You want to get a bearded dragon, but aren’t sure if it’ll get along with your cat. Provided that precautions are taken, cats and bearded dragons can coexist, and are even known to show affection towards each other.
Cats and bearded dragons can become friends. They play together, sit next to, and chase each other. However, they can also get into fights, so they shouldn’t be left unattended. You must keep your bearded dragon in its enclosure in a room that your cat can’t access.
Cats and bearded dragons shouldn’t be left unattended because they’re different species: mammals and reptiles. But, if you learn how to care for them properly and take precautions, you’re unlikely to have a problem.
Do Cats Like Bearded Dragons?
Depending on the temperament and personalities of both animals, cats and bearded dragons can get along surprisingly well. Given time, they can become extremely comfortable in each other’s company
Once your cat and bearded dragon have known each other for a while, they may sit next to each other for hours. Your beardie will likely initiate the contact because it is cold-blooded. It derives heat from sitting next to a warm-bodied animal, like a house cat.
Both cats and bearded dragons like to play chase, so it’s not unusual for the pair to chase each other. Their behavior should be monitored closely because it can sometimes escalate to fighting and aggression.
Unfortunately, it is also possible for some cats and beardies to dislike each other. They may be afraid of each other, or fight. Whether that happens depends on how well you train your pets, and how you care for them. For example, offering each pet its own space
Are Cats Scared of Bearded Dragons?
Cats can be wary of bearded dragons, or any new animal. It will not know whether this strange creature is a friend or enemy at this stage.
- Your cat may sit nearby, but not too close, so it can take a closer look
- It may prod the bearded dragon with its paw and then back away
- Some cats just go to sleep, or pretend to be asleep/look disinterested
Over time, the cat’s reaction may change as it becomes familiar with a bearded dragon. It may become more comfortable or remain wary and afraid. How it continues to react depends on your cat’s personality.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Cats?
Beardies are relaxed and easy-going reptiles. If the cat is well-behaved, then the bearded dragon will get along well with your cat.
When they first meet, the bearded dragon is likely to have the same reaction as the cat. It will try to figure out whether the cat is a friend or foe.
If the cat is well behaved, then the two will happily coexist.
Are Bearded Dragons Afraid of Cats?
Bearded dragons can become afraid if the cat was to attack, or it is too rough when they play together. However, they are confident animals and are rarely intimidated by an animal the size of a cat.
If the cat is curious, or even if it attacks, the beardie will likely stand its ground to gain some respect. It may even move towards the cat quickly, face turned up to stare at it.
What normally happens then is for the cat to back away. The cat is used to smaller animals which are intimidated by a big cat batting at it, so this is an unusual experience for them.
That being said, beardies and cats will usually get along fine once they get past this phase of not understanding each other.
Do Cats Attack Bearded Dragons?
Some owners think that it’s only a matter of time until a cat attacks a bearded dragon. Other owners say that cats and bearded dragons can be good friends, and that the cat is unlikely to ever attack.
Cats can be friendly, but according to the BES, still have hunting instincts. Their instincts tell them to kill creatures smaller than themselves, especially when they’re hungry.
You can’t entirely erase these instincts, although you can make them less likely to be a problem.
Will Cats Eat Bearded Dragons?
The cats from which domesticated house cats are descended from don’t hunt bearded dragons in the wild, but it could still happen.
According to Animals, cats do hunt for reptiles, albeit smaller ones than bearded dragons.
Cats will frequently eat part of the prey that they catch, even if they only ‘hunted’ it for fun. The cat gets more than enough food from what you feed it. It will only eat a small part of its prey because it’s not hungry.
Can You Keep Cats and Bearded Dragons Together in the Same House?
Your cat could attack and kill your bearded dragon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep both in your home at the same time. The key thing you have to do is keep them separated when you’re not around.
1) Keep the Pair Separated
If you own both a cat and a beardie, it’s best practice to keep them separated throughout the day. This prevents any likelihood of injury when you aren’t watching.
Keep a separate room for your beardie, which your cat isn’t allowed into. It could be one of the bedrooms in your house, which you could keep locked when not in use.
2) Monitor the Pair When Together
If both pets are well behaved when you’re watching them, you may think that you can leave them together at all times. But this isn’t a good idea.
Both cats and bearded dragons have instincts. While they may consider each other friends, these instincts can kick in, e.g. when they’re playing. This might mean that a friendly game of chase develops into a fight.
When the pair begin to fight, things could get ugly. If that was to happen, you must ensure that you’re there to break the pair apart. You have to monitor your cat and bearded dragon any time they’re together.
For the same reason, you should also monitor your beardie any time you take it from its enclosure, even if the cat isn’t around. The cat could get in the room through a door or a window and attack.
3) Fit a Secure Lid to Your Beardies Enclosure
If the lid is loose, then your cat can knock it out of the way in an attempt to get inside. But if the lid locks or clicks down, it can’t. You want a lid that’s secure to avoid that happening.
Some enclosures come with lids that are specially made for them. Because reptile tanks come in certain standard sizes, you could buy an aftermarket lid. Check that it fits or clips securely enough that a cat can’t lift it.
4) Train Your Cat
There are several kinds of negative behavior that you’re likely to see, and should be discouraged. These are as follows:
- The cat sits near your bearded dragon’s enclosure and watches it from afar. This is hunting behavior.
- The cat tries to break into your reptile’s enclosure.
- Your cat is fighting aggressively with your bearded dragon when they’re playing together.
What you need to do is associate your cat’s behavior with a negative outcome. The easiest way to do this is to spray your cat with a small water pistol, or with a spray bottle of water.
How to Introduce a Cat to a Bearded Dragon
A cat and bearded dragon won’t become friends the moment they meet. So, they must meet in a way where the risk of fighting is minimized.
1) Introduce the Cat when Still a Kitten
It’s far easier to introduce a kitten than an adult cat to a bearded dragon. That’s because kittens are still developing and learning when young.
If your kitten learns what a bearded dragon is from a young age, it thinks that living with one is normal. It will learn to be less guarded.
Introducing an adult cat to a bearded dragon is still possible. But the adult cat is more likely to think that the bearded dragon is a threat or prey.
2) Begin with The Animals in Cages
Don’t immediately put the two animals into the same room and expect everything to go well. It’s possible that it would, but this increases the likelihood that the pair will fight.
Instead, keep the two pets separated when you first introduce them. The easiest way to do this is to put your cat into its carrier, then move the carrier close to the bearded dragon’s enclosure.
This will allow the two pets to see each other. If your bearded dragon is in a glass enclosure, it may not smell the cat, although the cat will definitely smell it. You can then reverse the roles, with the beardie in the carrier near the cat’s bed, for example.
This is a vital step because animals rely on their senses of smell far more than humans do. They recognize each other, and recognize friends and foes, through their smells.
3) Physically Introduce the Pair
You can allow the pair to interact directly. Take your beardie from its enclosure and take it to your cat, holding it in your hands. Allow your cat to see the bearded dragon from a distance before moving towards it, still carrying your pet.
When close enough, allow the pair to sniff each other. If the two are already somewhat used to each other, they should sniff, but not run away. This is like the cat’s way of saying ‘hello’.
Once the pair have sniffed each other, put your beardie down. Let the pair sit next to each other and see if the cat and bearded dragon get along.
The cat, having had the chance to sniff the bearded dragon, should be comfortable in each other’s company. But the beardie may still be nervous or aggressive as reptiles are less social than mammals.
Here are some other animals that get along with cats to consider.