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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21447
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Can a centipede bite kill a cat?

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Can a centipede bite kill a cat?

There are different varieties of centipedes and millipedes and some ARE poisonous, both to humans and cats. A centipede's venom can cause cardiac symptoms and a dangerous rise in blood pressure. Has your cat been bitten and/or do you suspect, killed, by a centipede? Do you know the type of centipede you're asking about? Is it native to your area in Hawaii?

Thanks for any additional information, so I can research this question in a more specific way.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
This was a type of centipede that is native to Hawaii. My cat died on Memorial Day. He was found near a large, dead centipede less than two feet from his still warm body. The cat weighed about twelve to fourteen pounds.
We were away on vacation. My daughter in law came over in the morning to feed the cats and found the larger one stretched out, lifeless near the front door.
Oh, how awful! My sincerest condolences.

Due to the circumstances, I would say, yes, it certainly sounds like this was the cause of death for your poor, sweet cat. Unless you have a necropsy (autopsy for animals) done (if it's not too late), to determine the exact cause of death, or have the centipede tested to see if it was of a venomous nature, you won't know for sure, but the circumstances certainly make sense.

It's also possible that your cat was stung by a scorpion who also killed the centipede, and was not on the scene when your daughter-in-law arrived.

Instead of being bitten or stung by the centipede, your cat may have tried to lick it or take a bite, and the venom was ingested that way. Since the poison in the centipede causes a rapid rise in blood pressure and a cardiac problem, your cat's death was instant and he didn't suffer.

A centipede bite/sting to a human isn't necessarily deadly, but because a cat is smaller, the poison affects him right away.

Again, my heartfelt condolences, and try to keep your other cat indoors only, if you can.

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