The House Cat Is A Mighty Hunter! (Now, How Do I Catch The Lizard?)

This morning I opened the door to leave and a lizard ran into the house. I tried to catch it before the cat knew about it but had no success. The cat chased the lizard, had it pinned (until it dropped its tail–grusome! the tail just kept twitching; let me tell you, reading about it doesn’t do it justice) and the lizard finally got away under a bookshelf. I had to leave, so I hoped that I wouldn’t come home to a dead lizard on my bed (or start smelling it days later.) Well, I just spotted the lizard–so it’s still alive. I tried to catch it, failed again, the cat spotted it again, and now it’s hiding under a different bookshelf. I have no idea what it is, it’s just a little, fat brown local lizard. If it comes out again, I’m going to pen the cat in a bedroom and see if I can drop a bowl over it. I’m not even sure the cat knows how to deliver a killing blow but I definitely don’t want him eating the lizard and I’d prefer not getting a “present” in the middle of the night.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind having a lizard inside the house. It could eat the bugs that come in. But it just won’t work with a cat trying to kill it every time it appears.

Is there anything wrong with my idea of dropping a bowl over the lizard and then trying to get a piece of cardboard or something underneath until I can take the lizard out?

Nothing at all wrong with the idea, but putting it into practice may not be easy. Them little suckers are fast. I suppose it depends upon the size of the bowl. May I suggest one about five feet in diameter? :smiley:

Hard to say what cats will do. We only had one get in the house, and one cat grabbed it, and was just parading around the house holding it in his mouth, proud as punch. We eventually just took it away and turned it loose outside.

Got a fishing rod or something similar?

Get some dental floss of heavy test fishing line and make a short noose hanging a few inches off the end. When he/she next pokes his little lizrd head out, slip the noose over his head and voila! They’re small enough that being suspended from their neck by something like floss won’t hurt them and they generally don’t perceive rods as threats as long as you don’t wave it around too vigorously - presumably it just looks like a branch. I’ve often had even very wary lizrds sit patiently while you dragged the noose over their body into position. It’s by far the easiest technique.

Or you can use my rather more difficult patented indirect stalking/distraction ambush. Small iguanoids often posture with each other by doing “push-ups” and even beyond that lizards are tuned to motion. I’ll place one hand in plain view and tap a finger up and down to attract their attention, while working the other one up slowly from another angle ( preferably from behind ) until I’m close enough to quickly get a finger over a hind foot. Works reasonably well for lizards on the sides of logs, boulders, bookshelves and the like, where you have some cover. Requires a bit of practice though and is not nearly as foolproof as “noosing” ;).

  • Tamerlane

You can get a great workout by just chasing the little sucker around. Eventually you’ll catch him. One tip: if you have a hand over him, but you’re in an awkward position and can’t get your other hand over him without his escaping, let him bite your finger. It won’t hurt, won’t break skin - you’ll barely feel it. It will most likely distract him long enough for you to sneak your other hand in and grab a better hold. Then just toss him outside.
He’s probably an anole lizard; they’re very common.

One variation on the floss idea… tie a cricket to it… then you can catch the lizard with the cricket and you have a neat cat toy tied to a fishing pole to play with as well…

Now, not entirely sure how to get rid of the cat… you could get a bigger cat to chase the cat thats chasing the lizard thats chasing the cricket on a string… or a dog… dogs like to chase cats that chase lizards that chase crickets tied to a string on a fishing pole…

Then, to get rid of the dog, you get a …

ok… I’ll stop now.

(Frasier had an episode where this was an element of it!)

…and the apes will freeze to death in the winter!

I know an old woman who swallowed a fly. I dunno why she swallowed a fly…perhaps she’ll die.

Close up the house and turn on the air conditioning on a Friday night while you’re out or sleeping. Saturday morning, you’ll almost certainly find the lizard sedate and lethargic near a window, trying to soak up some sunlight. Wake up early, or the cat will beat you to it!

I’ve experienced the dead lizard on more than one occasion. They kinda dry up. It’s not a real stinky, rotty death. But I like the idea of turning the a/c on “snowflake” and wait for the little sucker to get sleepy.

Well, I came home (it’s probably 90 degrees in my house right now because I don’t run the swamp cooler during the day) and found the lizard up against a wall and the cat lying a couple feet away staring at it. I thought it was dead (I couldn’t see it breathing at first and the eyes looked dead, though that might have been its nictitating membrane), so I went to scoop it into the bowl and found that it was still alive, but I’m not sure its hind legs work anymore. But I could see it breathing and everything, so I put it back outside. If the cat disabled it, I can probably go find it and kill it humanely (though I’m not sure how, other than maybe freeze it to death) but otherwise I hope it’s got a chance. Sorry, no pictures, as my cheapy digital camera decided to go on the fritz.

You might be able to capture him by fashioning some sort of cosy little niche for him to evade capture into, except make this niche out of a portable object such as a cardboard box; leave it somewhere so that it appears to offer a hideout, then chase him and he may take shelter in it.

I’ve always heard that this trick of dropping the tail evolved for the express purpose of distracting the predator as well as allowing the lizard to escape; but I didn’t know the dropped tail twitches. Most cats, when their blood is up with the excitement of the hunt, will probably stare at or play with an ordinary piece of string for quite awhile, so one can only imagine how diverting they find a twitching detached lizard tail.

Oh, it worked fine on the cat. Worked on me too for a few seconds and I knew to expect it (except for the twitching part.) But I still couldn’t get in there and get the lizard then because the cat was in the way and anything I did would have gotten the cat’s attention and then we would be back to square one.

When we lived in Hawaii, the cats were always trying to get the geckos that would get in the house. The gecko would drop its tail and go on its merry way, while the cat would bring the twitching tail and drop it at my feet, looking at me with the “It’s for you, Mama! See what a great hunter I am? It’s all for you, Mama, go on, eat it!” expression.

Where is that pukey smilie when you need it?

You want real fun, release fireflies in your house. At night, they fly about and light up. Cats are nocturnal, and hunt them…Noisy thumpy fun …

Let me be the first wimp in this extremely badass lizard-capturing thread to say that those buggers FREAK ME OUT. And my house is infested with the hideous things. They just don’t stop multiplying.

Chubby brown, creeping, lizardy bodies. Dark, soulless eyes. Ugly, fleshy tails that fall off and twitch and twitch and TWITCH. Ugh.

I’m absolutely, utterly (to a thoroughly irrational extent) terrified of them. This month’s National Geographic, when I started flipping through it, opened straight to a GIGANTIC CLOSE-UP of the underside of a house-lizard. That was not a good moment for me. :frowning: