Cats and reptiles

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Geckoflora, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Geckoflora

    Geckoflora Member

    Really curious to hear other people's opinions on this one!

    So in other reptile communities/circles I'm in, it's generally a really big no-no to let cats have ANY contact with a reptile. But I've seen several posts over time researching on this forum that take a very nonchalant approach to letting cats (and dogs, even) interact with pet chameleons (and other reptiles).

    My current understanding is that cats are inherently predatory animals and even a generally mellow cat can have a slip-up with a reptile without even meaning to. I've read before that cats carry a type of gram-negative bacteria under their claws due to grooming, and this bacteria can be deadly to reptiles, so even a single scratch can do a lot of damage. I've also been told that having cats near your reptiles (especially with direct contact) tends to cause a lot of stress for the reptile, as they are prey animals and will not have a positive experience. I don't agree with letting cats interact with reptiles at all for these reasons, as it seems to be only for the benefit of the pet owner and not the actual animals. It seems like another one of those cases where an owner is taking a big, unnecessary risk, and it makes me super nervous seeing posts with cats interacting with reptiles!

    I also think the same applies to dogs for the most part; I'm a dog owner but I wouldn't let my dog ever interact with my animals. He's old and well behaved, but all it takes is one bad moment to seriously hurt/kill a small animal.

    That said- I want to know what everyone else thinks about this controversial topic! The stuff I stated above is my own understanding from several years spent in various reptile forums/groups/blogs, but I know other people have done different research and I'm interested to hear. Please, if you think something I said is incorrect just let me know!

    I'm always trying to learn more about reptile keeping and the topic of interactions with other pets, particularly cats and dogs, has always been a hot topic.
  2. bishop

    bishop Member

    My cham is in a 2x2x4ft cage, sitting atop a 3ft high/sqauare table. My 11-year old (and still awesome!) cat doesn’t even acknowledge the cage. I have a solid scratch post for him, and he gets to roam the house. If anything, he howls out of jealousy when I’m paying attention to my cham.

    Kittens, on the other hand, get into everything.
  3. KeopiCat

    KeopiCat Avid Member

    I have three cats at home, and I'm nearly positive one still doesn't know Mondo exists. They mostly pay attention to the insects, and are a good clean up crew when one gets loose :rolleyes: I'd still like to change the set-up soon so that they are blocked off, but haven't been much of a threat at all so far
  4. Geckoflora

    Geckoflora Member

    I should clarify- I have no concerns just from keeping cats/dogs and chameleons both! I'm mostly concerned about the situations in which the cats/dogs are allowed to interact directly with the chameleons. I think as long as the chameleon's cage is secure and the owner keeps an eye on the animals, there's no problem having them together. I know that not all cats/dogs will show an interest in chameleons, but I have heard and seen a lot of horror stories, so it makes me pretty nervous anyways.

    Yes, I've seen some of those before! Don't get me wrong- I'm not trying to say that this whole forum is okay with it. But I have seen several threads in the past with owners who allow their cats/dogs to interact with their chameleons. That's more what I'm getting at. I was also curious just to hear what kind of other opinions people had on the topic
  5. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    As far as I'm concerned having a predatory animal like a dog or cat or even a bird or a predatory reptile free in the same room with the chameleon is always I definitely would not have them interacting. Things can happen so fast....but if people want to risk then it's up to them...I can't stop them. I just wouldn't risk my reptiles' lives. Sorry if this as well as my previous reply is off the mark...not what you're looking for.
  6. Jevin

    Jevin Avid Member

    I always closely supervise my brother's cat, Mitsy, when I'm handling either my chameleon or bearded dragon. My brother's cat completely ignores Chandler unless he is in his cage and she is on my bed, however, Chandler hides from Mitsy. As for Mitsy and my bearded Dragon, Lily, let's just say that Lily is the actual ruler of the apartment. Mitsy runs clear of Lily as soon as Lily moves, but of course won't run away to a place where the scary 'dragon' can't get her lol 1512596952598320423118.jpg
    The ever lazy Mitsy 1512597027625470884257.jpg
    The 'scary' Bearded Dragon, Lily (The Lounge Lizard)
    And Chandler Bing
  7. JacksJill

    JacksJill Chameleon Enthusiast

    I know cats find lizards delicious. The barn cats demonstrate this all the time.
    I know it is a bad idea to let cats and even large birds interact. Cat saliva can cause problems for birds even if applied in an attempt to groom. I have no reason to think it would be any better for a reptile, probably worse.
    Strict supervision when not caged is very important.
    Jevin likes this.
  8. Jevin

    Jevin Avid Member

    Hence why my brother's lazy cat is not allowed near the reptiles if they are out. Although on occasion, Lily will purposely torment Mitsy by defending the couch, and refusing Mitsy the pleasure of lounging in her favorite spot. Mitsy stays about a metre away from Lily at all times, on her own decision.
    JacksJill likes this.
  9. JacksJill

    JacksJill Chameleon Enthusiast

    I also have a healthy respect for bearded dragons.
    Smart cat.
  10. funnyCAT140

    funnyCAT140 Established Member

    I see all kinds of Instagram posts where people have there reptiles crawling on their dogs or cats. My cats can't stand not being able to get to my reptiles. They crawl on top of the screens and scratch at it. I've put tack strips on top of the enclosures to keep them off and They would knock them off and climb back up there. I always keep them away when handling, they're not even aloud in my room anymore at all because of the damage they caused, they've torn the screen to my gecko enclosure, luckily it was empty, but the smell was tempting them. I do handle my reptiles around my dogs because they don't show any interest in them, but I don't let my reptiles crawl free range near them because that's just asking for an accident to happen.
    JacksJill likes this.
  11. Jevin

    Jevin Avid Member

    Funny thing is, Lily is a complete suck for being held, has never head bobbed, waved, blackbearded or hissed. She's a complete sweetheart, she just knows that Mitsy is afraid of her lol :ROFLMAO:
    JacksJill likes this.
  12. JacksJill

    JacksJill Chameleon Enthusiast

    It's their eating habits that get me. When they are eating they are nothing but teeth and stomach. I like having full sets of ten fingers and toes.
    Jevin likes this.
  13. Jevin

    Jevin Avid Member

    And that I understand, but also, I think Mitsy lacks the hunting instinct completely, she won't even kill a rogue cricket, insect or mouse. Instead, she'll look up at you with this look of 'well what do you want me to do about it?' lol :ROFLMAO: but again, I still don't allow her close to my reptiles.
  14. Jevin

    Jevin Avid Member

    True, my girlfriend's beardie is like that. Lily, not so much, I sometimes call her Jabba the gut lol
    JacksJill likes this.
  15. funnyCAT140

    funnyCAT140 Established Member

    Yeah I'm not saying your doing anything wrong, my cats were just crazy lol. My current cat was a feral kitten that we rescued, so she has that wild cat, hunting instinct times 10, so she's not allowed around my reptiles.
    JacksJill likes this.

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