How to Care for a Bee Sting on Your Kitten
Because kittens are so curious and playful, they can sometimes get into trouble while outdoors. Bees might normally ignore kittens and other pets, but if a playful kitten starts batting a bee around with its paw, the kitten might get stung. It is always scary to see your pet in pain, but a few simple remedies can help to keep the bee sting from becoming too traumatic. Here is what You should do when you think your kitten might have gotten stung by a bee.
How to Tell If Your Kitten Is Stung by a Bee
You can usually tell if a kitten has been stung based on their behavior and physical symptoms. If your kitten is stung, it may act restless, or distressed and become very vocal. The kitten will either lick or paw at the area stung in a repeated attempt to deal with the pained area. Kittens mostly get bee stings on their noses, paws, or mouths, and these stings result in swelling and redness.
Once you realize that your kitten has been stung by something, you will need to determine what type of insect stung the cat because treatments vary based on insect type. A bee sting will be a single sting that leaves the stinger in the skin, and you might find a dead bee laying near your kitten. In contrast, wasps, hornets, and horse flies can all sting multiple times and do not leave stingers in the skin.
The First Thing You Should Do After a Bee Sting
As soon as you notice that your kitten is stung, try to remove the stinger which can continue to spread venom into your pet for up to three minutes. Gently remove the stinger by scraping it away with a credit card. Do not squeeze the stinger with tweezers while removing it because this can push more venom into your kitten. Your kitten may struggle a little bit, so it can be useful to have an assistant hold it while you remove the stinger.
Once you do this, apply a cold compress to the area immediately. This slows down blood flow and reduces inflammation, so it will help to lower swelling. Once the immediate issues with the bee sting have been treated, you can call your vet to see if the veterinarian has any advice.
Deciding If You Should Take a Trip to the Vet
You do not always need to take an emergency trip to the veterinarian’s office for every bee sting, but some kittens who are allergic to bees will go into anaphylactic shock after being stung. Signs of this potentially life threatening condition include vomiting, trouble breathing, pale gums, collapse, extreme swelling, or rapid heartbeats. If your kitten displays these symptoms, you should promptly seek medical treatment for the cat. At a vet’s office, allergic kittens can get intravenous medications to prevent life threatening symptoms.
Even if your kitten is not allergic, a bee sting can be a serious problem if it happens in the mouth or throat. This normally occurs if a kitten tries to eat a bee, and the swelling can potentially block air passageways. If the sting is in an airway, immediately take your kitten to the vet, so it can get high dosages of antihistamines to reduce swelling.
Treating a Bee Sting at Home
Since bee venom is acidic, you can reduce discomfort by neutralizing the acid. Mix a small amount of baking soda and water into a paste and apply it to the area gently to reduce further itching and pain. It is most effective if you can get your kitten to leave it on for 15 minutes, but some kittens may try to groom themselves and remove it. Though this will prevent the cat from getting bee sting relief, it is not harmful because baking soda is only toxic if your kitten is eating almost a full cup of it.
Benadryl is normally effective at lowering swelling, itchiness, and other histamine responses. When you call your vet, they will most likely tell you how much Benadryl is okay for your kitten to have. Generally, the dosage is about ½ milligrams of the antihistamine per pound of body weight, but this can vary slightly depending on your kitten.
After you treat the bee sting, your kitten may continue to express some discomfort and distress for a little while. However, kittens heal quickly, so it should be back to its normal, playful self in just a few hours. Most signs of a sting, such as any residual swelling or tenderness in the area, should be gone within two to three days. Unfortunately, kittens do not usually remember to stay away from bees, so you may end up dealing with more than one sting during your cat’s life.