I have a leopard gecko (whiteling), 2 1/2 cats (Jitzu and Torri are mine, my rescue baby is Dora), 2 spiney mice (Lipton and Tetley), 1 gerbil (Indiana), 1 fiddler crab (Dr. Claw), and thee danios (fish...unnamed 'cause i can't tell them apart).
Yes the cat's are interested...but no they won't attack them. Mostly because I'm careful. The mice and gerbil are in our room, where kitties aren't allowed without supervision.
They love the gecko. Both cats think she's about the coolest thing ever. It's like Kitty tv.
As far as reptiles themselves go they are really easy pets. Leos are a great starter lizard, costs about $200 for a complete totally acceptable lifetime setup, and then you buy crickets which are cheap. Basically you need:
-20 gallon LONG aquarium
-repticarpet to fit
-UTI (under tank heater)
-2 hiding spots (1 cool side, one moist warm side)
As for leos getting stressed form handling, totally untrue. You just have to get them used to it...think of them like a feral cat. They might not be used to it, but they do learn to love it.
If you have questions you can PM me, I worked the reptile dept. in the last pet store i worked at, and i totally love leos
Good luck either way!