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Felis catus, commonly known as cats, are agile hunters. As such, they will chase after anything that they perceive as prey. If you are keeping pet lizards, then you must be wondering—do cats eat lizards?
Given the chance, cats can eat lizards. They are naturally driven by instinct to hunt small animals, including lizards. However, it is unhealthy for cats to eat lizards since some are toxic. If left untreated, the cat may succumb to the resultant health complications.
With that being said, you should never leave your cat and pet lizard unattended. Cats are so good at killing lizards that they can do it even when declawed. Additionally, they are excellent stalkers and often catch their prey unaware.
What Will Happen If My Cat Eats a Lizard?
It is important to note that not all lizards are toxic for cats. In fact, most cats eat lizards regularly without experiencing any health problems. Nonetheless, some lizards contain potent biochemicals that can harm your cat.
Besides the toxins, lizards are carriers of parasites. As such, they can transmit gastrointestinal parasites to cats and other household pets. Severe parasitic infections can have devastating impacts on cats.
Salmonella and liver fluke are some of the common endoparasites that cats can get from eating lizards. In most cases, salmonella infections have minimal effects on a cat’s health. However, the infection can weaken the cat’s immune system, thereby predisposing them to opportunistic diseases.
Bearded dragons, a common household reptile, can carry salmonella. On the other hand, leopard geckos do not carry salmonella.
Liver fluke, which is prominent in almost all lizards, can cause severe damage to the cat’s liver, thus causing death. The good news is that parasitic infections are curable, so ensure your pet gets treatment early.
Common Signs That Your Cat Has Eaten a Poisonous Lizard
The chemicals found in a lizard’s skin can make your cat ill. As a result, your cat may display visible signs that will tell you something is wrong. Some of these signs often go unnoticed since they are mild.
Additionally, cats are naturally resilient to most toxins found in lizards. Still, you should rush your pet to a veterinary doctor in case you notice any of the signs listed below:
Do Cats Eat Leopard Geckos?
Leopard geckos are among the smallest pet lizards. As such, they can be preyed on by cats. If you leave your leopard gecko in the same room with a cat, there is a high chance the feline will eat your leo.
Some pet parents report that their cats get along with their leos. Nevertheless, you need to keep in mind that not all cats are the same.
Most cats are temperamental and may turn on your leopard gecko at any moment. In as much as it may be tempting to let your pets play together, cats and leos should never be left alone.
Cats can easily be tempted to pounce on the leopard gecko. Moreover, felines have sharp claws that can injure your leopard gecko during play.
How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Lizards?
Cats not only eat pet lizards but also wild ones. Therefore, you should come up with a strategy that can prove helpful in both scenarios.
Below are some of the ways through which you can prevent your feline friend from eating lizards. The tips highlight how best you can protect both your cat and pet lizard.
Secure Your Pet Lizard’s Enclosure
This is probably one of the best ways that you can protect your pet lizard. When buying an enclosure for your lizard, you should go for one that cannot be easily breached by a cat.
In addition to this, ensure that you seal the enclosure properly at all times. Most enclosures come with lids that will limit your cat from reaching the lizard. REPTI ZOO’s Glass Terrarium can help you safeguard your pet lizard from cats.
Also, the enclosure should be placed on a sturdy surface to prevent the cat from knocking it over. The other way that you can go about this is by training your cat to stay away from the terrarium. Cats respond well to reinforcement, so you can teach them to avoid undesirable behaviors.
If you’d like to learn more ways to secure your reptiles enclosure, be sure to check out our detailed article here.
Ensure Your Cat Stays Indoors
You can prevent your cat from eating wild lizards by keeping them indoors. As mentioned earlier, cats often get sick after eating lizards. Plus, some wild lizards are venomous and can inflict poisonous bites.
If you suspect your cat has eaten a lizard, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can result in death, especially when dealing with highly venomous lizards.
Seal The Gaps Around Windows And Doors
At times keeping your feline friend indoors is not enough since the lizards can come inside the house. To prevent this, you can install door sweeps to inhibit lizards from accessing your home.
The windows should also be sealed for the same purpose. Additionally, you should check your patio from time to time to ensure no lizards are larking around.
Are Lizards Scared Of Cats?
Lizards perceive cats as predators, so they rarely coexist in the same environment. A lizard will always run away when they see a cat, and this is one of the reasons why some people keep cats.
However, pet lizards can learn to live with cats under the same roof. You should still exercise caution when keeping both species to avoid possible complications.
How Do Lizards Avoid Cats?
Lizards can respond in different ways when they cross paths with a cat. This will depend on the species of lizard, the personality of the lizard, and the defense mechanisms of the particular species of lizard.
Small lizards can protect themselves from being eaten by running to the nearest hideout. Most lizards, such as the green anole located in the southeast United States, will react in this way.
Some lizards can puff up their bodies, thereby making them look larger. They may also make a hissing sound to scare the cat.
Dropping Their Tail
Ground dwelling lizards such as leopard geckos often drop their tail when they are in danger. Thus, if you own a leopard gecko and a cat, there is a strong possibility your leopard gecko will lose its tail.
Keeping a cat and a pet lizard in the same household can be challenging since you have to keep a close eye on both animals.
Ensure that you take the necessary precautions to protect all your pets. Also, try as much as you can to keep your lizard away from your cat.