My sons spider escaped, what to do?

Casey9996

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I've never handled or caught any of these guys and have very poor reflexes, to be clear!

My son is away for military service, so he left them here and I just feed and water them. I left for two nights and came home to two critter keepers on the floor, knocked over by my cats. The LP one I managed to fix her case back up as she was still in there and fine, but the golden knee (I think grammasola sp but I do not know very much!) and I do not know when this occurred and how long she's been missing. I am mostly worried for my cats, because they are inquisitive and one is still young and I absolutely do not want them getting bitten, and I really don't want the spider killed. :(

Can I please get some advice? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to catch it if I did see it. She is only about 3 inches, and I know will stay on the ground and in the dark.
 

dopamine

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I'd be more worried about the tarantula than the cat.
You can start by turning off all lights in the room and closing the door. Go back to check in about an hour. Assuming (and hoping) it's still in there it'll probably come out to explore. I found an escaped A. seemani this way.
 

nicodimus22

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I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to catch it if I did see it. She is only about 3 inches, and I know will stay on the ground and in the dark.
Get something to catch it in. Something with a lid, like a cool whip container or a plastic tumbler and a piece of cardboard. It won't do much good to find it if you're empty-handed.
 

Vanessa

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Okay, here is what I would do... for what it's worth.
Grab a flashlight and a catch cup. Start looking down low, behind and under furniture. Look under the fridge and stove. Look in closets and in shoes. Chances are that they are extremely scared and will find somewhere dark and quiet and hunker down. Keep your eye on the cats - they might tell you where the spider is. I know that mine would. Mine would be hovering over where it was hiding in the hopes of catching it. At that size, they are able to squeeze into very tight spots and they will.
If they are a Grammostola species, they will move more slowly than lots of others, but they will have bursts of speed. If you find it, or disturb it's hiding spot, it will bolt and then come to a stop. It is extremely scared. When it comes to a stop, place the catch cup over top of it and then put a piece of stiff paper underneath and lift it up. Be prepared for it to run a couple of feet before it stops or takes cover.
Lock the cats away and search every room, starting with the one closest to where the spider started out and then widen your search. It will try to hide and might not have made it very far.
 

chanda

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Can I please get some advice? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to catch it if I did see it. She is only about 3 inches, and I know will stay on the ground and in the dark.
Just because it is a terrestrial spider does not guarantee that it will stay on the ground. Terrestrial tarantulas have been known to climb walls, curtains, doors, cupboards, etc. I have two golden knee tarantulas (Grammostola pulchripes) and both will climb the glass walls of their enclosures from time to time. If she is frightened and on the lookout for a safe hiding spot (which she almost certainly is!) and you can't find her down low, don't forget to check the high spots, too!

Good luck!
 

cold blood

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An ex-ray machine will probably be your fastest way to locate it, I think. I'd bet your cat ate it for sure. A t walking away would draw instant interest from a cat.
 

chanda

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An ex-ray machine will probably be your fastest way to locate it, I think. I'd bet your cat ate it for sure. A t walking away would draw instant interest from a cat.
It depends on the cat. My cats are quick to chase after any bugs they find roaming around the house (usually earwigs or little cobweb spiders) but they rarely eat them. They're more likely to chase, pounce, and observe - then let the bug in question go on its way, albeit sometimes with a few less legs than it started with. With something big and unfamiliar like a tarantula I would expect them to be at least a little cautious - especially if it gave them a threat pose or flicked hairs.

In this case, when the critter keepers came crashing down, it is likely to have startled the cats, giving the spider at least the chance at a head start - assuming it wasn't badly injured in the fall. It may have made it to safety before the cats figured out which way it went.
 

Vanessa

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About a month after I bought Evelyn, I had a very similar thing happen to me. My cat knocked her enclosure down and it smashed open and she escaped. I was at work at the time and I got home to find the enclosure in pieces and Evelyn nowhere in sight.
After locking Horatio in the bathroom - I searched everywhere for her, for hours, and I couldn't find her anywhere. I had a tall bookcase about three feet away from where her enclosure fell. The lowest shelf on the bookcase was about an inch off the ground. The gap was open when you looked from the back of the bookcase, but there was a thin piece of wood on the front so the gap was hidden when you looked at the bookcase from the front. I pulled the bookcase out and shone the flashlight into that small gap and there she was - pressed up against the thin piece of wood that hid the gap from the front. I didn't even realize that there was a gap under that bookcase until this happened. I emptied the entire bookcase and then I placed a chair in front of it and, very carefully, tilted the bookcase until I had enough room to get a catch cup underneath and trap her before she ran off.
The whole time she was hidden three feet away from where she fell. Good thing that she was okay. She was very underfed, from being neglected at the pet shop, so that probably saved her from an abdominal injury. Since then, I have taken every measure I can think of to ensure that they are always safe from the cats. I have never had another incident.
 
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Casey9996

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Thank you for all your replies, I just looked through the curtains as best I could and I've been searching since I posted this.... nada. Unsure of how I'll sleep tonight!!

I don't think that they ate it as these three cats tend to kill lizards, crickets and mice then leave them. And I didn't think cats or dogs would outright eat them, because of the hairs? Or does that happen

My oldest cat approached an escaped crawling g rosea very cautiously a few years ago to my knowlege, trailing farther behind and meowing at it. Then again he was a lot bigger than this one is and I'm unsure of what the younger cats temperament around these would be.
 

Jeff23

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Thank you for all your replies, I just looked through the curtains as best I could and I've been searching since I posted this.... nada. Unsure of how I'll sleep tonight!!

I don't think that they ate it as these three cats tend to kill lizards, crickets and mice then leave them. And I didn't think cats or dogs would outright eat them, because of the hairs? Or does that happen

My oldest cat approached an escaped crawling g rosea very cautiously a few years ago to my knowlege, trailing farther behind and meowing at it. Then again he was a lot bigger than this one is and I'm unsure of what the younger cats temperament around these would be.
If you are worried about the T biting you while you sleep I would be less worried. Their bite may hurt but is far from being one of the worst. They will likely be headed away from anything large that moves. And if you are worried about sleep because of possibly losing the T to the cat, grammostola pulchripes are fairly easy to obtain online.
 

Casey9996

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If you are worried about the T biting you while you sleep I would be less worried. Their bite may hurt but is far from being one of the worst. They will likely be headed away from anything large that moves. And if you are worried about sleep because of possibly losing the T to the cat, grammostola pulchripes are fairly easy to obtain online.
I am mostly worried it would hurt the cats, but I would feel very sad for the spider itself :/

I know their venom is not very bad, but one of the cats is small and there's not much to go off of if it would hurt it and I myself am very underweight and can easily get pretty dangerously sick from most anything breaking my skin. :(
 

Eli824

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I am mostly worried it would hurt the cats, but I would feel very sad for the spider itself :/

I know their venom is not very bad, but one of the cats is small and there's not much to go off of if it would hurt it and I myself am very underweight and can easily get pretty dangerously sick from most anything breaking my skin. :(
I'm not a cat person ( like at all ) to be honest I can't feel anything towards those creatures but this saddens me about the spider I wish you and your future endeavors in finding this beautiful species of tarantula the best of luck as for your cats I can't say I care much I despise cats but to each their own best of luck and God bless
 

Jeff23

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I am mostly worried it would hurt the cats, but I would feel very sad for the spider itself :/

I know their venom is not very bad, but one of the cats is small and there's not much to go off of if it would hurt it and I myself am very underweight and can easily get pretty dangerously sick from most anything breaking my skin. :(
The T will avoid places where the lights are brighter. I would first do a complete check of your bedroom. Check under the bed, remove and reapply the sheets and pillows. Check the closets thoroughly. Look under and behind the dresser and other other tables. Make sure your shoes are empty before putting them on. Once you finish your checks keep the lights on in that room or the hallway connecting to it 24/7 while the T is missing. You could put a folded towel along the bottom of the door if there is a gap to give yourself extra peace of mind.

If it is a grammostola pulchripes it would likely only bite in self defense and will most likely try to flee first. You can think of them as being similar to other spiders. Once they find a safe place they will wait for prey such as crickets, roaches, etc. If they are finding prey easily they aren't going to move much.
 
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REEFSPIDER

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In this case, when the critter keepers came crashing down, it is likely to have startled the cats, giving the spider at least the chance at a head start - assuming it wasn't badly injured in the fall. It may have made it to safety before the cats figured out which way it went.
Have you never witnessed an inquistive cat purposely knock something over? The op was not home we don't know whether or not the cats were scared. To me having owned many cats i would never leave Ts around them for 1. But also would assume the cats took interest in a moving t inside its cage while i was gone. And knocked it over to get a better look.(or taste)
 

Andrea82

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I'm not a cat person ( like at all ) to be honest I can't feel anything towards those creatures but this saddens me about the spider I wish you and your future endeavors in finding this beautiful species of tarantula the best of luck as for your cats I can't say I care much I despise cats but to each their own best of luck and God bless
You know, you could have just said good luck with your spider and leave it at that....:shifty:
 

Casey9996

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Have you never witnessed an inquistive cat purposely knock something over? The op was not home we don't know whether or not the cats were scared. To me having owned many cats i would never leave Ts around them for 1. But also would assume the cats took interest in a moving t inside its cage while i was gone. And knocked it over to get a better look.(or taste)
Will cats and dogs really fully eat tarantulas? I always thought that the hairs would be an issue :0
 

Casey9996

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I'm not a cat person ( like at all ) to be honest I can't feel anything towards those creatures but this saddens me about the spider I wish you and your future endeavors in finding this beautiful species of tarantula the best of luck as for your cats I can't say I care much I despise cats but to each their own best of luck and God bless
I believe all animal life should be respected as we all would like the same thing, to avoid pain and live in full. I am quite afraid of spiders but I accepted them when my son wanted them, and fear for its safety as well even if I have no bond with it. My cats have been a great joy in my life just as I know these spiders have provided their owners with same or similar joy.

Thank you, however.
 

Vanessa

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I believe all animal life should be respected as we all would like the same thing, to avoid pain and live in full. I am quite afraid of spiders but I accepted them when my son wanted them, and fear for its safety as well even if I have no bond with it. My cats have been a great joy in my life just as I know these spiders have provided their owners with same or similar joy.

Thank you, however.
Yes. Thank you for respecting your son's tarantula and doing your best to return it to safety, despite not loving them the way the members here do. You have gone above and beyond what many, many, family members would do when it comes to looking after a big hairy spider. Even seeking out this website for advice was far more than some would do facing your situation.
Please keep searching and don't give up. Tarantulas have been known to hunker down for a long time and some people have found wayward tarantulas long after they had given up on them being alive. Put a small dish of water down, in the room where the accident occurred, close to a piece of furniture or somewhere where the tarantula can quickly hide after taking a drink. They can go long periods without food, but need water.
I know that you are uncomfortable with having it loose in the house. It really poses little threat to you, or even the cats. Yes, the urticating hairs could be used on the cats, but at only 3" the tarantula is far more likely to be killed or injured. The spider will try to flee for safety first and can find places to hide where the cats cannot get to them.
Please keep us posted... we're all hoping that your situation ends well.
 

Casey9996

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It did not end well I am sorry to say :(

I tore my room up last night, and found no trace, and blocked off the door with a towel but my husband moved it while I was asleep, so she must have found her way back into our room, and hid underneath the sheet on the very end of my bed.

My husband pulled the sheets off to wash them after we checked the laundry room to make sure she wasn't in there, and she was here right beneath the last thin sheet but fell off almost as soon as it was pulled and hit the hard tile floor and our bed is quite high up :(

I feel very upset guilty and sad about this. We could have scooped her right up if I had more forethought.

And still paranoid, as if she were still about and in danger of being stepped on; although that is impossible and the other three are safely in their containers.

Thank you all for being so polite and helpful to me, it made this ordeal much easier and I have better knowledge in case it were to ever occur again- although I have moved them elsewhere as a precaution because nobody wins here, and I would like to prevent it from ever occurring again.
 

darkness975

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It did not end well I am sorry to say :(

I tore my room up last night, and found no trace, and blocked off the door with a towel but my husband moved it while I was asleep, so she must have found her way back into our room, and hid underneath the sheet on the very end of my bed.

My husband pulled the sheets off to wash them after we checked the laundry room to make sure she wasn't in there, and she was here right beneath the last thin sheet but fell off almost as soon as it was pulled and hit the hard tile floor and our bed is quite high up :(

I feel very upset guilty and sad about this. We could have scooped her right up if I had more forethought.

And still paranoid, as if she were still about and in danger of being stepped on; although that is impossible and the other three are safely in their containers.

Thank you all for being so polite and helpful to me, it made this ordeal much easier and I have better knowledge in case it were to ever occur again- although I have moved them elsewhere as a precaution because nobody wins here, and I would like to prevent it from ever occurring again.
I am sorry to hear that this happened.

Is the spider completely gone or is it still alive?
 
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