How do cats react to snake bites?

Snake bites are a natural phenomenon worldwide and can be fatal to pet cats. If you let your pet play outside, check them for ticks or snake bites. The circumstance could be a matter of life or death from the fact that cats respond differently to snake bites than humans do.

A bite from a snake can usually be dangerous to a cat because snakes also carry infection-causing bacteria and parasites from feeding on dead animals.

This is how your cat may react to a snake bite:

If your cat gets bit by a snake the symptomes will be bleeding, it might get pale and/or get white gums, start vomitting and it will look like it is in pain and very uncomfortable.

However, these are not the only sign. Keep reading and learn how to react if you suspect a snake bite.

By nature, cats are hunters but unfortunately cannot distinguish between harmful and non-harmful prey. Many cats won’t think about chasing and attacking a snake and not realizing how much danger they exposed themselves in.

Is it possible for a cat to kill a snake?

This is where Snake Bites usually occurs on a cat

Most snake bites occur on the head, neck, and legs of a cat where bites on the body can occur and tend to be more dangerous to your pet.

Snake bites in cats can be hard to diagnose and treat. Not all bites are visible, particularly among felines with long hair. As with many other health issues, cats appear to hide their signs until they are nearly life-threatening.

When your cat has a snake bite, it can have pale or white cat gum and fast pulse or respiration. You need to immediately administer the proper care to help your cat, whether it is bitten by a venomous or nonvenomous snake but how to distinguish it from poisonous or not?

Look for two large puncture wounds

Poisonous snakes appear to leave two large puncture wounds in the flesh from their fangs: pain, swelling, vomiting, trouble breathing, potential paralysis, and convulsion. Treatment must commence at the earliest opportunity after bite.

Save the snake for identification, if you or your cat killed the snake.

If the snake is killed, hold it for identification with the veterinarian. If not, try to find marks. If your cat is nervous or upset, you can restrain the cat if necessary. Then, clip the hair on the cat from the bite area. Thoroughly flush the area by pouring three percent hydrogen peroxide directly onto the bite. Immediately transport the cat to the veterinarian.

A U-shaped bite and discomfort in the bite area are few signs of a nonpoisonous snake bite. If you’re not sure, the snake is nonpoisonous and can’t get to a veterinarian right away, treat it as a poisonous snake bite.

Symptoms and side effects

Symptoms may get worse as time passes. Effects of a venomous snake bite may include swelling, puncture wounds, bleeding, trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, unbalanced gait, rapid breathing, drooping eyelids, dilated pupils, urinary blood, paralysis, or even coma.

But cats are tough animals, and several factors rely heavily on the seriousness of the cat’s reaction to the bite. This can include the age and general health of cats where older cats and kittens are more vulnerable. The quantity of subcutaneous fat and fur thickness, size and snake species, number and location of bites, or if the cat was bitten before are some of the considerations to look for.

Common Questions about cats’ reaction to snake bites

Can a cat survive a snake bite without treatment?

The cat’s chances of survival are good, especially when administered with antivenom with a 91 percent survival rate. Even without antivenom, some 66 percent make it through.

Recovery from snake bites generally takes 24 to 48 hours if your pet receives timely veterinary attention. The bite is not critical. But some pets will take much longer to recover fully due to tissue damage to internal organs and will require intensive and prolonged nursing care.

How to avoid snake bites on cats?

Snakes slip out of hibernation as the weather gets warmer. Of course, the safest way to avoid snake bites on cats is to keep your kitty inside.

Cats are curious as we all know, and when a cat sees a snake, it would want to engage with that odd new creature. Perhaps even by attacking the animal. This is, of course, a bad idea. When the snake feels threatened, they bite, too.

One way to avoid snake bites on your cat is to keep your grass mowed and clear your yard from areas where snakes could hide, such as large piles of wood. But if your kitty gets the urge to roam, it can be challenging to keep the pet from hunting or playing with a snake.

Cats don’t put their paw first, and the paw is the first thing that will get hit. They are going to tap the snake and walk away, and most bites are going to be in the leg.

If your cat is determined to go outside, consider taking it for walks on a leash or letting it spend time in a catio that is a screen in.

How long will it take for a cat to recover from a snake bite?

Snakebite recovery depends on the type of snake and how much venom was injected. In the worst case, a snake bite may be lethal in less than an hour, although it could have collateral damage where it was bitten, causing the skin to slough and fall off, which could take weeks to recover from.

Note that several factors impact recovery time. The ‘dry’ bite where no venom is injected is going to be sore, but if it doesn’t get infected, the cat will be better in seven days or so. If the venom is injected, how quickly the cat gets to the veterinary for treatment will also impact it. Some cats need to be hospitalized for a week or more, and it may take weeks or months to recover. If, in the first hour or two, your cat shows no symptoms, the venom probably didn’t get into its bloodstream.

What should I do if my cat gets bit by a snake?

It is important to take care of a snake bit as fast as possible. If you suspect a snake bite, call the Vet, and let him know that you’re on the way, so he can be prepared. Try to keep your cat as calm as possible until the cat can get the appropriate treatment.

Keep the area that the cat got bit lower than its heart, and apply a firm pressure bandage to slow down the venom moving around in your cat blood.


Snake bites are dangerous to cats and require urgent attention if your cat is bitten by snakes or gets out of your homes. It can be challenging to treat if it gets bitten, and not all bites are visible. They seem to hide their symptoms until they are almost life-threatening.

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