Treating Your Cat After a Snake Bite

A cat snake bite may be dangerous to your pet, especially if the snake is poisonous. The bites of nonpoisonous snakes do not cause swelling or rashes, except when the cat is allergic to these bites.

Identifying a Snake Bite

The most common poisonous snakes are the moccasin, the coral snake, the rattlesnake and the copperhead. The bites can be easily identified: you'll see the teeth marks and puncture wounds caused by the fangs, as well as swelling, pain, redness and bleeding. You'll notice that the cat will be irritated, agitated and will be drooling.

Depending on the toxicity of the snake and the amount of snake poison that was absorbed by the body, other symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Incontinence
  • Fainting or seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Coma or shock

In the case of nonpoisonous snake bites, you won't see the fang marks, only teeth marks. The area won't get swollen or red and there will be little or no bleeding. The cat will present no behavioral changes.

Treating the Cat Snake Bite

There are a few first aid procedures that you can do if you notice a snake bite on your cat. Most snake bites will occur on the cat's head or limbs.

1. Identify the Snake

The most important first aid action is to identify whether the snake was poisonous or not. Look for fang marks. If these are present, the snake must have been poisonous.

2. Nonpoisonous Snake Bites

If the snake is not poisonous, you can simply treat the wound at home. Wash the wound with cold water and an antibacterial soap, dry the area, apply some antibiotic ointment and put on a bandage to protect the area.

3. Poisonous Snake Bites

Determining that the cat has been bit by a poisonous snake means that you have to act immediately. If your vet is less than half an hour away, take your cat to the vet. He'll be able to administer a shot and give a proper treatment to save your cat's life.

If your vet is located further, you will need to deal with your cat prior to going to the vet.

4. Calm the Cat

Keep him calm so as not to stress and make him more agitated than he already is. This may cause the venom to spread at a faster rate, because the blood circulates faster.

5. Tight Bandage

If the bite is on the cat's limbs, tie a tight bandage above the snake bite to prevent blood circulation and the spreading of the venom into the cat's body.

6. Don't Wash

Washing the wounded area will only speed up the absorption of the venom.

7. Don't Suck Out Venom

Don't try to suck out the venom; this can be dangerous for you.

After bandaging your cat, go to the vet. He will administer an anti-venom shot, IV fluids and antibiotics.