Do Cats Eat Lizards? (Are they not Toxic & Dangerous?)
If you have a cat, or a pet lizard, you may have wondered if cats eats lizards. I was interested to see if or why this happens and if domestic cats are in danger of poison or toxic venom from eating lizards.
Do Cats Eats Lizard? Yes, they do. Depending on the specie of lizard it may or may not harm your cat. The common house lizard, for example is not venomous or toxic, but they can carry diseases such as salmonella and parasites.
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So, now you know that lizards can be eaten by cats. The next thing that I was interested in knowing was more detail. For example, what diseases might a cat get if it eats the wrong lizard, what other predators may put your pet lizard at risk, how to avoid your lizard getting eaten by predators such as cats, and more. Please read on to get this information.
What can happen if your cat eats a lizard, are they not toxic?
To answer your question directly yes, they can be toxic (I will explain more in detail within the rest of the article). In particular venomous. But, they are definitely not poisonous.
The reason why I say they are not poisonous is because people tend to confuse venomous and poisonous. An easy way to understand this differentiation is this, venom is injected when you are bitten. Poison, on the other hand, is when you eat something and it enters your body.
Some lizards carry salmonella on their skin and also have parasite on them inside of the body, which can be dangerous if consumed by your cat.
The parasites on a lizard can come from animals it eats, such as mice. These parasites, while they are not toxic, can cause harm to your cat if it ingests them.
What is the difference between toxic, venomous, and poisonous?
In reality venom and poisoning are both regarded as toxins, so if your question is on lizards, or can lizards be toxic, then the answer is yes.
The distinction between poisonous is if you consume something and it goes into your body that is deemed as poisonous.
However, if something is a venomous it is come from when you are bitten and injected with toxins. This is an easy way to differentiate between poisonous venomous.
So, what animals’ prey on lizards?
This depends on the size of the lizard, you can get small lizards, like the Chipkali, or some are absolutely enormous, like the Komodo dragon, which is almost 10 feet in length. Therefore, the types of predators can vary quite significantly.
In reality humans are probably the biggest threat to any lizard specie, simply because they have a tendency to steal their eggs and antagonise all species of lizards.
Other predators to consider are larger lizards that tend to attack smaller lizards, small parasites that prey and live on lizards themselves. As discussed earlier, these parasites are believed to come from animals such as mice, rats or even in insects that the lizards eat.
How do lizards protect themselves from danger?
One of the tactics that they use is breaking off their tail to escape from their enemy. They also change colour, also on a more drastic level, some of them actually squirt blood from their eyes to completely confuse and scare their predator.
Another tactic that they use is hissing, an example of this is the Frilled dragon, it hisses to frighten off its predator and make it look intimidating.
Bearded dragons are known to puff up their throats to make themselves look bigger and intimidate their attacker.
Tail whipping is another tactic that lizards use to protect himself. The green iguana is known to lash its tail to inflict harm on its predator. In fact, big lizards can lash so hard that they can even break the skin of their attacker.
Bearded dragons have a unique technique of using its spiky spine to intimidate its enemy. This spikey spine looks like armour and has the tendency to frighten off its prey.
Another tactic used by the Blue Tongue Skink in particular, is to expose its tongue to make its predator believe that it is poisonous and pose a danger to it.
How fast can a lizard run, to get away from danger?
It is believed that the Perentie Monitor can run up to 25 mph, which is an amazing speed for land animal. Another fast specie of lizard is the Spiny tailed iguana, this lizard can hit speeds of up to 21 mph.
An interesting fact about this Iguanna is that it can maintain higher speeds it’s younger offspring.
How can you stop your pet lizard picking up diseases?
Prevention of diseases is important. It is not possible to prevent all diseases, but if we can highlight the potential diseases out there and give you an idea of how to generally prevent them it can help you.
Let’s first look at some common diseases that your lizard can contract, then we can look at how we can help to stop these from being picked up in the first place. Here are some common diseases:
- Ear Infections
- Metabolic Bone disease
- Mouth rot
Some of these diseases can’t be easily cured, but some of them are caused by poor living conditions or neglect by the owners in captivity. To improve the chances of your lizard living a long happy life, and reducing the chances of it catching these diseases, you need to improve the environment you provide.
In particular you should keep your lizard tank clean, provide fresh water, and remove any unwanted or left-over live food items, such as insects, when your lizard has finished eating.
To be honest this is generally good practice and should be adopted regardless of disease prevention.
What can happen if you are bitten by a Lizard?
Firstly, it depends on what type of lizard you’re bitten by, for example if you were bitten by a Gila Monster, it is venomous but you are unlikely to suffer fatal injuries.
However, if you are attacked and bitten by a Komodo dragon, there is a very good chance that you can suffer fatal injuries. This is a combination of the dangerous bacteria that is found when it bites you, also because of the vicious damage that the actual bite will inflict on you.
To put this in perspective, in the last 20 years there have been at least 12 people that have been killed by Komodo dragons, so they are no joke.
Can eating lizards make my dog sick?
It is possible for this to happen, but it largely depends on a number of factors. In particular, it depends on the type of lizard, what the dog has eaten during that day and also if that type of lizard is venomous or had other diseases or even parasites on its body.
The good news is if your dog does eat a lizard it is unlikely to cause serious damage to your dog but it is always wise to be cautious and check to see what he has eaten before ruling out any potential issues.