The Hidden Perils of Cats and Scorpions 

If you live in a region where scorpions thrive, you’ve most likely thought about the potential harm that they can cause to you and your pets. The combination of cats and scorpions may seem unlikely, but if you’re a cat owner you know that the pairing is not something to brush off. Cats have an instinct to explore and hunt small creatures and scorpions are expert at defending themselves when threatened. If your cat prefers to be outdoors, you must be aware of the creatures lurking around. 

Dangers of Scorpions 

Scorpions can be found all over the world. There’s over 1500 species, but only one is considered poisonous in North America, the Arizona bark scorpion. This species can be found in the southwestern region of the United States. This scorpion is light brown and can reach 7-8 centimeters in length in adulthood. Its venom can cause severe pain that lasts between 24 to 72 hours.  

Symptoms of Scorpion Poisoning 

Cats have quick reflexes, but a scorpion may be faster. If your cat is stung by a scorpion, you must seek veterinary care immediately. Monitor your pet for any changes in behavior or signs of poisoning. Potential symptoms of poisoning include:  

  • Severe pain in the site of the sting 
  • Walking drunk 
  • Tremors 
  • Irregular eye movements 
  • Drooling  
  • Itchiness 
  • Abnormal heart rate  
  • Abnormal blood pressure 
  • Dilated pupils  


If your cat has been stung by a scorpion, call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 as soon as possible for life-saving advice. Take your cat to the veterinary clinic for treatment. Not all clinics carry antivenom, so call ahead before going if the use of it is necessary. Symptomatic supportive care will be administered to stabilize your cat. Not every scorpion sting will result in severe poisoning, but most will cause pain and injury. The recovery process will depend on the species, symptoms, and your cat’s health history. Carefully monitor your cat’s environment, especially if they have outside access, and take preventative steps to decrease the chances of encounters with scorpions.