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Post Info TOPIC: Want a pet... but which one?


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Want a pet... but which one?


So I'm moving soon *squee* - I'll be living alone, I'm not currently working but can't rule that out as a thing that might happen, I have a long-distance relationship but he drives and I don't so he tends to visit me more than the other way around... and I'll be living alone.

I really want a pet. the right pet for me. I've part-owned cats, so am familiar with them. Spent time enough around dogs to be familiar with them also. I am curious about snakes - but they are the only reptile I am interested in really - I could cope with feeding dead mice to something, but not insects.

What I REALLY want... is a cat, a dog AND a snake. But this is too ambitious. WAY too ambitious. A cat would be more independent if I ended up working, but a dog would get me out of the house. If I DID get a dog it would be very little - VERY little!

Any thoughts? Any input? I'd love to hear what you guys have pet-wise and how you find it. I wont be rushing it, but I want to try and figure out what I want more before the move so I can keep it in mind as I'm planning where everything goes in the new house.

Also, I like things like guinea pigs - house rabbit seems too large for me. But I want something cuddly - I know snakes *aren't* cuddly, but they do explore . I want something I can hold and touch and play with, even if "play" is just letting a snake wriggle around my hands, it's contact and company. But I've never had a snake before, so that would be very new, and I'd apprehensive  because it's an animal's life - I want to be able to do it properly, what ever I pick.

Also - might get two. A dog AND cat, or two cats, or a cat and snake, sort of thing...

Yeah... help? confuse



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Reptiles are such good pets!!! Sorry, had to get that out.
I have three cats so don't get me wrong, I do love them and they're great pets, but I have a bearded dragon and they're great pets because they love being out and playing, but they don't get bored hanging out in their vivariums if you're out. The setup is costly and you have to do some reading up on them first, but once you have them they're actually pretty low maintenance. You spot clean their tanks a couple times a week, then a proper clean once or twice a month, so not nearly as much poop as cats and dogs. I know a beardie wasn't on your list, but mayyyybe you could consider it :) snakes are cool, but from what I've heard from friends who are snake owners, you don't get to "play" with them as much. That's okay for some people, but it sounds like you might be better off with a critter who can provide a little more companionship (that sounds so mean, sorry snakies).

Cats are a great option too, but kittens can obviously be hard work. Dogs are the most demanding out of your choices, so be careful with that.

If I was in your position I would personally get a beardie or a cat and snake (or cat and beardie!). Cats and snakes are pretty independent so I don't see why managing both at once would be overwhelming, though of course I would say get one first, let it settle in and get used to the routine of caring for it, then get the other if you still want it :) snakes and cats are really different little creatures so you could have a nice wellrounded pet experience.

Let us know what you decide on! Pets are so precious, I get so overexcited when talking about them :p

 

edit: oh shoot, I missed the bit about insects, sorry :( are even dead, tinned insects out of the question? My beardie eats a lot of fruit and veg because she's older but yeah, for a young one insects are vital :( well, cat and snake is my answer, then!



-- Edited by Wiggles on Tuesday 28th of January 2014 08:28:37 PM

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thank you, it's not a "no" as such, but I think you're right. I find out for certain if the house I've applied for is mine tomorrow, but I'm top of the list so I can't see myself losing it at this point. I love lizards to look at definitely, but I do think a corn snake is more tempting. I've already met a snake and fallen in love with the experience, not one I could own - someone else's, but one that captivated me enough to make me want one.

I'm aiming for April, that's my deadline to get my "life in order" and then I'll pop off to the shelter and try to find, I think, two cats, preferably same-sex siblings - I'm hopeful that, since most people only want one, I'll be lucky. And I'll save up for the snake second. I want my pets to have company, but I know cats can be picky. And thank you for the pep talk about lizards and other reptiles - I'm really not what you'd call a "reptile" person, but Linkin (the snake owned by one of my support workers) really struck a cord with me. He's a california kingsnake. I'm thinking corn snake - nice and small. Fingers crossed it works out, I'm so excited!!!

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Cornsnakes are one of the snakes I'd like to own, if ever I wanted a snake (I don't, I can't do the mice thing when I own rats, it feels wrong!) so I can see why you'd fall in love with one :)
Do check out shelters! Two of my three cats are siblings, I got them from a shelter last year and they'd had rough little lives, the poor things, but they're such incredible cats despite that. Like you said, people often only want one - my young boy is a beautiful black persian and he's young but well past kitten age, so everyone wanted him. Nobody wanted his sister because she's ten, but she's the most affectionate cat I've ever met and of the three, she feels most "mine" if that makes sense. So definitely try and do that if you're up for owning two cats ^_^ It's horrible what some of the abandoned/rescued animals have been through, mine were with a pet hoarder who had 33 cats, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, god knows what else, so they never got much love. They were really struggling to find a home that would take both cats and they'd almost given up when I found them!
Sorry, I am talking way too much about my cats :p
I'm just wondering, are you looking for same sex kitties because of the chance they'd breed? Because they'll be neutered and spayed :) orr is it something else I'm totally overlooking?

Good luck with the home, I'll cross my fingers for you tomorrow! x

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I'd love a cornsnake, lovely little beasties...

My only input is to adopt or rescue, not buy!

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Cornsnakes are beauties!

I would recommend rodents. More specifically, rats. They're one of the most overlooked pets, which is a real shame because they're intelligent, loving, and have heaps of character.

I would say they're medium-maintenance. They do need quite a bit of attention and stimulation, definitely not as much as a dog, but definitely more than guinea pigs or rabbits, but if you were out working day to day from 9-5 they'd be cool with you just being there in the evening.

I don't want to write a big rambling post because I know lots of people are afraid of rats, and I'm not sure of your feelings toward em!

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Not because of the breeding, no... I've met siblings kept together, they've always been the same sex, and they just seemed to get along well. I'm not heartbroken if they're different sex. And 33??? I swore when I read that... I'm amazed shelters have that much time for so many animals, never mind people in their own homes.

And I get what you mean about the rats - I've had hamsters as a child, but that's about it. I don't think I could feed something I've kept fully as a pet to another pet.

I'll definitely rescue not buy, except in the case of the snake. I'd prefer the support of an experienced breeder, and my support worker knows of one who keeps and sells them, because it would be my first reptile, first snake, first... well, honestly, anything I get at this point would be my first pet. Though when I lived with an ex I practically adopted his cats... they still weren't mine. but I'm more familiar with them.

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^I'm not afraid of rats, at all. I think I just want something a little bigger, more free-roaming. And I do reckon if I became attached to rats I'd struggle getting a snake later. Decisions, decisions...

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Three of my five cats are same-sex siblings, and the other two are children of one of the others, and they do not get on at all, any of them. The three sisters were absolutely fine with one another up until they were about a year old, and then there was fur flying everywhere and since then most of the time they won't even tolerate being in the same room as each other. We've tried the happy-cat-spray (I forget what it's called, it's meant to make cats get along) but even that had zero success, so be careful, not all same-sex siblings get along!

We did pick up our three cats very cheaply though, I had a rabbit and a guinea pig at the time who used to be looked after when we went on holiday by a woman who lived on a farm, and one day she mentioned she had three kittens for sale who were proving difficult to sell because she didn't want to separate them. I always said I wanted to adopt or rescue cats, but this woman was at her wit's end trying to get rid of the kittens because she kept so many of other people's rabbits and guinea pigs and she didn't want any more cats near them, especially not young ones.

One kept escaping when she was meant to be spayed and coming back weeks later heavily pregnant, so we ended up with ten cats in total at one point, but thankfully we managed to sell most of the kittens (one of whom is now Cnad's very own lovely Hemingway!).

Do let us know what you decide on! Pets are exciting!

EDIT: I realised something just now, as I was getting into bed and saw two cats grooming one another: the two same-sex sibling cats that are the children of Mother Cat do get on very well, to the extent that they're now one-and-a-half and two years old respectively, and still groom one another. They're both big, heavy boys (not fat!) weighing upwards of six kilograms each (I swear to god, if you stand one of them up on his hind legs level with your bottom when you're sitting down, he'll be taller, and the other is built like a feline rugby player) and they love to make a fuss over one another. Mind you, the very tall cat is a bit simple-minded, so I don't know that he has it in him to be vicious!



-- Edited by cowl on Wednesday 29th of January 2014 01:24:29 AM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I'm a dog person so of course I'm gonna suggest a dog. It's really subjective but I think they are the best pets ever, especially if you're living alone. They love you so much, you never feel alone in your home. Of course you have to play with them and walk them but that's a good reason to go outside and move. I had a cat, two mice and two guinea pigs but dogs will always be my number one choice for a pet.

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i have gerbils. If you don't mind cage cleaning and them burrowing down your shirt and in your bra while letting them crawl over you, then you're good. And the wheel going at night. They are nocturnal fuzzies. You just check their food every other day and water frequently.

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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I'd say dogs. Two of them in case you ever have to leave them alone in the house. In my experience, having two dogs is actually less work than having one dog anyway -they are such pack animals, so when there is two of them they keep each other company, play with each other, correct each others behaviour (or get up to mischief together), groom each other and so on. Still lots of work of course, but it seems to me that dogs plural are a little bit happier than a dog alone. Plus, watching them interacting with each other is endless fun!



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Just to rejoin the conversation, I have two female, unrelated but close in age cats, and they hate each other. They're reasonably well behaved, but they need either regular supervision or to be put in separate rooms, which can be time consuming.

Cats, frankly, don't usually give a fuck about family - those instincts are rarely strong in them. Sure, they'll bond and stuff, but my advice would be one cat - they're so independant, one cat will happily spend lots of unsupervised time alone, as long as there's cuddles after.

They tend to be good in apartments, too, don't need as much space or exersice as dogs. That said, a terrium pet is probably a good start, low maintenence and space etc. Be under no illusions, though, you can't 'play' with snakes. You can pet them but once they coil up, that's the end of that, or there'll be biting!

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I would guess the snake would be the easiest to care for option, my partner was very close to re-homing a friend of mines corn snake and had looked up how it would be to keep on top of caring for his gecko and two terrapins. I think he said it's fairly simple and all you have to do is feed it mice occasionally and keep it's rank clean, which don't think you have to do very often either. The only reason he didn't re-home it is his landlord didn't agree. They seem like really lovely animals to keep
I have one cat and I used to have two, he is so easy to look after, he eats mainly dry food and the hardest thing is taking care of his fleas really. I love cats so, so much they are the light of my life, I'm a bit of a crazy cat person. They're so independent and just do their own thing.
I know very little about dogs, but I think they'd be the most difficult to look after.
Personally, I'd start with getting the snake as it's probably to easiest, then once you feel you can handle more challanging pets, ge the cats, then if you feel you can handle dog after that. do so! I hope this was at all helpful.

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I'm loving all this input! I keep changing my mind - I really do think I'll just end up at the shelter letting my heart rule my head on this one.

One question I do have - is it impossible to keep dogs while working? I don't work now, but I'm hoping to not be poorly for ever. How would I handle that?

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It's definitely possible to keep dogs whilst working, although if you're rescuing it I think the RSPCA has regulations on how many hours you can work, before they won't let you adopt. My family have had 3 dogs over the years and have always worked full time, but I think it really depends on your dog as to how they'd cope with that. I was watching a documentary the other day about how a lot of dogs suffer from separation anxeity, and can get really distressed at being left alone, but I know that my dogs have always just slept (we've always given them treats and interactive toys for when we're out, but they've never seemed too bothered). So that might be something to ask the shelter about if you find a dog that you love.

I would personally recommend a dog though (perhaps I'm biased as I've never really liked cats), they're such loveable creatures, and whilst they do take a lot of work I think it pays off. I don't think that cats or reptiles really compare in terms of the affection you'll get from a dog, a dog'll always be happy to play and they love human company. I find that having a routine or having to get up and take them out is really benefitial in improving the day (otherwise I'll just lie in and not get much done), plus they get you out of the house and you meet a lot of other dog owners. I'm not sure where you live so I'm not sure if taking the out into the countryside would be an option for you, but I know that that's something I really enjoy, it gets you being active and there's nothing better than being able to let your dog off the lead and see them getting really excited about a stick or something (though obviously if you're letting them off the lead make sure there's no livestock around).

They're cuddle-y, affectionate, loyal and loving and I don't know what more you could want from a pet.

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Honoured Mook

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I have a corn snake! She's lovely! Really friendly and really easy to look after. The only pet's I've had that are easier to look after and goldfish and stick insects. Some setup for corns isn't too much if you buy second hand. Brand new vivs can be quite pricey as are the thermostats, but the thermostats tend to come with a guarantee. Any questions about raising corns, just ask.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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What do they eat? I would love a snake bit I am totally squeamish about crickets and bugs in my fridge.

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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^ I think they eat rats :(


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Mookish Deity Most High

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awww no I couldn't feed them ratty babies.

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Honoured Mook

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It depends on their size. They start off on pinkys (baby mice without fur), then when bigger go onto fluffies (slightly bigger mice with some fur) then onto full sized mice. Some snakes if biger can eat other animals such as rats, but corn snake's only grow to between 3.5 and 5 foot and don't get that wide. The general rule is don't feed them anything much larger than their largest part round if that makes sense

 



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Rats make great pets. They are really easy to look after and are very cheap to keep. The most expensive thing you will buy them is their cage (they need one that is big and wired). Their like mini cats or dogs as they are really intelligent and are very clean animals. I have 5 female rats and they are so very friendly. When I come hope from work they are very happy to see me (but that's probably because they know they are coming out of their cage). They come when I call their names, they love to play chase and look super cute and unlike a dog they do not need your constant attention as they are happy to be in their cage when your at work or when you want to be left alone when at home. What's not to love about rats. They do need to live in pairs or more as rats who live on their own get very lonely for other rats and that can make them ill. They are fantastic pets and they do not deserve the bad reputation they have gotten.



-- Edited by MrReaper182 on Thursday 10th of March 2016 09:16:32 PM

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^^ Hey Stephen, this post is from 2014. Top tip is to not resurrect posts that are older unless you have a question and don't see it fit to start a new thread, as if someone is asking a question (such as in this thread) and it was years ago, there's a good chance they won't be here to see your answer!

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