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Will My Cat Eat My Bearded Dragon? Coexisting & Socialization Tips

Felines and reptiles have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, cats naturally hunt small lizards such as geckos. In turn, these lizards sometimes carry parasites called flukes that can kill your cat. If you have both a cat and a Bearded Dragon, you may be wondering, do cats eat Bearded Dragons? The Bearded Dragon is one of the most laid-back reptiles on the planet, which makes them pretty chill pets. Because Bearded Dragons are so chill, usually cats don’t find them interesting enough to chase in order to kill and eat them. It’s actually possible to raise a cat and a Bearded Dragon under the same roof, as long as you take precautionary measures to make sure both species are safe.

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Do Cats Eat Bearded Dragons?

Even house cats who have never stepped a paw into the outdoors possess a prey drive. The strength of that instinct depends on your individual cat. Some felines prefer to spend their days lounging in the sunshine without a care in the world. Others restlessly chase everything that moves, including inanimate objects such as the vacuum cleaner. These cats probably wouldn’t be well paired with the Bearded Dragon and may even try to eat them.

However, while it is possible for your cat to attack and kill your Bearded Dragon, it’s highly unlikely especially as the Bearded Dragon grows bigger. Also, Beardies do have teeth and can fight back, so the chances of them becoming your cat’s meal aren’t super likely. It is important, though, to keep your Bearded Dragon out of your cat’s reach if it is a baby or juvenile, and not to let it run around freely where your cat might catch it.

It’s also worth considering that while cats do prey on lizards, your cat has probably never seen a Bearded Dragon before and may not see it as prey. But even if the cat doesn’t actually try to catch your Bearded Dragon, the stress of having a predator constantly on the prowl and lurking around the reptile’s enclosure can create health problems in your Bearded Dragon and is a form of animal abuse. It’s important to keep your Bearded Dragon in an area that is inaccessible to your cat.

Bearded dragon and white kitten meeting
Image Credit: Mark Bernards, Shutterstock

Can a Cat and a Bearded Dragon Live Peacefully Under the Same Roof?

With rare exceptions, cats and Bearded Dragons can get along exceptionally well. Both felines and Beardies are drawn to food, water, sunlight, and you, so they’ll have some things in common from the start. The key is early socialization. You should introduce them slowly and remember to never leave them alone together while they’re still small. For example, you shouldn’t leave a baby Beardie alone with an adult cat, or a kitten with a Beardie. Keep them in separate rooms or enclosures when you leave the house, and put your Beardie in a cage if your cat starts showing signs of aggression.

While it might be okay for your cat to jump on the countertops, your Bearded Dragon will need more boundaries since they carry salmonella. Additionally, felines are territorial creatures who benefit from having a room, or at least a corner of the house, to themselves away from all other animals. Thus, allowing your cat into the kitchen (but not your Beardie) can solve both problems at once.

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In nature, cats and reptiles don’t typically get along. However, Beardies and kitties seem to be an exception to the rule. With proper socialization, they might even become friends. You should always introduce them to each other slowly. Prioritizing their safety over speed increases the long-term chances of making the relationship work.

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Featured Image Credit: Ruzana, Shutterstock