We’ve all heard of animals striking up unlikely friendships, but can cats and bearded dragons actually get along? The general answer is, yes, they can become friends. However, it’s all dependant on their personalities. In this article, I’ll discuss each of these animals and describe their personalities and how to care for them concurrently.
Cats and Bearded Dragons Together
As I mentioned earlier, your cat and bearded dragon may get along famously, and may even enjoy a cuddle once in a while, but it all depends on their personalities. Introduce them gradually and supervise them, so you can make sure they are comfortable around each other.
Bearded dragons, affectionately known as ‘beardies,’ are generally calm and docile, but can have aggressive traits and be territorial. Keep an eye out for their body language. If they bob their head quickly or if their beard puffs up and turns black, your beardie might feel threatened. Your bearded dragon should come from a reputable breeder, so you know that your beardie is friendly and has been properly cared for, and that they haven’t developed any defensive or hostile traits due to being mishandled.
Older cats can also be relaxed and docile, but excitable kittens may not be the best companions for bearded dragons. Some cats may even see a beardie as prey, especially smaller juvenile beardies, or they may want to play with it. So, if you can see that your cat is getting a little overexcited and your beardie is getting defensive, then it might be best to separate them for a while until they have both calmed down.
Keep your bearded dragon in their vivarium when you are not there to monitor your cat and beardie while they’re spending time together. While they might get along when you are home, you don’t know how they’ll behave while you’re away, so you should ensure your beardie’s enclosure is sealed so both your pets are safe and protected.
Caring for Bearded Dragons and Cats
Bearded dragons are reptiles which thermoregulate, so they need to be kept in a temperature-controlled tank. You should keep your bearded dragon warm and hydrated, and make sure they have a place to cool down, so they’re comfortable and healthy. Your bearded dragon’s habitat should be properly set up with substrate, lighting/heating, and other décor items and regularly cleaned to maintain hygiene. You should remove uneaten food and faeces daily, and clean the whole tank and accessories monthly.
Bearded dragons may occasionally need to be bathed, especially when they’re shedding, and will need constant access to water and will need to be fed insects, veggies, and fruits. That they should have enough calcium and other vitamins in their diet.
During your beardie’s annual vet visit, your vet may test its faeces for parasites. Because bearded dragons can pass on salmonella and other bacteria to humans, it’s always best to wash your hands after handing them.
In contrast, cats mostly look after themselves. Those who already care for cats will understand how independent and sociable they are. As long as their litter tray is regularly cleaned, they have fresh water and food every day, and they’re taken to the vet for their annual check-up and booster shots, they’ll be quite happy roaming around the house, getting cuddles, and taking catnaps. Cats need regular exercise, so you should allow them time to wander outside. If your cat is an indoor cat, get plenty of toys for them to play with.
What Do I Do If One of My Pets Has Bitten the Other?
Some bearded dragons can bite if they feel threatened or stressed, though the severity of the bite is minimal to a human. Usually, they bite only in self-defence. They release a mild venom, so their bite will feel like a bee sting, and you may receive a small cut. Though a person’s natural instinct is to pull away, this can make them clamp down harder, so you should remain calm. Gently and slowly pull their jaws apart to get them to release, so you don’t injure your beardie or make it bite down harder.
If your cat is bitten by your bearded dragon, try to keep your cat calm and clean the area of the bite. If your beardie has broken the skin, there’s a chance your cat might get an infection. Take your cat to the vet and explain the situation, so the vet can provide appropriate treatment.
If your beardie has been bitten by your cat, whether during play time or because of a fight, they may require a visit to the vet. Cat bites can be dangerous to bearded dragons and they can spread bacteria. You should clean the wound with antiseptic, and even if the bite hasn’t broken skin, your beardie may need to be treated for shock by your vet.
If you provide your cat and bearded dragon with the love and attention they need, then they can coexist peacefully. Cats and bearded dragons both have very clear body language, so understanding their gestures and mannerisms will help you to interpret how they feel whenever they are together, so you can maintain peace in the house!
Image Credits: sxycatgirl