A cat was left fighting for its life after it was bitten by a false widow spider, prompting experts to issue warnings for pet owners to be vigilant.
The tabby called Hades tried to chase away the venomous insect, but was reportedly left screeching in agony after the spider bit him.
Six species of false widow spider have been recorded in the UK
Owner Dawn Stephenson rushed her beloved pet to the vets where he spent two days fighting for his life on a drip while he recovered from the poison - running up a huge bill of £700, the Daily Star reported.
Now, the British Veterinary Association has warned that, although cases are rare, pet owners should be aware of the signs their animal may have been bitten.
"Lookout for signs such as changes in behaviour, unwillingness to exercise, lethargy, lameness, swelling, loss of appetite and if your pet is showing any of these symptoms - seek veterinary attention as quickly as possible," she told the Daily Mail.
She said: "Speed is of the essence and the sooner treatment can be given, the better. The important message is to seek veterinary attention quickly."
Earlier this month, a rabbit in south Wales was killed by a false widow spider bite.
One-year-old Molly was found dead in her hutch which was infested with the poisonous creatures.
Humans have also suffered after being bitten by the arachnid, with one Essex decorator almost losing his leg after he encountered a nest of the venomous arachnids while working at a school.
Ricki Whitmore was rushed to hospital where surgeons found so much poison in his system he faced amputation of his leg.
Ricki Whitmore nearly lost his leg after being bitten by a false widow spider
One grandfather revealed how a bite from a false widow spider left him in so much pain he "just wanted to die".
John Catlin was bitten by one of the venomous arachnids in his garden in Bromley, last year.
Within hours, the 66-year-old's temperature was topping 40C and he was rushed to hospital.
WARNING: Graphic pictures below
John Catlin was bitten on the toe by a false widow spider in his garden in Bromley