Insects as Pets

Keeping insects as pets requires some extra research into native versus non-native species, laws about keeping insects in your local area (usually applies to poisonous or invasive species). Also, like exotic animals, insects of some types may not be imported or kept in North America, without permits, licenses or other paperwork.

I would prefer something low maintenance and local. I’m not taking responsibility for an invasive species which might find a way to escape or breed, or anything else we don’t need more bugs doing.

Probably a quiet bug, not prone to escape from a jar with holes in the lid. Nothing poisonous or likely to bite, sting, or otherwise draw blood. Considering the lifespan of most insects, something like a butterfly isn’t a good choice. Although a cockroach could seem a practical choice, it’s not for me.

However, you can get some exotic and colourful creatures. I’d consider a spider. I did keep one in my window pane when I was a kid. Not intentionally, she just ended up there and I let her stay. In spring I discovered she had become a mother over the winter. There were hundreds of tiny spiders in my bedroom for awhile. I had put her and her nest (I’m calling it a nest) in a jar at some point. I waited a few days because it was pretty amazing to watch all those little spiders. But, I didn’t want them to die so I took them to the rooftop of my house and let them all free. They mostly set off on drafts of air rather than walking over the roof. I learned quite a bit about common spiders back then. I’m remembering more as I write this.

Like any pet, there’s a lot to consider with bug ownership—time, money and space being key concerns—and there are trendy pet bugs as much as their are trendy designer dogs. Ramsey’s journey began with books, and a lot of trial and error to figure out what kinds of food and living conditions different bugs required (errors oftentimes resulting in dead insects). Since his first pill bugs and earwigs, Ramsey has raised nine different species of praying mantis and several species of millipedes, spiders, and (really huge) stick insects, to name a few. Four giant silk moths currently flutter around his office space.

Source: How to Choose the Pet Bug That’s Right for You

You could look for an ant farm. Maybe not as popular these days but certainly one way to start having insects as pets.

Others easily available:

  • crickets
  • praying mantis
  • centipedes and milipedes
  • snails
  • grasshoppers
  • ladybugs
  • beetles
  • silk worms

Outdoor Barn Cats as Service Animals

A straight forward list but I liked what was posted about feeding the outdoor cats. I used to treat my outdoor cats to liver from the grocery store. Not too often and bring enough so they aren’t sharing (chicken livers worked best). Generally, I gave them a can of cat food each day. Sometimes there was left over meat from dinner or cooking. I never gave them bacon grease, that would probably make them sick. But, meat we boiled for soup, scraps we cut off from steaks and so on, gave the cats that little extra. They were never fat house cats but always healthy and we never had mice in the house as long as we had cats around. (I can’t say the same about skunks though. For some reason my cats became friends with the skunks. Really, not being sarcastic about that).

  • Spay and neuter. Outdoor cats can have 2 litters of kittens each year. Don’t let it happen and end up with too many cats.
  • Vaccinations at the Vet.
  • Space in the barn for shelter on really cold days. (If they choose to use it).
  • Don’t collar them. Collars can get caught on things.
  • Keep track of their comings and goings (so you notice if they go missing).

Since they work so hard, our barn cats deserve to be treated like other high-performing work animals. I have heard people state opinions about how you shouldn’t feed them much because then they won’t be hungry enough to chase their own dinner! Nonsense! If you want an animal to perform work for you, then you should feed it adequate nutrition so it has the energy and stamina to perform.

Cats need a diet that contains quality protein. Living outside, chasing rodents, eating rodents, running from the big dogs, all these activities require strong bodies and lots of energy. Cats are carnivores. They only eat meat. Cats do not need vegetables, sweets, or grain fillers. Cats often do not drink enough water. Feeding the canned cat food in addition to the dry, increases their water intake. In the winter, when bringing warm water to your backyard chickens and dairy goats, make sure you save some for the cats, too. I know my barn cats enjoy a warm drink of water on a freezing cold morning.

Try to give the cats a place to eat where they won’t be chased off by livestock entering the barn, or in our case the dog trying to “share” the dinner. We put shelves up in the barn that the cats can access, and we feed the cats on the shelves.

Source: Countryside Daily – How to Raise a Barn Cat Right

Welcome to a Pet Free Site

This site is about being pet free and giving a voice to people who choose not to keep pets and/ or don’t agree with having pets in public places.

In my case, I do like animals but I’m allergic to them. I don’t want animals in the stores I would like to shop in. Service animals are necessary – pets are not.

I don’t like animals kept in cages, especially in small urban places. Farm animals are fattened up for eating so why do people let pets get fat?

I don’t like exotic pets or interbreeding of species which does not save species just mutates them and makes them unsavable.

I don’t like hunting animals for sport, though I understand the need to cull animals due to the fact the natural predators have long been killed off to make way for shopping malls, condominiums, etc.

Being pet free has very little to do with being child free. I don’t view animals (pets) as children. Animals should include ourselves, we are not so far above the food chain as some of us like to think.  I will never be a parent to a pet, an animal of a different species. A pet, once fully grown, is an adult animal and should be given enough respect not to be treated as an infant.

I will write more later. Just setting this site up today.