It seems like a cat and a lizard in one room is a perfect recipe for disaster. These reptiles are tiny, they move, and they are living things, which make them easy prey for most felines who haven’t entirely given up on their wild instincts.
Surprisingly, from what you can see in this rather intense compilation from Bored Panda right down below, things are not that easy. Cold-blooded lizards are not surrendering to four-legged hunters any time soon. And on the contrary, lizards and cats sometimes do make a perfect friendship.
The dynamic of such friendliness is, in fact, so complicated and all, I can’t do much other than leave you with the quote: “there’s only one step from love to hate.” From felines who are convinced they’re lizards, to lizards holding onto their chin for like, an eternity, these are some of the most dramatic encounters that blur the line between what we call an enemy and a best friend.
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They have naps together, spy on the neighbors through the window together and just generally hang out together every chance they get. (All interactions are 100% supervised).
To find out for once and for all whether cats and lizards are meant to be friends or enemies, we reached out to Rachel Geller, a certified cat behavior specialist and author of the book “Saving the World, One Cat at a Time: What I Know About Cats - And Why You Should Know It, Too.”
Even if cat and lizard encounters may look funny to humans, we should remember that “Cats have a prey drive that can be triggered by something that moves fast, and lizards move fast,” Rachel warns. She adds that “a cat may see the lizard as prey or something to play with,” and this can be dangerous for both the lizard and the cat.
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First of all, “it can be lethal for a lizard to be bitten or scratched by a cat.” On the other side, “lizards can be toxic to cats if the cat eats the lizard, but even if he touches or plays with the lizard.”
Rachel explained that “many lizards carry parasites that can cause digestive problems in cats and harm the gallbladder or liver” so badly that it may pose a threat to the feline's life. If that wasn’t enough, cats can also get salmonella from eating a lizard.
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The cat behavior specialist advises everyone who wants to keep both a lizard and a cat to keep them in totally separate and secure rooms. Glass tanks may not protect the cat from getting in, because “cats have been known to figure out how to get in there and capture their prey.”
Once a cat's prey drive is stimulated, and remember that they’re natural-born hunters, Rachel says, they will figure out a way to get to the lizard. Unfortunately, that’s just not for the better for either of them.