Being told you’re not caring for your pet properly.

Yeah, it kinda sucks being told you kinda suck as a caregiver. It’s more than a little upsetting. But what’s more important? Your ego, or the well-being of another living thing?

If you are being told that you are making mistakes in your pet care, there are some things you need to know before you go screaming at the person telling you something is wrong.

First, you need to know that you are not an expert on any animal just because you have a basic info sheet from Petco that came with your pet. You shouldn’t trust Petco or Petsmart’s advice alone, if at all. A commercial pet store’s primary goal is to make a sale, not to ensure that an animal is in good hands.

Second, you need to research every animal extensively before you adopt it. This does not mean checking Yahoo! Answers for advice for five minutes. This means spending a LOT of time on reputable websites on your species of interest. (For example, is a good place to learn about axolotl, salamander, and newt care.) There’s a chance you will change your mind researching and finding out you can’t or don’t wish to accommodate certain needs. This is not a bad thing. You need to be sure you are able to meet the demands of a pet to care for it before you adopt it.

Third, if someone tells you that you are not taking proper care of your pet and tells you why, think about it. Before you start typing an angry rant about how you’re offended by it, try to put your ego and pride aside long enough to consider their advice. For example, when a seasoned aquatic caregiver tells you that you should have about a 3 gallon tank for your betta, that axolotls should not be kept on gravel, or something of that nature, they are not being mean. They are telling you facts about caring for this animal.

Fourth, If someone tells you that you are not providing proper care for your pet, don’t tell them you “know your pet better than they do.” Don’t tell them your pet is “perfectly happy” in its current conditions. People who don’t know much about these animals tend not to notice, let alone comment on your improper pet care. They’ll reblog your coffee mug-sized betta bowl and say how pretty it is. Conversely, people who do know something about the animal in question are probably going to alert you to issues and tell you how it can be fixed.

What many casual exotic pet owners usually don’t want to accept is that they are wrong, and that they might be neglecting their pets. But here’s the thing.

There is NO room for pride when you’re providing care for another living thing.

Your pet depends on you to care for it. So study first. Do shit right. It’s like having a kid. If you can’t handle that, you might want to get a pet rock instead.

Having a pet is a big responsibility and we all want to take care of our pets as well as we can. But it’s challenging to find guidance about caring for some of the more exotic pets, like dinosaurs, for example. Thankfully artist John Conway created The Dinosaur Pet Guide, a handsome and helpful chart of dino care dos and don'ts.

Click here to view a larger version. Prints are available for purchase here.

Check out more of John Conway’s artwork via his website and follow him here on Tumblr.

[via Geekologie]

So having seen this post from maythefoxbewithyou I feel the need to make something abundantly clear:

Do not get a pet without researching first.

This even applies to ‘low maintanence’ pets, because truthfully, there is no such thing as a low maintanence pet. Every animal has specific needs and they must be met in order for the animal to live a happy, healthy life, regardless of how short that life may be. Fish require more than just a box of water. Rodents need more than just a wheel (in fact, from what I understand, wheels are bad for rodents with long tails). Animals need more than the bare minimum, and if that is all you are prepared or willing to provide, do not get that animal.

A lot of animals will turn out to be a HUGE handful -more than might be expected from a relatively small package. The person in the post above learned the hard way how foxes behave naturally; but they could have saved themselves -and the fox- a lot of discomfort by simply reading their literature first. This applies to all pets, common ones included! You may think you know how to handle a dog, but dogs vary wildly in temperament and behavior from breed to breed and have hugely different needs in terms of exercise. Goldfish, widely regarded as the easiest pet to keep, are in fact one of the most difficult, if you don’t want them to die. You get it.

If you are interested in a particular animal and want to keep it as a pet, here is what I suggest you learn right away:

Life expectancy. If your fish dies in 3 weeks, something is wrong.

Dietary needs. You want a rabbit? You’ll need more than some iceberg lettuce, and pellet foods are often insufficient on their own. Birds need more than a seed mix. Furthermore, feeding things you may think or harmless to certain animals could be deadly.

Housing/habitat. You should not only learn what specific type of cage or related enclosure your animal requires, but also what brands are the safest. Look for reviews on places like amazon. They will often describe any issues with the cage design (in the end, this helps you determine just how much money you will be spending on an enclosure. When I kept rats, the cage was the largest and most important expense).

Social needs. Does your animal need a companion in its own species? For dogs and cats, this isn’t a pressing matter, but a lot of your small, furry friends need friends of their own to keep them feeling secure. Some animals may even become depressed without a buddy.

Exercise/play. Nobody wants to sit around in an empty cage all day. Animals need a chance to roam, explore, inspect, and act like little goofballs. Learn everything you can about how long your pet should be out, what toys you might provide, and how to ‘pet proof’ a room to avoid damage to your property and to them. You may need to invest in a playpen, or make one yourself.

Health issues. Every animal has quirks particular to its species. Certain dog breeds may be prone to hip problems. Rodents have a tendency to contract respiratory issues. Teflon, that stuff that keeps the food from sticking to your frying pan, can poison and kill birds simply by being heated up. If you don’t know these things, it can lead to a lot of grief and confusion later on.

Behavior/compatibility. Does this animal chew? Does that animal mark its territory by peeing? Does that one make loud noises in the middle of the night? How can you tell if it’s happy, angry, scared? And will it get along with your other pets? Out of everything previously mentioned, I feel these are the major reasons people rehome their animals. They don’t learn about these little eccentricities, and once they start to emerge, they are unprepared to deal with them, consider them strange or bad or ‘disobedient’, and shunt their unfortunate pet onto somebody else. So many times I have read a craigslist ad with the words ‘we just can’t deal with him/her anymore’. 

Pets are a big deal. They require a lot of work, dedication, and money; but they will pay you back. Anybody who ever loved a pet will tell you this. When you care for a pet properly, you will be rewarded with a happy, healthy critter, who probably loves you a hell of a lot and will do their best to show it -just make sure you know how to recognize that behavior!

And put your rats in teacups.

If anybody has anything to add to this, feel free. I probably left out some important stuff. Also, if anybody wants to know anything about rats, send me an ask. I’ll be happy to help. (You can ask me about other animals too, but I can’t say I’ll know the answers.)

Please do not keep your rats alone. Please especially do not keep your female rats alone. I am seeing this so often on tumblr and it’s so, so concerning. Your rats are social, intelligent animals that thrive on companionship. Unless your rat has medical or behavioral issues that keep it from being comfortable or safe around other rats, there is no excuse for only having one rat. You cannot fill the void in your rat’s life, you cannot take the place of another rat, no matter how much time you spend with and invest in your rat. You cannot sleep cuddled up with your rat when it is in the cage, you cannot groom your rat, you cannot provide your rat with the security that being around its own kind provides. You are not a rat, so you cannot fill the role of another rat in your rat’s life. Please keep your rats in same-sex pairs at least!

I figured since this blog has 20k followers, I should use it to spread a bit of information as well as adorable cat vines. I was going to make one master post but there’s too much information to fit. I am not a professional by any means, but the information I am relaying comes from my own research and valid sources.

Please don’t declaw your cat. The procedure is alike to amputating the last joint of your finger, and often causes complications. It also leaves the cat without one of its main ways of defending itself, which can cause lasting physical and psychological repercussions. It offers no benefit to the cats, only makes life “easier” for the owner.

Much of the information on declawing is relatively new, and as a result, many do not know the repercussions. Some people have even been advised to declaw by a vet. If you have a declawed cat, don’t feel too guilty - my own cats are declawed - you can’t go back and undo it, so just focus on helping your cats now. A declawed cat peeing outside the litterbox might mean that the kitty litter you are currently using is too rough on their paws, meaning it causes pain for the cat to step into it. If that is the case, you should switch to a gentler kitty litter. Check a declawed cat’s paws often for abnormalities or injuries, sometimes the surgery can cause growths and cats may be likely to chew on their declawed paws. Declawed cats are also more likely to develop arthritis due to the fact that they stand awkwardly on their declawed paws. It is hard to tell when a cat is in pain as they are likely to hide their pain to be safe from predators.

There are many alternatives to declawing to keep your furniture safe. You can put double sided sticky tape on your furniture, which will discourage a cat from scratching as they do not like getting stuck. Incorporate many scratching posts into the more often used areas of your house, such as in the living room, kitchen, or your bedroom. Anywhere you spend a lot of time. Don’t hide the scratching post away in a corner or the cat will be less likely to use it. There are also little plastic caps you can put over the cats claws, called Soft Paws Nail Caps. Trim cat’s claws regularly. This can be done with a standard nail clipper.

If you feel like you absolutely are unable to deal with a non-declawed cat, try adopting an older cat who has already been declawed, rather than declawing a young cat.

Also, a declawed cat absolutely cannot be homed with a non-declawed cat or allowed outside unsupervised, as they can’t defend themselves properly.


Myths About Betta Fish

I’m sick of the pet industry always fucking animals like the betta over so let’s get some things straight
MYTH: bettas like small spaces, they live in small rice paddies in the wild
REALITY: No they absolutely do not, sure some survive this, but it’s a cruel life to live. Rice paddies are actually quite big although shallow, the average male betta has about 3 feet of its own territory in the wild. Bettas need AT LEAST 2.5 gallons, but a 5-10 g is even better. You can get a 3 g tank from petco for like $10
MYTH: you should feed your betta whenever it is hungry
REALITY: a bettas stomach is the size of its eyeball, it is very easy to overfeed. I feed my betta 2 pellets a day, but lots of people feed at different times with different food so I suggest doing some research and deciding what works best for you.
MYTH: bettas are lazy
REALITY: bettas are inactive in small tanks because they’re aware that they have no space to swim and will hit walls, in larger tanks bettas are very active
MYTH: bettas can only be kept alone
REALITY: it is true that male betta fish cannot be kept with any other betta, but (depending on the bettas personality) bettas can be kept with fish that are smaller and drab looking that won’t bite your bettas tail. I keep my betta with 2 snails and 5 ghost shrimp and he rarely bothers them. Female bettas can be kept in groups of 5 which is called a sorority. Keep in mind that these options are only possible in large tanks with lots of hiding spots.
MYTH: bettas will eat live plants so you don’t have to feed them if you have plants in the tank
REALITY: bettas are CARNIVORES. They won’t eat plants, they will eat blood worms and brine shrimp which you can buy frozen. In fact feeding real prey is good along with pellets or flakes.
MYTH: bettas don’t need filtration or heat
REALITY: they need both. As far as filtration goes, strong currents don’t mix well with bettas but you can filter naturally by heavily planting your tank.
MYTH: bettas only live a couple months anyway, why should I be doing all this?
REALITY: with proper care, bettas can live 5 years.
MYTH: bettas and all other fish are dumb
REALITY: bettas are actually very smart and trainable. Mine was taught to jump out of the water on command and come when called (by wiggling fingers). Some people have taught bettas harder tricks such as going through a hoop. They can even learn when meal time is and be ready for it.
MYTH: My child will take care of the betta
REALITY: your child will lose interest within a week, YOU will be taking care of their fish. If you’re not okay with that don’t buy your kid a fish.
MYTH: I should completely change the tank each time I clean it
REALITY: you should instead do frequent partial water changes of about 40% of the water
MYTH: bettas are throw away pets
REALITY: there is no such thing as a throw away pet and if you think there is you shouldn’t own pets

Please always read care sheets before buying a pet because -newsflash- PET STORES LIE.
*drops mic*

A living space that’s too small can affect your rabbit’s health - causing spine problems, sore hocks, muscle wastage and obesity.

A hutch should only be a shelter and not the only living space. It should be attached to a secure run of at least 8’ x 4’.

Please bear in mind that these recommendations are all minimums - and like many things in life, bigger is better!

It has begun….. I just got this in my email from petsmart. As excited as I am for this movie, it is definitely going to cause suffering and death for a lot of fish. Please DO NOT blame Disney or Pixar but instead place that blame on the corporate pet chains where it belongs. Selling tiny licensed “tanks” and spreading misinformation and downright lies about proper care of fish. If you or any of your friends/family have young children who will be seeing this movie and wanting fish afterwards make sure they remember. Fish are Friends and as such need a large enough home and proper care.


Ralphee, Bobbles and Olive are Wobbly Kittens

No, really.  They all have Feline Cerebellar Hypoplasia, or wobbly kitten syndrome,  a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition that results in walking and balance problems.

And it’s alright that you laughed.  They’re not in pain, the condition is non-fatal, and they live full, long and happy lives.  They just wobble, adorably.

A kitten is born with “CH” when her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, is underdeveloped at birth.

Consequently, an underdeveloped cerebellum can result in underdeveloped or complicated mobility. CH cats are known for their “drunken sailor” walk, which is why they’re known endearingly as “wobbly cats.”

You can read more here:

Looking to adopt a CH kitty? 

There’s a wobbly kitten out there, somewhere, just waiting to love you to distraction!

Here are a few great places to start your search:


One of the premier online adoption resources is, where thousands of shelters around the country post profiles of hundreds of thousands of adoptable pets. If you’re looking to adopt a cat with special needs, such as cerebellar hypoplasia, here’s one way to narrow your search:

Visit’s homepage and choose the type of pet you’re interested in along with your zip code:

Once you press Search, you’ll be taken to a page with all of the adoptable pets in your area. This is the page where you can narrow your search. As you look down the left rail, you’ll see your options:

  • Age: Baby, Young, Adult, Senior
  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • Other Considerations: Declawed, Housetrained, Special Needs
  • My Household Has: Cats, Dogs, Young Children
  • Show Me Pets Named

After you click each refined characteristic, the page will automatically reload with those specific pets. It’s important to keep in mind that clicking “Special Needs” will return results with any animal in your area with special needs. That could include kitties with FIV, who are blind, have special household needs and more. However, this refined search does make finding a CH kitty a bit easier!

Adoptable CH Cats List

If that seems like a bit too much work, check out the Adoptable CH Cats List on this site. It’s an aggregated list that I try to update monthly. What’s great about this list is that you can search by availability, gender, location and more. I hope to soon add age category, too.

The Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens Group

info source:


1 - 4) Ralphee the kitten (and her buddy, Max the dog)  here &here

5)  Bobbles  here

6)  Olive    here


Caring for cats with disabilities - from Cats Protection’s Meow Blog!

Our Caithness Branch recently raised the funds for 10-year-old Wally to undergo a vital operation on an ear infection he picked up while he was living on the streets. The procedure was a complete success but it did leave him deaf. Now fully-recovered, Wally has a lovely home with owners who can cater to his needs, on a farm with a view overlooking the sea. But just how differently do we need to treat cats with disabilities?

The truth is, whether they were born with a disability or developed one later in life as a result of an accident, disease or old age, cats are very good at adapting their lifestyles to cope with their new circumstances.

Along with losing their hearing and sight, cats’ mobility can also suffer, either from the lack of a limb or from conditions such as cerebellar hypoplasia which can cause uncoordinated movement. Here are a few suggestions on how to look after cats with these disabilities. 

Keep reading

Pros and Cons of different feeder insects

Disclaimer: This is a US-centric list, since those are the insects I have personal experience with. It’s also pretty leopard gecko and bearded dragon focused. Again, that’s where my personal experience is.

ok, one of the questions I get asked a lot is, “what can I feed my leopard gecko? What’s the best thing?”

Good news! There are a lot of options.

Overall, it’s best not to feed just one kind of insect. Mix and match instead so your pet gets the best possible nutrition.

Keep reading