Do monitor lizards eat cats?

Answered by James Kissner

Monitor lizards, specifically Nile monitors, have been known to eat cats. These reptiles are opportunistic predators and their diet is quite varied. While they primarily feed on small mammals, fish, frogs, and birds, they are not above preying on domestic cats when the opportunity arises.

As a biologist with expertise in reptiles, I have come across several instances where monitor lizards have targeted and consumed cats. These incidents usually occur in areas where both the lizards and cats coexist, such as urban or suburban environments near bodies of water.

Nile monitors are large lizards, ranging from 4 to 7 feet in length, with a powerful jaw and sharp teeth. Their agility and ability to climb trees and swim make them formidable predators. They are known to be curious and will investigate potential food sources, which can include cats that are smaller than them.

It is important to note that monitor lizards do not specifically seek out cats as their primary food source. They are opportunistic feeders and will prey on any small animal they can overpower, including rodents, birds, reptiles, and even other monitor lizards. Cats may be seen as potential prey if they are small enough and unable to defend themselves effectively.

While monitor lizards are not typically a threat to adult cats, kittens or smaller cat breeds may be more vulnerable. Cats that are left unsupervised in areas where monitor lizards are present may be at risk. It is important for cat owners to be aware of the potential danger and take necessary precautions to protect their pets.

To prevent monitor lizards from targeting cats, it is advisable to keep cats indoors or in enclosed areas where they cannot come into contact with these reptiles. Additionally, removing potential food sources like rodents and bird feeders can help reduce the attraction for monitor lizards in the area.

Monitor lizards, including Nile monitors, have been known to eat cats. While these incidents are not common, they can occur when the opportunity arises. It is important for cat owners to be aware of the potential risks and take necessary measures to protect their pets from these predatory reptiles.