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We have a couple young pond sliders (carapaces are 12 and 9 cm long). They live in an open area which is quite accessible: a flat water container in our terrace with a basking area. When we are at home we also provide them with a ramp to get in and out.

Now we are considering adopting a small cat (1 month old), and I wonder if either species may be dangerous to the other, now or in the future when all of them grow up.

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There really is no definite answer to your question. The two species can be maintained simultaneously but a variety of factors will determine that:

  • The personality of your cat or turtles.

    Yes, even turtles have personalities. Some are shy, some enjoy bullying cats, some don't seem to mind cats whatsoever. As for cats, some may be inclined to attack the turtles, some may be fearful of them. Generally for the cats, pond sliders don't do much physical damage, it's the stress their partnership may form. Also, even if the cats don't mind the turtles, some turtles may be stressed from their presence.

  • The age and size of the turtles and cat.

    Larger turtles don't have much to worry about cats. You didn't mention what specific species of sliders you have, but generally females reach between 9-12 inches with males being a few inches smaller. The large males and most females have little to worry from a cat, and the cat probably won't approach them. Since turtles grow slowly, and yours are young, you need to keep and eye out for the turtles because the cat will quickly grow and can become very dangerous to the younger ones.

  • How you deal with the partnership.

    You should notice at least some signs of curiosity, especially from the kitten. If the kitten ever decides to approach the turtles and doesn't get rebuked for it then it's likely to go for them again until they get hurt. At the first few months you get the cat you really have to look out for the cat, with positive and negative feedback the cat can know that you will not be glad if the turtles get hurt. I've seen numerous photos and stories of cats and smaller lizards like bearded dragons getting along, as a matter of fact they would often sleep next to each other!

This relationship can be maintained but there are various factors that come to play here, some of which you have no control over. The only real way to know is to try it out. If you're willing to do so, and the two species don't get along after a period of acclimation, then it's preferable you protect the turtles' enclosure with some sort of fencing the cat can't unlock. I'd also point out that your turtles may be in danger from wild predators as the pool you have for them is on the balcony and is not fenced.

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  • Thanks for the insight. It winds up to "it depends". There are other factors to consider, but at least now I have a better picture of cat-turtle relations :). Incidentally, my turtles are yellow bellied sliders and yes, they have quite different personalities. – Diego Sánchez Nov 15 '14 at 10:31
  • @DiegoSánchez Anytime. I pity that animals are often considered robotic and identical. Hope it goes well if you end up getting the kitten. – Mozein Nov 15 '14 at 11:16
  • In my anecdotal experience, cats tend to be wary of turtles (box turtles) and avoid them more than attack them. Contrastingly, snakes and lizards were attacked rapidly if not protected by cages. – Oldcat Nov 18 '14 at 20:48
  • @Oldcat I have heard of that with lizards and snakes, though I've seen too many photos with beardies and cats peacefully sitting together. I do think snakes and younf turtles are at highest risk and that habits in the animals should be established from a young age. – Mozein Nov 19 '14 at 4:39
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I am pretty sure that Raccoons, birds, opossums, rats,dogs and cats can be a threat to your sliders. I wouldn't advice you to mix them unless the pond is secured. At the age of 1 month the sliders might be a threat to the cat if it bit him. Nothing is guaranteed, i can only tell you that they don't mix and thats well known.

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    Using common knowledge (thats well known) as support, provides a less than optimal answer. Can you add supporting references for your answer? – James Jenkins Nov 14 '14 at 12:34
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    there is no specific reference to this problem. i raised a cat and a turtle and they did live peacefully but that is not guaranteed. Also, i've seen videos of cats attacking turtles and vice versa. However i think can find some links to some specific reference i will edit the post. – Hussein Shehady Nov 14 '14 at 12:56
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    Your own anecdote refutes your final claim that they do not mix well, since you have had some that lived peacefully. Perhaps a better answer would be to explain how you can minimize the risks rather than to spread doom and gloom that makes it seem like one or the other is bound for extreme pain or death. – Critters Nov 14 '14 at 14:39
  • my answer is that they don't mix, and i stand by that.The comment was an example of why there is no specific reference and just because it happened with me doesn't mean it is the case, minimizing the risks is obvious, don't mix them. Because anything else might not work, it all can happen in a minute and am not sure anyone would want to take the risk. – Hussein Shehady Nov 14 '14 at 14:49

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