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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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reptiles

I'm wondering if any of you have both cats and reptiles. I'm thinking about it.

Last Saturday my boyfriend and I went to a reptile super show in downtown San Diego. We were going to treat it like a zoo, meaning that we were not going to get any reptiles, we have cats, we haven't done enough research, we just wanted to look at beautiful animals.

Well we both got tempted. My boyfriend and I were fascinated by the Poison dart frogs (well, they're poisonous in the wild because of the bugs they eat) and found out that they're not that hard to care for. A tank would protect them from the cats. Temperature should not be above 90 degrees, Their environment must remain misted and plants and moss take care of the frog's waste.

I also thought the leopard geckos were just absolutely adorable and beautiful too so now I'm reading a book about leopard geckos. A good tank will protect them from the cats too. It's generally not reccommended that they're not handled too often because it creates stress and makes their tail break off so I would leave them in their housing.

But we really need to do our research. We don't have the money for it right now so if we get frogs and geckos it will be a while from now. We would have to feed them live bugs which could escape and become pests. We also live in a condo and not a house so those pests could get into our neighbors homes. Books tend to explain more about taking care of the reptiles and amphibians themselves than their food supply.

I believe some of you have reptiles and am wondering if you can share your experience with them in regards to care of reptiles and amphibians and their food supply.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 12:19 PM
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I went through my reptile phase before I got my dogs. I first got firebellied newts and then after I returned them to the store after 6 months I ended up getting turtles.

About $1000 and 4 years later I ended up listing them on Craigslist and gave them away for free.

I really liked the turtles but after getting my 2 dogs I didn't have as much time, you have to be sure to keep on top of cleaning the cage/tank. It is not like cleaning a litter box. In the beginning I spent a lot of time caring for them but towards the end I got really sick of it and felt bad so I gave them away to a family with boys. I also felt bad that their whole lives was this cage. I would bring them out into the yard but they were aquatic turtles so I couldn't do much with them. I thought about making a man made pond outside but I would have been sad if something happened to them.

Reptiles are cool pets but honestly they do not do a whole lot, watching them is fun but it gets old. Then you have to continue to clean up and care for them and the large tank became an eye sore.

I am in no way trying to burst your bubble, that is just my opinion from the last 5 years.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica H
I am in no way trying to burst your bubble, that is just my opinion from the last 5 years.
You have a point. It's easy to be fascinated with a cute little critter and think about getting one until you really think about how much work is involved. I'm thinking, Raising fruit flies for frogs, raising crickets for gekkos, cleaning the gecko container, etc. Perhaps my cats are enough animals for me right now. I wouldn't be thinking about this if I hadn't gone to that amazing reptile show.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 11:07 PM
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Re: reptiles

I have Tiger and Spiky, Spiky is a terrapene ornata ornata aka ornate box turtle, She lives in her enclosure upstairs and Tiger doesn't bother her one bit, even when I place Spiky on the floor to mist her enclosure he doesn't bother, doesn't swat at her, Spiky loves to climb on his tail and when she accomplishes this Tiger runs away and flops in a different spot.

Here's a picture of my beloved Spiky, we found her 6 years ago on a drive way, her shell was completely shattered, pieces were scattered everywhere, her wounds were horrifying, it has taken a LONG time and a lot of effort to get her back to health, she isn't fully recovered yet but we are slowly getting there!

I don't know much about geckos, but I know turtles require a lot of time, attention and research, the time to do this is prior to purchase/adoption (I learned the hard way..) they have very specific needs depending on the specie, sub-species such as lightning, heating, diet..
Husbandry to summarize is a lot of work!!


Maria
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 03:41 AM
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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)
-Tank cover
-water dish
-calcium supplement
-2 hiding spots (1 cool side, one moist warm side)
-leopard gecko

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!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 04:41 AM
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We have a cham. His name is Siggy. Horst loves his "dinner", but Siggi is not interesting for Horst.

Two little Bearded Dragons are living in a tank in my sons room.

Norbert is an iguana iguana. He is now 1,90 m long and is the beloved buddy of Horst, the kitten.

Norbert loves cats, I don´t know why.

Wanna see the homepage?
http://mitglied.lycos.de/olbifu/Tiere.htm

You can open sites by clicking on some pics. It´s in German, but you can see pics of Norberts "little" home.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 09:10 AM
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I have Uromastyx lizards and 2 cats ... My older cat really isnt that interested but my younger cat is a hunter and figured out how to open one of the doors on my lizard enclosure and got ahold of one of my little lizards (i have 3 young ones and 1 older one) about 10 days ago.

You just have to make sure the cats can't get into the tank or knock lights off the top of the tank (fire hazard). There is a neutral medium you just have to find it.

Good Luck.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 10:11 AM
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I have been breeding reptiles professionally for about 9 yrs now. My first thought in reading your post was that I would HIGHLY recommend getting a more adequate enclosure than a "good tank." There are many companies out there that specialize in making enclosures specifically designed for reptiles whereas tanks are made for fish or hermit crabs. Many were probably set up at the show you were at. These enclosures make "escapes" or "breaking & entering" virtually impossible if used properly. I keep my reptiles in a part of the house that my cat cannot access ever. But if that is not a possibility, all the more reason to get the best, most secure enclosures available. Doug Barr makes a great affordable enclosure. Vision is the industry standard, however they are a higher price than Barr. I use Boaphile Plastics, again a bit higher than Barr. The absolute best option available IMHO would be Habitat Systems, but their prices are VERY high. Sometimes you can get display models at a discount though. All of these companies are going to be able to offer a miriad of benefits that a tank cannot. 1) Able to control and maintain more presice temps and humidity, 2) Escape proof, 3) Asthetically more pleasing, 4) Easier access for cleaning, 5) Lighter weight etc...

As for the animals you are interested in, I don't know a whole lot about frogs at all, but the geckos are a GREAT choice! So cute, easy to care for, and fun to watch. The only downfall to them is CRICKETS! I guess you would have the same problem with the frogs, but those crickets are a nightmare! Plus you have to feed them every day, whereas with snakes you only feed every 5-10 days. In other words, if you go away on vacation you would need a gecko sitter. But every pet has its issues, and really that is the only one I can think of with those little guys. I think you can do just fine with the right amount of educating yourself. Best of luck to you, and feel free to contact me (my website is in my siggy) when the time comes for you to purchase your little critter. I do not sell them, but I know a lot of the most reputable breeders and I will be happy to point you in the right direction.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 12:51 PM
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I recommend green anoles for a great starter reptile. I have two , a male and a female and they are soo cute!. I have mine in a 33 gallon fish tank. For substrate I have peat moss with a tropical soil I got at the pet store. Then I have a great big piece of drift wood and some fake and real plants. I feed mine crickets every other day. They do require a uvb light which can be a little expensive and also a heat lamp. I dont' have a heat lamp yet because it's very hot alone with my incadescent canopy. I will get one for the fall. I also mist them a couple times a day because they dont' drink from bowls, they would rather lap up the mist from leaves and the side of the tank.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Someone mentioned crickets are a nightmare. I think that's the thing that's holding me back. I read that you have to feed the crickets a good diet in order to feed them to geckos because a cricket from a pet store that hasn't eaten for a few days is not a complete meal.

If I lived in a house and had a back yard it would be no big deal. I would keept the crickets outside and if they escape I won't worry about it. But I live in a small condo with a little balcony. If I think about opening the container lid to feed crickets, the crickets escaping, becoming pests in my home and getting into my neighbors homes and also considering the issue of where the heck am I going to put all these bugs? Even if I bought a separate tank for the crickets, what an ugly sight for anyone that comes over. Sure the gecko would be beautiful but the crickets would probably even freak me out.

Thanks for your replies. Now that I've carefully thought this out I don't think I'll be getting any reptiles because I'm too afraid of a bug disaster.

Mutzi, those pictures are very cute. I'm not new to German, I come from a german-speaking family. I'm just not fluent.
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