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Those that keep herps...A Q for you?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,
I am in the process of researching geckos and I'm planning on getting a group of crested geckos within the next few months-1 year (yes, I like to plan things out, you can call me anal).

At any rate, what I'm wondering, is do those of you with herps have problems with your cats trying to "hunt" them?

Also, do you keep your herps in a single room and then keep the cats out of that room or do the cats have access to the rooms where the tanks/vivs. are?

Now, I assume that I would definately keep the cats out of the room the geckos were kept in when I am doing viv. maintenence or have the geckos out, but my main concern is the cats trying to knock over the vivs/terreriums the geckos are kept in...Because of the lighter weight of a terrarium vs. an aquarium full of water, my concern is that the cats would be able to knock it over and get to the geckos... Which would mean that my investment in some nice cresteds would turn into ultra-expensive cat treats

So, what are your experiences along those lines and what, if anything, do you do to prevent said herp massacre?

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 7
I don't have a herp only room, I wish I did.

I use surfaces that cats cannot jump up next to the tanks - such as book shelves, dresser top, etc. They are strongly discouraged to show any interest at all in the geckos. If one of the geckos barks or shuffles around (especially my noisy leo - she rearranges her cage all the time), and the cats get that intent hunter look on their faces I'll tell them no, and to "come here" - calling them away.
It works... surprisingly.

But the main part is making sure they cannot sit next to the cages or get onto any of them. Were that to happen they could tip smaller cages, or in my case - the young goldens tubs.
Anything glass and 20gal + will be harder to tip, though a tall tank might be easier. Locks on lids or locking doors is a very very good idea.

I'm able to get my geckos out in the same room with the cats... but I can read both cat and gecko body language very well. I can keep the goldens from jumping or attempting to run off. I'm guessing it would be the same for a crested, they would tense up or focus on a spot before trying to jump. Cats are shooed away if they get the "hunter" look, Sho accepts this and will just go back to sleep or ignore the gecko and I. Tomas is young - but is learning.
Neither cat acknowledges the geckos when I'm out of a room or away from home.

So basic tips...
Lid locks, locking cage doors -never leave a lid or door unwatched or unlocked.
No cats on or next to cages -no cat "tv"
Know your geckos behavior
Loose geckos are dust...

If the worst happens, get the cat out of the room and don't give up until you've recovered the gecko. No idea if you've dealt with any geckos that can climb walls and move very quickly - but the way I catch mine when is to remain calm and slowly work them into a position that allows me to gently scoop them up or into a cardboard tube.

...The insects I keep don't fair as well, I'm afraid. Tomas and even Sho desperately want to get their paws on them.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks, the tips you gave were pretty much along the lines I was thinking.

It will be a while until I get to put together a setup (and get the geckos) so I've got time to *hopefully* plan out as cat-proof an arrangement as possible.

I have an old 10gl tank stand that I was thinking about using...at least the bottom shelf would be somewhat safe (due to the rought iron bars on the sides). I'll have to look around at some thriftstores for a bookcase that might work. I like the idea of being able to sit the tanks on a bookcase, possibly along with some books.

Thanks again!
post #4 of 7
lol, I'm reading your posts and thinking "where the heck am I going to put the tank i'm bringing home?"
Yes, I have a bookcase, but it's full of books except for on the top where dynah likes to sleep ontop of my stereo.
I have a plantstand they don't go on, which has some room, but it's near my sliding door and kinda drafty.
I have a shelf on my desk that it should fit in nicely, but the cats could easily sit and stare into the tank (they wouldn't be able to move it though).
He could live on my dresser...but one of the favourite "mom get up and feed us" games is to get up on my dresser and randomly knock stuff off...man I hate that game! At least I could keep that door closed most of the day if needed....
Decisions Decisions! It's hard when your smallest and most agile cat is also part acrobat!
Let me know when and how you get your tank set up, sure would be interested
post #5 of 7
The only thing my cats ever try to "hunt" is the crickets I feed to my critters!
I have to be careful where I keep the crickets because they will try to bat the cricket cage around...
post #6 of 7
We custom built our Water Dragon cage. It fits over the top of my bedroom dresser. It's functional and practical but not very pretty. We used pet proof screen on two sides and vinyl on the other two sides.

I knew we needed something strong, heavy, cat proof and lizard escape proof. So we came up with this design.

DH then built a platform for the cage to sit on and my dresser fit right under it. It's about 4 feet off the ground

All of my cats will sit on the bed to watch Lizzie eat and take a bath. My Bengals are the only ones who have taken flying leaps at the screen to watch her.

post #7 of 7
Does Lizzie ever ask for privacy??
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