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Can you keep monitor lizards with cats and dogs?

Monitor lizards are becoming increasingly common as house pets. After all, there are some species which are relatively docile, smart, fun to keep around, and not dangerous to humans. But if you have cats, dogs or other small animals in your house, then you may wonder if it’s safe to let them play together given how big a monitor can get in size.

Large Asian Water Monitor with cat, hamster and dog

Can monitor lizards live with cats?

Whether you should worry about housing a monitor and a cat together depends on the size and diet of the monitor.  Ackie monitors are the least likely to create trouble given their small size and mainly insectivore diet. Nile monitors on the other hand have been known to feed on cats, and any other lizard of similar size could potentially do the same. Even if your Savannah monitor doesn’t eat your cat, one wrong movement can lead to serious injury or death for your feline friend. Remember that all monitor lizards are venomous even though their toxins are not considered dangerous to humans, they can take down a cat easily.

Can monitor lizards live with dogs?

Again, the size of both the lizard and dog in question may determine whether it’s a potentially bad idea or a surely-very-bad idea to house them together. Dogs are somewhat more wary of lizards than cats are, and they tend to leave them alone (possibly because they are scared of them), but you never know. Some people have no problem letting Savannah monitors and large dogs live under the same roof, it is important however that whenever you let the lizard outside of its enclosure, you keep an eye on both pets and never let them interact without supervision.

Monitor lizards and small pets

You should not keep your monitor lizards anywhere near rodents, birds, or insect pets, because they will see them as prey and eat them. Even other small reptiles such as turtles and smaller lizards and snakes are at risk of becoming their next meal, so make sure you keep all of your pets inside their own enclosure.

Housing monitor lizards together

Two or more monitors can live under the same roof as long as they are each given their own space. You will either need to set up two separate enclosures or build one that is big enough to accommodate both of them. It is generally best to only keep a single monitor, especially for larger species, Ackies generelly respond well to being housed together. There are however a few things to consider:

  • Do not house an adult monitor with a juvenile because the adult may see it as prey and eat it.
  • Never house multiple males together. Even keeping two females together can cause problems, so it’s best to keep just one male and one female in the same enclosure. If you do not plan for breeding, it’s best to still let the female lay eggs (to prevent health issues) and then dispose of them by freezing them as soon as possible and/or feeding them to another reptile.

Do monitor lizards get lonely?

Like most reptiles, monitor lizards are solitary animals and territorial, opportunistic creatures. They live in solitude and do not get lonely, so it is perfectly acceptable to own a single monitor and never let it interact with other animals. You only need to make sure to provide adequate husbandry and nrichment conditions for them to stay happy.

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