Caged pets; do you feel bad about it? Watch

Gap
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As the title says, do you feel bad about having pets in cages?

I for one did; i had two rabbits which were sisters about a year ago but one of them died very early on, i began to feel terrible for the remaining sister as all it did was sit in it's dark cage and never wanted to go out after it's sister died. Even though people would consider it as just an animal, i really sympathised for the thing; if i was an animal i wouldn't want to cooped up in a cage, sitting doing nothing and just eating and sleeping.
About 4 months later after it'd grown i decided it was too cruel to keep it in a cage by itself and snuck it down to a local reserve where i'd seen other rabbits and let it go.

Has anyone else ever considered things like this?
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Music Maestro
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Well I have had pets such as Rats, Mice and other animals like that before. And we kept them in their cages mainly for safety reasons. We dont want them chewing on electric cables or getting lost, cold or squashed. However, i do believe animals should be given the right to a room or house to roam around for as much a time as possible as long as there is supervision.

However, im going to be very controversial here, but I dont think anyone should own a bird if theyre not going to keep it out at all times. Birds are made for flying. They should not be under any circumstances be cooped up in a cage.

I am with you in your argument, but dont get rid of your pets because of it because theyre friends

And dont keep them out so much that it can cause danger to them.

(I know someone that trained his rabbit to only do its 'business' in its cage, but he always left the cage door open, and throughout the day, the rabbit had the run of the house )
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fortunecookie
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I used to have loads of animals roaming around. I felt bad about having hamsters and guinea pigs really, especially as I didnt get them out all that often, but they died when they were about 3 and havent had anymore pets since.

I have to say I agree with Music Maestro about the birds though, I used to have a friend who had a bird and the cage was just sooo small. I guess its similar in concept to fish.
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SkinnyKat
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I don't agree with keeping birds as pets at all unless you have a large enough enclosure, not just a cage.

All animals, regardless of size, should be let to run free in a large enough area fairly regularly. They get stressed, especially the big ones, if they don't and develep bad habits.

It's a horrible sight watching a horse sway sideways repeatedly because its been in its stable too long. Reminds me of people in mental asylums swaying back and forth
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Zastrugi
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(Original post by Music Maestro)
However, im going to be very controversial here, but I dont think anyone should own a bird if theyre not going to keep it out at all times. Birds are made for flying. They should not be under any circumstances be cooped up in a cage.
I've had cockatiels all my life and they're kept in an aviary-sized cage when we're not around to supervise them. They're let out for at least 2 hours a day depending on who's home or whatever, but they have the freedom to fly both in their cage and in the house, but most of the time they prefer to climb about rather than fly, and even ask to be given a lift on a finger and put on our shoulders rather than fly across the room themselves! In a lot of cases though, I would agree with your sentiment, I know a lot of people who have budgies in solitary confinement in a cage that's far too small and never let them out no matter what..

I don't feel bad at all about keeping my birds in a cage, it's done so for their safety and it's more than adequate for their needs.
The same can be said about my gerbils' cage, it's bigger than most, they're always kept busy and they're allowed an almost free reign of my room multiple times per day, none of this ball lark...

As long as you provide the best possible environment for your animals and keep them active I don't see any reason to feel bad about keeping them in a cage.
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basset52
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(Original post by Music Maestro)

However, im going to be very controversial here, but I dont think anyone should own a bird if theyre not going to keep it out at all times. Birds are made for flying. They should not be under any circumstances be cooped up in a cage.
:p: Chickens are not made for flying, saying that mine have a big run outside so it wouldn't matter anyway.

And no I don't feel bad about keeping them in a cage as long as you make it nice. the correct size and have lots of things for them to do in there like wheels etc..

You should give them as much room as possible but I keep snakes and they would do very badly if I gave them too large a cage since they are very agoraphobic so it depends on the animal.
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Lazuliblue
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I went to a wildlife park yesterday, and despite my fear of spiders, I felt really sorry for the tarantula...it only had a small aquariam, whereas in the wild it would be free to roam wherever it wanted (if spiders do in fact roam...but you get my drift). The same went for the fish too, I even felt bad for the lobster!

My rabbit has a giant 6ft shed to live in, and then a run that actually takes up half the garden (which is quite big), and she can go out in for most of the day, so she's fine
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Svenjamin
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The way I see it, the cage is the animals' home/articificial nest. There's nothing wrong with keeping a rodent in a cage as long as you take it out and let it roam around as much as possible whenever convenient. It's not really that much different from a wild rodent that would roam around and then return back to its nest.

Okay, maybe a wild animal would roam around more than a tame one gets to, but give a wild mouse or rat a decent food source and a place to sleep nearby and it probably wouldn't move away much at all. An animal only needs as much room as is needed to survive and for its natural sense of territory.

On the other hand, I'm with Music Maestro on birds. Keeping them in a small avery is just cruel for an animal that are meant to be flying around most of the day.
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death.drop
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(Original post by basset52)
:p: Chickens are not made for flying, saying that mine have a big run outside so it wouldn't matter anyway.
how are they not made for flying? :confused:

I do and I don't. My mice are in a large cage with plenty to do. They don't really like to leave their cage and always go back in if they do leave. They're in a terrarium and I leave the glass off the front so that they get fresh air and they don't seem so closed in.
my gerbils are in a fairly large cage (1 big tank, 1 small tank and 4 rotastak units connected together) and I feel a little mean as one of them spends all her time trying to get out of the cage. she succeeds fairly often though (and ruins my things!!) so I guess it's all a big game to her. the other is happy to just run through all the tubes, dig and chew all day long though so I don't feel remotely guilty about her.
my rabbits have plenty of bed space and a run on grass, we're about to build them a bigger run. they have plenty of toys to play with and we'll spend a a few hours a day with them. they also get plenty of fresh veg which they love.
my dog has free reign of the house and, most of the time, the garden and he goes for at least a half hour walk every day. he has toys and treats and plenty of attention from us, and because he's a rescue dog (sort of) we know that he's much happier with us now than he was.

I think if you want to keep animals then there's nothing wrong with it as long as you look after them properly and keep them to the best of your ability. I know that my pets have a better time with me than most other homes they could have gone to so I don't feel bad about having them. except possibly the dog. but he's not mine.
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SkinnyKat
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(Original post by death.drop)
how are they not made for flying? :confused:
Chickens can't fly. They can flap around in the air for a few seconds and thats the limit of them "flying".
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death.drop
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(Original post by SkinnyKat)
Chickens can't fly. They can flap around in the air for a few seconds and thats the limit of them "flying".
uhh... i've kept chickens all my life and I can officially say that until you clip their wings they can fly. it's only short distances but it's still more than a few seconds. they just don't usually choose to. flapping in their air is what they do after you've clipped them.
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joey11223
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(Original post by Lazuliblue)
I went to a wildlife park yesterday, and despite my fear of spiders, I felt really sorry for the tarantula...it only had a small aquariam, whereas in the wild it would be free to roam wherever it wanted (if spiders do in fact roam...but you get my drift).
The tarantula will be fine, especially if it's female. Basically when it comes to tarantulas once they have a small place to hide, like in a burrow under a rock, or in the hollow stump of a tree etc, they wont leave it unless their driven out for some reason. A mature male will leave to search for females but a female could stay in the same burrow for it's whole life(which can be 40 years+ depending on species). They have a bit of a roam around at night but not all that much, in the wild they'd venture just outside of their burrow/shelter but not very far at all, they'd spend all day with their front legs just sticking out and that's it.
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Lazuliblue
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(Original post by joey11223)
The tarantula will be fine, especially if it's female. Basically when it comes to tarantulas once they have a small place to hide, like in a burrow under a rock, or in the hollow stump of a tree etc, they wont leave it unless their driven out for some reason. A mature male will leave to search for females but a female could stay in the same burrow for it's whole life(which can be 40 years+ depending on species).
That's really good to know! And they can live for 40years? That's amazing!
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GapYearGirl
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A lot of the animals that people keep would usually live in some sort of burrow or similar so they wouldn't have a huge amount of space to move anyway. As long as they get to run around "outside" (either in the garden or in a room depending on the animal) then it's pretty similar to how they'd live in their wild anyway.
I have two rabbits. They have a large hutch to live in and they have a big run which we move daily so that they always have fresh grass. At first I did feel a bit guilty about them being cooped up. But when they have managed to burrow out of their run, they seem to get quite scared and try and get back in. They always seem happiest when they are all snuggled up together in the corner of their run or in their bedroom.
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joey11223
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(Original post by Lazuliblue)
That's really good to know! And they can live for 40years? That's amazing!
yeah it depends on the genus and species. Most arboreal types of tarantula(ones which like tall enclosures because in the wild they live in webs in trees) live for around 10 years if their female. It's generally ones which live on the ground that live longer. The B.smithi(which is usually used in movies as the classic tarantula) is one of the longest lived, specimens have lived for over 40 years. Usually it's the American tarantulas that live longest, ones from the far east have a shorter life span, but still over 10 years.
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ghostbusterbunny
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(Original post by Gap)
As the title says, do you feel bad about having pets in cages?

I for one did; i had two rabbits which were sisters about a year ago but one of them died very early on, i began to feel terrible for the remaining sister as all it did was sit in it's dark cage and never wanted to go out after it's sister died. Even though people would consider it as just an animal, i really sympathised for the thing; if i was an animal i wouldn't want to cooped up in a cage, sitting doing nothing and just eating and sleeping.
About 4 months later after it'd grown i decided it was too cruel to keep it in a cage by itself and snuck it down to a local reserve where i'd seen other rabbits and let it go.

Has anyone else ever considered things like this?
No offence, but doing that is crueller to the animal than keeping it in a cage. Your rabbit probably didn't survive more than a couple of months in the wild compared to the years it could have had with you. Your rabbit would have had none of the natural defences against diseases that those in the wild would have had. It wouldn't have had a warren to live in, a family to help keep it safe or any of the natural actions that would have kept it safe such as the agility of a wild rabbit.

If anyone feels bad for an animal, take it to a shelter so other people can take them on. Releasing a domestic pet is giving it a death sentence...

I don't feel bad about keeping rabbits or any other animal in cages/hutches. As long as you can provide for your animal, give it ample room and time out of the cage, your pet would be happy enough living its life with whoever looks after it.

Sure, a cage isn't natural, and if I could, I'd give my animals a massive enclosure to live in. But the fact is that animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs have been domesticated animals for years, they're bred for living in smaller enclosures/places than they would naturally live in.
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Lell
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I do feel a bit guilty about my rabbit in its hutch all day while I'm at work, I let her hope around the house most of the evening, if only she didn't have a penchant for cables...

The guinea pigs I don't feel too guilty about though, they seem happy in their cage.
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Schmokie Dragon
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Releasing pets into the wild is a pretty awful thing to do. I know you had good intentions, but a rabbit isn't just a rabbit. This is how new species become invasive, local populations become contaminated with exotic diseases and many pets that are released die pretty miserable deaths.

Keeping animals in cages isn't the problem. What is the problem is when the cage/pen is too small, the animal doesn't get enough interaction with humans/other suitable animals, they don't get a proper diet, they don't get the right amount of light/heat/humidity/etc.

If you take time to meet the majority of the pet's needs, you can compromise on things like space in many cases. I have to keep my horses in a stable a lot of the time and that's really dull for them but I spend time with them every day, give them interesting things to do and take them out for rides. They get social time with other horses and loads of enrichment activities. Rabbits have the same enrichment needs.
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fire2burn
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(Original post by Gap)
About 4 months later after it'd grown i decided it was too cruel to keep it in a cage by itself and snuck it down to a local reserve where i'd seen other rabbits and let it go.
You are aware that in all likelihood it probably died within a few days of you releasing it right? A captive bred and reared animal, used to human contact and regular feeding is not going to have the survival skills or natural immunity to common diseases that the wild ones have. If it didn't die of exposure or fall prey to fox in the first few days, it more than likely died from diseases carried by the wild ones.

You should have taken it to a rehoming centre.
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death.drop
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(Original post by fire2burn)
You are aware that in all likelihood it probably died within a few days of you releasing it right? A captive bred and reared animal, used to human contact and regular feeding is not going to have the survival skills or natural immunity to common diseases that the wild ones have. If it didn't die of exposure or fall prey to fox in the first few days, it more than likely died from diseases carried by the wild ones.

You should have taken it to a rehoming centre.
there's actually a high likelihood that the other rabbits would have killed it. without proper introduction rabbits it's not unheard of for rabbits to fight to the death, and that's domesticated ones (which are far tamer and docile than their wild counterparts).
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