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Old 09-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #21
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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I vote an older male fat cat.
That's funny but totally true! Old male fat cats are like carpets. there was a huge one at the SPCA that I wanted last time we were there but it was a cat for the kids and they wanted one that would play so we got a younger female.

Our cat is a typical cat. She likes the kids and will hang out in the room where they are, but doesn't want to be manhandled. My now 4yr old has learned how to be appropriate and gentle with her. I even find the cat on her bed after she has gone to sleep now. I do like the way I never worry about the cat. I know she will defend herself if the kids torment her.

Dogs are MUCH more work. they are a much bigger part of the family but the commitment is much greater and can be annoying when you want to go away but can't find anyone to take the dog.

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #22
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I'm actually gonna say ferrets are not good with small children. I've had 4 and loved them. I want another one day but not with small children. You need to clean their cage daily to keep stink down, they can not be kept outside as they are temperature sensitive, they can get nippy - the males are more lovey than females, they can easily be hurt by little ones, they WILL tear into your couch and other furniture if you don't properly seal it up which is dangerous for them, the steal things (they really do, trust me) and they need time outside the cage daily. They are fabulous pets for older kids. They have some good sides. It's almost like trying to describe why you should have children, lol.

How about a hamster, rat, or guinea pig?
We have two female ferrets, got them when the older two kids were 1 & 3. Honestly I think they make great pets, if you don't mind the smell, sadly I do. They are almost 4 now, we started with one but got a second less than a month later because the first seemed lonely. IME ferrets are pretty hard to kill! They constantly sneak off into any crevice possible, the kids carried them around in purses, I have caught DS sitting on them (nipped that in the bud asap) and these guys are still going strong. We even lost one for 24 hours. They are really cute and chase each other around, steal small stuffed animals to drag under the couch and once they were past 6 months haven't bitten anyone. So if you don't mind the constant cage cleaning they are decent pets.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:38 PM   #23
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We have two female ferrets, got them when the older two kids were 1 & 3. Honestly I think they make great pets, if you don't mind the smell, sadly I do. They are almost 4 now, we started with one but got a second less than a month later because the first seemed lonely. IME ferrets are pretty hard to kill! They constantly sneak off into any crevice possible, the kids carried them around in purses, I have caught DS sitting on them (nipped that in the bud asap) and these guys are still going strong. We even lost one for 24 hours. They are really cute and chase each other around, steal small stuffed animals to drag under the couch and once they were past 6 months haven't bitten anyone. So if you don't mind the constant cage cleaning they are decent pets.
I've never seen much good come from small kids and ferrets but I don't have vast experience with it. It's actually limited plus stories. My boys never bit me. One female rarely nipped. The other...well....

I go to get lunch at work one day and my wallet was gone. That wasn't fun. But they were fun!

I made this music video of them

http://youtu.be/vXFescet7s4

ETA: excuse the college look around. This was pre-kids and we spent our money on the animals.

The basket scenes were from a ferret play date. I forget how many total. 7 or 8?

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:48 PM   #24
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Bunnies!

Eta: I am very cautious with any dogs and any young kids. I have been witness to a sweet family dog out of nowhere rip into a child's face. And another into my dad's arm when he was helping my aunt stand up (she groaned, dog attacked). If I could go back and change one thing about my early adulthood it would be skipping buying dogs.

Bunnies are fun and can be caged when you can't be right there to supervise. If you clean their cage once a week the smell is minimal. You can gibe them fun treats, soft, hold them, and our bunnies never bit anyone (though we only ever had two).
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:30 PM   #25
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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Your reasons for not wanting a dog are completely valid. I won't live with cats because I can't tolerate a litter box or cats sitting on furniture. It sounds stupid/crazy when I type it out but I am borderline OCD (it is actually an aspect of the mania portion of my bipolar) and I just can't handle it. Dogs don't bother me, I view them as less messy and though I grew up with cats and always adored them something about them triggers me. If there are things about dogs that bother you that needs to be considered. You shouldn't have to live with a pet that is going to irritate you because it is a major cause of rehoming. It is something to seriously think about when you think about adding any pet to your life though. All animals need cared for and cleaned up after. If you don't want a dog pooping in your yard will cat poop in a litter box bother you? Small animals have cages that need cleaned and typically smell (even with the cage cleaned weekly there is a distinct odor in my boys' bedroom from the rat cage). I'm not trying to be snarky at all, please don't read it that way, just wondering if you have thought of it since you mentioned growing up in a pet free home. Though I completely understand if it is just dogs that bug you, some people are that way.
Oh! I definitely don't think you're being snarky at all! We've had a cat before and the litter box didn't bother me at all. We cleaned it daily or more often if we saw anything in there. I've dog sat for someone 1 time for their min pin and golden retriever, and actually really enjoyed the golden retriever most of the time! Not so much the min pin. Just something about grabbing dog poop out of grass really skeeves me out. Maybe I could totally solve that with one of those long pooper scoopers and then just hose it off?
I've been reading up on different dog breeds like crazy so I think I may be swaying a bit. DH and I talked and HE would rather get a puppy instead of an older rescue dog. With a puppy we will be the ones to train it and will know all of its history. While I completely understand that, I would just dread the potty training. (Potty training DS was/is bad enough! )

I think I'm going to rule out ferret, hamster, guinea pig, or rat for now. While those all seem like great pets and a lot of fun, I would be worried about the nipping and squishing that could very well happen with a 2 and 3 year old. Those ideas will be revisited when the kids get a little older. I think our top 3 as of right now are cat (older and used to kids), dog (undecided on puppy or older), and bunny! A bunny is actually a pet that I hadn't really thought about prior to this thread. I will be reading up on them more. I can't believe I'm actually considering a dog!! lol NEVER thought that would happen!

Thanks so much for reading all my ramblings! Most of them have been my scattered thought process while doing research, so your patience has been much appreciated. I would still love to hear about your pets and why you love them!!

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Old 09-08-2013, 11:48 PM   #26
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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Bunnies!

Eta: I am very cautious with any dogs and any young kids. I have been witness to a sweet family dog out of nowhere rip into a child's face. And another into my dad's arm when he was helping my aunt stand up (she groaned, dog attacked). If I could go back and change one thing about my early adulthood it would be skipping buying dogs.

Bunnies are fun and can be caged when you can't be right there to supervise. If you clean their cage once a week the smell is minimal. You can gibe them fun treats, soft, hold them, and our bunnies never bit anyone (though we only ever had two).
My rabbit bit. He never bit me, only other people (mostly my father). He also had the bad habit of slamming his food dish against his cage if he wanted attention and he would shoot pee out of his cage and could hit most of the walls of the room he was in. I loved my rabbit (my grandfather bought him for me when I was 5 shortly before he passed away) but like any other pet they aren't perfect.


I personally am preferential to older dogs than puppies because I don't like housetraining and the chewing/jumping/crazy puppy phase. I've had really good luck with adult dog adoption but I'm a dog person. I started volunteering with the Humane Society when I was 10. There is nothing wrong with adopting a puppy, just do your research on breeds and be ready for house breaking and training. They are lots of fun.

I think cats are a good option too, whether a kitten or a slightly settled older cat. Just spend some time getting to know the cat you choose. We've had some great cats (like a pp said, mostly the big male ones).
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:16 AM   #27
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

I would recommend a grown up cat. I am also nervous to own a dog. But take your time before choosing which one to get and make sure the person you are getting it from knows it really does well with young children. Same thing if you do end up choosing a dog. I thought I was more of a cat person until we took in a dog for a few days and they gave us one they knew did well with children and we all adored it. She was amazing. But I still am not ready for a dog and all the attention it needs; cats are a lot more independent.

Our cat does not bite and is amazingly patient. I have never even heard him hiss. I grew up with cats that hissed but were still pretty good with children. He just runs and hides if he senses he's in danger from our 2 yo. He usually stays near us during the day but keeps his distance, and lets our children pet him if he senses they are in 'gentle' moods. But once our children are all asleep, he's all after us for snuggles. The main thing we have an issue with is that at about 2 our LO's know how to open the door and let him outside... and just don't get that they're not supposed to let him outside (we'd rather him be an indoor cat b/c of ticks etc.) But he doesn't go far so it's not usually a huge deal.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:25 AM   #28
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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Oh! I definitely don't think you're being snarky at all! We've had a cat before and the litter box didn't bother me at all. We cleaned it daily or more often if we saw anything in there. I've dog sat for someone 1 time for their min pin and golden retriever, and actually really enjoyed the golden retriever most of the time! Not so much the min pin. Just something about grabbing dog poop out of grass really skeeves me out. Maybe I could totally solve that with one of those long pooper scoopers and then just hose it off?
I've been reading up on different dog breeds like crazy so I think I may be swaying a bit. DH and I talked and HE would rather get a puppy instead of an older rescue dog. With a puppy we will be the ones to train it and will know all of its history. While I completely understand that, I would just dread the potty training. (Potty training DS was/is bad enough! )

I think I'm going to rule out ferret, hamster, guinea pig, or rat for now. While those all seem like great pets and a lot of fun, I would be worried about the nipping and squishing that could very well happen with a 2 and 3 year old. Those ideas will be revisited when the kids get a little older. I think our top 3 as of right now are cat (older and used to kids), dog (undecided on puppy or older), and bunny! A bunny is actually a pet that I hadn't really thought about prior to this thread. I will be reading up on them more. I can't believe I'm actually considering a dog!! lol NEVER thought that would happen!

Thanks so much for reading all my ramblings! Most of them have been my scattered thought process while doing research, so your patience has been much appreciated. I would still love to hear about your pets and why you love them!!
I loved my bunnies when I was little but they do have fragile necks... I also loved my guinea pigs and my dog. But cats were always the easiest and most "kid-friendly" IMO. Plus they don't bark and annoy other people in the neighbourhood etc. Maybe I just think that because we always had cats and I always got along with them. lol I got bites from each type of animal (except the guinea pigs, I think.) Nothing really major though, but I still have a small scar from where my dog bit me (my cats only really nipped.) And I'm a bit scared of dogs I don't know (and even ones I do know, slightly...) because of how common unexpected dog bites are, and I don't like getting jumped on or slobbered on by them, haha. Some people don't mind...

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Old 09-10-2013, 10:38 AM   #29
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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I loved my bunnies when I was little but they do have fragile necks... I also loved my guinea pigs and my dog. But cats were always the easiest and most "kid-friendly" IMO. Plus they don't bark and annoy other people in the neighbourhood etc. Maybe I just think that because we always had cats and I always got along with them. lol I got bites from each type of animal (except the guinea pigs, I think.) Nothing really major though, but I still have a small scar from where my dog bit me (my cats only really nipped.) And I'm a bit scared of dogs I don't know (and even ones I do know, slightly...) because of how common unexpected dog bites are, and I don't like getting jumped on or slobbered on by them, haha. Some people don't mind...
I think that is a matter of opinion. I find litter boxes disgusting and so find cats far more work than dogs. Again, that is just me. Also for the safety of your cat and the sanity of your neighbors cats should be kept inside (unless you live very rural) which means you will have to have a litter box (unless you can teach them to use the toilet which would be kind of cool). I find the whole cat hair/litter on everything plus cat vomiting thing just too much despite having never lived in a home without a cat until 4 years ago. My dogs are well trained. They go outside, always use the same area to do their thing and come back in. No mess in my house. To me that is easier but I realize that is a matter of opinion.

I also have scars from a cat bite but not from dogs despite years of working rescue. When I was 2 our very large (as in 20lb tom cat huge) male cat was in a fight with another cat. I decided I was going to "save" him and tried to grab him from behind. He did not mean to hurt him but thought I was another cat attacking him and spun around and bit me. He very nearly broke my arm and left some pretty bad scarring. I don't blame him at all, he wasn't being nasty, but I still have scars you can see even through my tattoos. They actually look worse now because my arm has grown. I have smaller scars all over my hands from where another of our cats used to tear into my hands when she was in a bad mood. She did do it on purpose, she just wasn't a pleasant animal. That said we had cats that never even considered biting no matter what you had to do with them. I had a giant fat tabby who I had to manhandle when he was sick (he had a hematoma in his ear that had to be opened and drained, it was sooooo gross). He would cry pitifully when I treated him but it never occurred to him to bite me or anyone else. I have dogs who are the same way though. I could do anything to Duke and he would never bite me, he might whine but mostly he will just give me sad looks. Tharen once bit him (he was 2) and he just whined at him.

I'm an animal person, I've worked rescue and in pet shops so I think I've been bitten by almost every animal out there. Some of them are less effective at it than others. Being bitten by a House Gecko doesn't hurt, being bitten by a Hamster does but it doesn't really leave scars. Unfortunately neither make great pets for small children. That is really the issue with small pets. Many of them are "safer" from a biting standpoint, but being handled by small children is not safe for the pet.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #30
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

Of course what I wrote was just my opinion; I didn't mean to imply otherwise, or that other animals can't bite just as badly and that cats are somehow innocent. But it's always dogs that you hear about attacking suddenly, and badly... maybe that is unfair to them - I don't know...and yes, I totally agree about how children can be a danger to animals too. The bite from my dog isn't what makes me somewhat afraid of dogs; after all, I liked him a lot (even for years after the bite - which was pretty minor in the scheme of things.) I maybe shouldn't have even mentioned it because I didn't mean to use it as an example for why cats are "better". I was just thinking back to my own personal experience with pets, which of course is not the same for everyone, and I know cats can scratch pretty badly too, and yes the whole litter box thing can seem disgusting (and I did try to toilet train him, which who knows, maybe I will try again since I know it can be done!) although you can try to lessen tracking with special litter, cleaning every day, etc. (though it doesn't actually seem like a big deal when you have had to wipe up after 3 poopy butts every day for a few years LOL.) But I do find it gross and maybe I partly find it less work because my husband usually takes care of the litter box. And cats are not forbidden to be outside in our neighbourhood; of course it's disgusting and unsanitary if they poo outside and worse if they do it on someone else's lawn, but that of course doesn't mean they all do; our cat is very territorial and stays on our property, and likes to be where we are (inside if we are inside; outside if we are outside where we can see him.) but dogs pee outside too and I find that gross but eh, whatever, it's life. And the dog we took in shed way more in a couple of days than our cat does in a month; I'm not up for that much vacuuming. lol. At least in my experience, they also need way more attention, food, water, and need to be taken for walks every day... No big deal to someone else, but I personally definitely don't have time for all of that right now whereas I do have time for a cat that is fine with being left to himself for most of the day. Maybe when our children are a bit older I will and if they were I probably would have been more tempted to keep the dog we took in because she really was super sweet. I know she was a pretty big dog too (as was the dog I had as a child) so I have no experience with the little dogs...

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