Are Centipedes Poisonous To Cats?

Although they may look terrifying to you, centipedes can appear like a fun toy to your cats. The strange movements of these multi-legged creepy crawlies can fascinate cats. 

You’ll be pleased to hear that centipedes are more afraid of you than you are of them, and they don’t generally bite humans. But should you be worried about what these scary bugs can do to your furry friend? 

Are centipedes poisonous to cats?

Yes, centipedes are dangerous to cats if cornered, though they will almost always try to flee danger. Try to prevent your cat from engaging with a centipede.

I’ll go into more detail below.


Are Centipedes Poisonous To Cats?

If your cat spots a centipede scurrying about on the floor or climbing on a wall in your house, then its immediate reaction will be to chase it.

However, you can rest assured that the types of centipedes you would find around your house are almost always not dangerous to cats — even if they end up eating them after giving chase.

This is because the centipedes that you’ll commonly find around your home are relatively harmless, even if they look freaky to humans. And they will only bite when they become agitated and feel under attack. 

And even then, their bite probably won’t break your cat’s skin, so there’s no worry that it can become sick from their venom, which they use to prey on other insects that they eat.

The centipedes that you’ll commonly find around your home are relatively harmless, and will only bite when they become agitated and feel under attack.

Are centipedes poisonous to cats if eaten?

If your cat decided to chow down on a centipede, it will likely be fine. If the centipede managed to bite your cat’s mouth before it went down the gullet, it’s possible your cat could get ill. But otherwise, eating the centipede should not harm the cat.

That said, it may be wise to touch base with your vet to let them know what has happened, particularly if you’re worried about an internal wound or sting.


What Does A Centipede Look Like?

House centipedes are insects that have multiple pairs of legs, which help them to move around fast, whether you find them on the floor or climbing up your walls.

These creepy-looking creatures are often confused with millipedes, which also have lots of legs, although they appear more worm-like, and only feed off of decomposing plants.

Centipedes, on the other hand, use their pincers to kill their prey.

They feast on insects including bed bugs, cockroaches, silverfish, spiders, and carpet beetles. So if you find more than a couple of centipedes in your home, it is highly likely that you have an infestation of these other critters that you need to deal with.

If you find more than a couple of centipedes in your home, it is highly likely that you have an infestation of these other critters that you need to deal with.


Are Centipedes Toxic?

Technically common house centipedes can be considered toxic because they produce a venom that helps them to attack their prey whenever they bite into them. And if your cat is unlucky enough to get bitten by a centipede, then it will get injected with some of this venom.

However, this is an extremely unlikely situation for you to find yourself in. And if it does happen, then it will probably be just like if your cat was stung by a bee.

If that’s the case though, make sure you take your cat to the vet, so that the wound is treated and doesn’t become infected.


What Bugs Are Poisonous To Cats?

If you live in a tropical climate, and your cat has been attacked by a giant centipede after provoking it by accident, then it is possible that your cat will be more affected by the bite. 

Again this occurrence is highly unlikely to ever happen, but these larger tropical creepy crawlies do produce venom that can be dangerous to your pets, even causing vomiting, headaches, and heart palpitations. 

The Giant Redheaded Centipede and Texas Redheaded Centipede are the largest in North American, and these produce venom that can be very toxic to your cat. 

However, unless you live in Texas, Oklahoma, southeastern Louisiana, or southern Missouri, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever see one. And even in these places, they’re usually not found in the house.

There are other insects that can be poisonous to cats though, so let’s take a quick look at other creepy crawlies (and fliers) that you should be aware of to keep your kitty safe.

1. Spiders

In general, the smallest house spiders aren’t poisonous to cats. Any venom they might get from a spider bite though, can cause them to get sick or even die. However, the only poisonous spiders that can do this are the black widow, brown recluse, and hobo spider. 

Black widow spiders are usually found in warmer climates, so are more prevalent in the southern states, while hobo spiders are mainly seen in the Pacific Northwest, and the brown recluse species is found mainly in the Midwest.

To keep these poisonous spiders away from your cats, make sure that you keep your home free of clutter and dust, including basements, where these toxic critters like to hide.

2. Flying Insects

Some cats will find it tempting to play with flying insects that can sting them, like bees and wasps. And although they may get stung and have an anaphylactic reaction, this is uncommon and not poisonous to them.

The tiger moth, on the other hand, can be poisonous to a cat if they eat it. 

3. Ants and Scorpions

Fire ants are attracted to pet food, so it’s possible for your cat to get bitten by one. Although the venom from the bite itself isn’t poisonous to your furry friend, it is not uncommon for a cat to contract a bacterial infection or parasite that will make them sick. 

In the unlikely event that your cat ends up playing with a scorpion, then it’s possible that it will get stung. 

The good news though, is that a scorpion sting is rarely fatal for cats, but if they have been stung, take them to your vet as soon as possible, because they could go into shock. If they eat it, on the other hand, there is no need to worry, since it’s not toxic.


Final Thoughts

Are centipedes poisonous to cats? Although it is possible for this to happen, it’s not very common. So, the next time you see your cat chasing a centipede for fun, simply observe their playtime and keep your vet’s number to hand just in case.

Of course, if your pretty kitty or other furry friend has been bitten or stung by an insect, including a centipede, then contact your veterinarian, and keep a close eye on your furry friend to make sure that they are well.