Are Geckos Poisonous to Cats? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 88
Are Geckos Poisonous to Cats?

I live in South LA and we have geckos everywhere (they look like a clear bumpy lizard and are nocturnal...very weird looking). A friend of mine told me they are poisonous to cats. This worries me becasue occasionaly they get into the house and although they always out smart my cat, I'm afraid for her to actually catch one one day. The geckos are always on and around the windows to catch the bugs that are attracted to the light and one of Tweak's favorite things to do each evening is sit on the bathroom windowsil and chase them from the inside. So of course if one gets in the house she is going to want to catch it.
Has anyone else heard or know they are poisonous or is this just a myth?

Either way, can you send me proof so I can show my friend? Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 958
There is a difference between poisonous and venomous. Generally, poisonous refers to if you eat it, it will harm you. Venomous refers to it stinging or biting you. To be more specific, poisonous animals have toxic substances distributed in the tissues throughout their body while venomous animals have venom stored in specialized glands designed specifically for that purpose. A spider is venomous, some frogs are posionous. Unfortunately the 2 terms are used interchangably a lot and so it is confusing.

ok Bio lesson over.... That being said..... it is a myth that geckos are venomous. But I believe there are a few species that are poisonous - but I don't think any of them are in the US.

For your friend:
Originally Posted by
Despite folklore to the contrary, their bite is not poisonous.
Originally Posted by
"They are non-venomous," said Brian Sullivan, a professor of life sciences who specializes in desert invertebrates at Arizona State University West.
regarding cat interaction: ... vetlizard/
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 518
We have Geckos here in Hawaii too. I know Beaver has eaten some, he eats anything that crawls. He has not gotten sick. I also know growing up with geckos, we used to play with them and I let my kids here play with them, you can also buy geckos as pets at the pet store, they are not venomous or toxic. My mom always said geckos were a sign of good luck and we never killed one... ever. If we found one in the house, we always took them outside and freed them. They have never bitten me, but I have seen them attack each other, either that or they were mating, they grab each other by the tail and hang on. Some lizards are poisonous, I know. My mom always said the ones with blue bellies were, and you have those in LA, I'd be more worried about them (I used to live in AZ and have family in CA and lived in Monterey for a while too.) Also, the toads there are extremely toxic. A pet can just lick one and die. They secreat a toxin from what looks like their ears. It looks like elmer's glue, pick one up and squeeze the ear and it will secreat a little out so you can see, and they rub it on their bodies. You'll know if your cat got ahold of one. They will come home frothing at the mouth. Anyway, hope I helped some.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 88
Thanks friend did say if they eat one it would kill them, so poisonous would be the correct terminology. I figured it was a myth, but he is so argumentative that I have to be able to prove it when I dispute him.
I'll do some more web research and see if the particular kind I am referring to are harmless. Probably so, or else I believe there would be plenty of dead cats in Louisiana...these geckos are everywhere! Thanks again for your replies.
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