorpions.
Do Cats Hate Scorpions?
If my cats lived in a place where there were scorpions, I can’t imagine them bothering to eat any of them. They don’t even eat bugs.
Some cats probably will hate scorpions and while they will enjoy chasing them and may even kill them, you’ll be left with the corpse of a scorpion lying around (possibly at your door or in the middle of a room since your cat may bring it to you as a gift). Many cats enjoy the chase, but don’t care much what happens after their prey is dead.
Can Scorpions Kill My Cat?
Where people get really worried about scorpion and cat interactions is their stinger. And while most breeds of scorpion are not venomous to animals, there are enough that are not only venomous but can make a cat (or a human) extremely sore, sick, or in the case of the cat, fatal.
What do you need to watch out for to protect your cat from those few breeds?
There are two main types of scorpion (in the US) that are dangerous to cats: The Arizona Bark Scorpion, which can be fatal; and the Spitting Thicktail Black Scorpion.
Another really common scorpion is the Stripeback, which has a sting that probably won’t be fatal, but it can be quite painful and that might send some cats into feeling lethargic, low on appetite, and sulky.
The Arizona Bark Scorpion is the one to watch out for. At four inches long and light brown in color, the sting of this scorpion can cause numbing and vomiting in humans. In cats, the amount of venom can easily be fatal, so if your cat gets stung by one, you have to rush your pet to the vet right away for assistance.
The other fatal one is the Spiting Thicktail Black Scorpion. Again, if you think your cat might have been stung, get it to the vet.
The Stripebacked Scorpion probably won’t be fatal to cats, but their sting is very, very painful which can cause mood changes in your cat.
In short, it’s important to at least vaguely monitor what your cat is hunting. Most scorpions are not going to cause a problem for cats, but if you notice your cat vomiting, acting lethargic, seeming to be in pain, or anything else that’s out of character, talk to your vet. Common symptoms of a scorpion sting include:
- Pawing, rubbing, licking the site of the sting
- Shaking the head
- Roving eye movement
- Breathing rate changes
- Dilated pupils
If you can find the scorpion, have it on hand for identification, and call your vet if your cat is doing anything concerning to you.
Cats do have a major advantage over scorpion stingers: their coat and of course, their agility. First of all, most cats are fast enough to dodge a scorpion sting or pinch, as long as they are aware of what their prey is up to. And their coat provides a really good set of ‘armor’ against most stings.
Because coats are made up of three layers and the stinger of a scorpion isn’t very big unless a scorpion gets the angle just right or gets lucky, it’s likely it will never pierce the skin.
Of course, this means that a cat is most likely to get stung in awkward places such as the bottom of paws, ears, and the nose, so watch out for that. Otherwise though, when it comes to a battle between cats and scorpions, cats have an overwhelming edge on their victim.
How Many Scorpions are Safe for My Cat to Eat?
Cats can eat as many scorpions as they are inclined to, to be honest. There’s not a lot of meat on these bugs and what meat there is, will be safe and healthy. But given that most places are – hopefully! – not covered in scorpions and that most cats are already well-fed, you can expect that your cat will probably only snack on one or two at any given time which is perfectly harmless.
There’s little point in trying to police how many scorpions a cat will eat since they will probably be doing their hunting and snacking while you’re in bed. Just be glad to have your own built-in exterminator and let your cat enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Cats alone will likely not be a complete deterrent for scorpions. Granted, a scorpion will probably run if it sees a cat, and granted, a cat will probably enjoy hunting them.
But not all cats like scorpions and you may not want your cat to be eating them all the time, so if you have a problem with scorpions, call for some professional help.
Cats enjoy hunting scorpions because they are fast, a challenge, and provide a tasty snack at the end of it. There’s no harm to cats eating scorpions and it can help you sleep better at night knowing your feline is on the prowl.
Just keep in mind that there are a couple of species that can be quite fatal, or at least quite painful and dangerous to cats and that not all cats will eat them, so you may have some corpses to clean up in the morning. But overall, cats can eat scorpions and many, quite happily, will.
Does your cat eat scorpions?