According to the American Pet Products Association (2020), a grand total of 85 million families in the United States have pets in their homes. Of these 85 million families, over half live with domestic felines.
Bearded Dragons, known by many as “Beardies,” are another pet making their way into the homes of Americans; although, they tend to be a little more exotic.
The Bearded Dragon and the domestic cat are, therefore, bound to cross paths and be introduced. But can cats and bearded dragons be friends?
Here are some of the similarities and differences of both these pets, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to successfully introduce your two companions so that they may both happily thrive and co-exist among one another.
Similarities Between Cats & Beardies
Both bearded dragons and cats are usually friendly. For one, the bearded dragon is known to be one of the friendliest reptiles. They do not bite, and they’re known to be even-tempered and easy going.
Most domestic cats are also friendly, with a love of playtime, pats, and of course, a few headbutts to show their love! This is especially true if you’ve socialized your cat with lots of different animals and humans.
Secondly, they’re both affectionate! The bearded dragon’s favorite cuddle spot is on your neck and chest, and the feline’s favorite cuddle spot is, well, wherever they please!
Lastly, they’re both tolerant. Both pets are known to adjust and tolerate other household pets with proper introductions, socialization, and time to acclimate.
How Are Cats Different From Bearded Dragons?
As different species, these two animals’ communication and social cues differ. Cats usually sniff the head or rear area of a new animal. Bearded dragons use other forms of body language to socialize.
They may wave their arms rapidly above their head as a friendly “hi.” Cats may take this rapid movement as a taunt for play, so caution is advised.
Bearded dragons may come across as “prey” to some cats due to their unusual appearance and size. Some cats are known for a high prey drive and have strong hunting instincts.
However, you can control this behavior, especially if you introduce the two slowly and socialize them well.
Bearded dragons and cats have different habitat requirements. The bearded dragon requires everything reptiles need including: UV light, heat, and moisture. The cat has free-roam of the house, which may also extend outdoors. They do not have as many specialized requirements.
On the up side, the bearded dragon’s specialized tank may act as a safe zone when you’re not present. This safe zone provides them with their necessities as well as an inaccessible area from the household cat. It works out quite well!
Introducing Cats And Bearded Dragons
We’ve put together a few steps to help guide you through introductions with confidence.
Hopefully these tips will help!
Step One: Find A Reputable Bearded Dragon Breeder
Be sure to purchase your bearded dragon from a reputable and responsible breeder.
A good breeder ensures that your bearded dragon is raised in the best environment. This means that they’re handled and treated properly.
Ill-treated animals may be prone to developing fearful or aggressive tendencies.
Step Two: Ensure A Controlled And Safe Environment
Introducing your cat and bearded dragon is a two-person job. It is important to have control over both animals so that you’re able to stay wary of their behaviors and social cues.
Watch carefully for signs of fear or aggression during interactions. Ensuring a controlled and safe environment enables you to react quickly to any unexpected or negative situations.
Step Three: Be Patient
Adjustment periods are normal for all pets. It’s important to be patient and not rush any situations.
Take introductions and interactions slow so they can familiarize themselves with one another. Allow your pets to sniff and investigate one another in a safe environment.
Try not to be nervous. They can sense it more than you think. Just be patient, and let them decide if and when they will become friends!
Step Four: Keep Up With Ongoing Supervision
You should always continue with ongoing supervision for both of your pets. Unwanted or instinctual behaviors may occur when least expected.
This is true of almost any two pets you can put together. Sometimes they get along, and sometimes they may fight, just like humans. Keep both animals safe by staying vigilant.
It’s better to be safe than sorry; you never know for sure if things will go downhill very quickly.
So Can Cats Be Friends With Bearded Dragons?
The answer is yes! So long as you take the right steps, your bearded dragon and cat can be friends. In fact, the bearded dragon and the cat have been successfully introduced to each other in many loving homes.
With proper introductions, socialization, and ongoing supervision, these two pets can grow to accept, cuddle, and live harmoniously together.
Simply follow this guide and remember that all animals’ personalities and temperaments may differ!
Has your cat ever met a bearded dragon? Did they get along well? Let us know in the comments below!