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pets that eat small animals

i've been thinking about this for a while.  i love snakes.  absolutely love them!  when i was about four we had a small albino garter snake named arthur and i was crazy over him.  ever since then, i've wanted to have another.

the larger snakes are more social & interested in interacting with people than the smaller ones.  the smaller ones can eat insects and be okay (depending on the kind, of course) but the larger ones usually require small/medium sized animals once they get bigger & reach adulthood.

i would never want to have a pet and then force it to live an unhealthy life with an unsuitable diet just because of my personal beliefs...that would just be cruel!!!  so i'm thinking i'll never get a large snake (although i'd love to have one... minus the feeding part... and so would my wife).

1) i couldn't pick out living animals and practically give them their death sentence!
2) i know you can get frozen rodents, but i don't want to be the reason they were frozen alive... i don't know if it's considered humane or not, but i do know that when i've gotten really cold it was painful to me!
3) i know you can train them to either eat living food or dead food... and i would definitely have to go with the latter because i wouldn't want to train him to eat his bunny/kittie/bearded dragon brothers and sisters!  but what if he ever escapes outside?  unless someone feeds him, he'd starve!

anyone else have thoughts on this topic?  anyone else out there considering a pet that eats small animals?  is it as conflicting to anyone else's beliefs as it is to mine?

we have a bearded dragon and i feel bad enough feeding him live crickets!
:'(

I think this falls into the cat food arena.  There's an ongoing debate (it crops up at least once a year) about whether to feed carniverous cats their natural meat diet or adapt them to a vegan diet.  My position falls onto the side of feeding cats meat - especially after my cat, Cat, recently died (you just missed a month of teary posts) due to kidney failure which is, in part, grain diet induced from what I read.  So, cats eat meat, it's just in a ground and sometimes hardened form.  Your feeding a snake a less processed meat would be no different, just icky-er. 

Cat died on July 5.  People keep asking me if I'm going to get another cat.  I didn't "get" Cat.  He was abandoned and decided he liked me enough to move in with me.  I'm not sure I would get a Cat that I would feed meat to.  At the same time, I'd gladly take in another wayward stray.  I'm not sure what the difference is there.  I think it has something to do with difference between breeder and shelter animals. 

I have a question about reptiles.  How are they acquired?  Are they removed from the wild or are they bred?  I just checked and petfinder listed snakes.  I think I feel differently about killing one thing to feed another based on it's rescue status - for me it's whether a snake was already in the world versus a snake that was bred and added to the world for profit, although animals from the latter end up in the former.

How often do snakes escape?  I think that if a snake escaped in Seattle, half the problem would be it freezing to death.  I would think that a snake is somewhat hardwired to hunt.  I don't know much about them, though.  Do parent snakes teach them, or are they on their own?  I have the impression that they sink or swim by themselves in that regard.

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i'm not sure... i'm sure that most of them are probably bred unless you get it from a rescue shelter... but that one was probably bred in the first place, rather than wild.

i just... i wouldn't have the heart to look at a little mouse or rat... right in its face... and then put it in the arena for certain death!

i actually would like to have pet mice or rats as i've always loved them (and that's actually how i got my bunnies... i was looking for rats and ran into my little baby hercules... who was born without front feet... and fell in love!) so i just don't think i'd be able to do it.

i do have kitties... we feed them a very high quality cat food that does not contain corn and is not tested on animals.  it is not vegan as for *most cats that could be harmful, but i wouldn't be able to feed my cat some sort of crappy "premium" food that conducts horrid animal tests (like science diet or iams).  those are almost always mostly corn... and i love my kitties, why would i want other kitties to be tortured to just to feed them? 

i see the comparison, but in one i would be feeding him the live animal or killing it myself (could NEVER do that) or giving him a whole frozen animal (i don't know how humane the feezing is).  i just couldn't do that, i don't think.  i know that essentially it's about the same if i give him a frozen mouse as it is if i give my kitties cat food, but the brand of cat food i buy states that they try to do everything as humanely and cruelty free as they can while still using meat & they do a lot of rescue work & donate a lot of money to rescue shelters.

* i say "most" cats could be harmed by a vegan diet because i do know of ONE who would have probably benefited from it if it was well balanced and maintained.  my sister's kittie, nicholas, was allergic to animal proteins.  they caused urinary tract blockage & when we first discovered this it was because he had been totally blocked and wasn't peeing... we took him to the vet because he was CRYING just like a human baby anytime you touched him (it progressed rather quickly, like a few hours of not being able to pee, so it was hard to notice at first until he cried).  he had emergency surgery (poor baby!).  he ended up having to have a special diet with a prescription food that had its proteins sorta pre-broken down.  i never tried a vegan diet on him, but i think in his case it might have been more okay than it would be in a lot of otherwise healthy cats.  i might be totally wrong and cats might be okay with being vegan if it's balanced & supplemented, but i think that in most cases it's probably best to provide them with their natural meat diet.  i have not done a lot of research on the subject, i just know the animal proteins were the enemy in nicky's case.

sorry, i seem to only be able to type in run on sentences tonight with tons of ADHD-like tangents in parenthesis.

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Cat died on July 5.  People keep asking me if I'm going to get another cat.  I didn't "get" Cat.  He was abandoned and decided he liked me enough to move in with me.  I'm not sure I would get a Cat that I would feed meat to.  At the same time, I'd gladly take in another wayward stray.  I'm not sure what the difference is there.  I think it has something to do with difference between breeder and shelter animals. 

i am so sorry.  i don't know how close you were to Cat, although i assume you were.  something similar happened to me.  my very, very, very best friend in the entire world was my cat, stripe.  everyone knew it.  i made it very clear to everyone that knew me that stripe was at the top of my priorities and no one had any problem with that... it's just that i have never had the sort of connection with a human that i had with my stripe.  some people don't understand it, but i don't think it's necessary that everyone understand it as long as they can understand the idea that she was important to me.

she was born into my family.  she was actually born four years before i was.  she was technically my aunt's cat, but my aunt was constantly in the hospital so i had her the last ten years of her life (from middle school on).  i didn't pick her, she picked me.  i was the only one in the house that didn't pester her and try to make her like me.  i left her alone when she first arrived and i guess that's all it took to charm her into best friend-dom for life!  we were inseparable!  i really think she got me in all kinds of ways.

so... a couple of weeks before my 21st birthday (september 2006) i came home from whatever i was doing that day and my normally healthy & active cat was limping.  it was after midnight, so i couldn't do anything right away & i had no money since i had no job for that summer (family request because of family issues).  the first thing the next morning  i called my aunt and she met me at a vet.  the vet looked at her and asked how old she was and her history.  stripe was the healthiest of our three cats, but because she was old she said, "well, i don't see anything wrong and i don't feel any signs (in her belly) for any organ failure... she probably injured herself by falling from a jump.  but since she's so old, let's euthanize her instead of putting her through diagnosing & treatment".  i had no say because my aunt had the money and i guess she still figured stripe to be her cat.  i was totally willing to do anything to help her if it was something that just required some extra care.  my aunt okayed the euthanization.  then i watched as the vet killed my precious friend.  i don't think i'll ever get over that.

she was about twenty four when she died.  i've never heard of a cat so old, although my grandma had one that lived to be twenty one.

sooo... i guess what i'm trying to say (with alllll of that) is... i'm really sorry.  i know that i've gone through the loss of my cat and for me it was the most heart breaking thing that has ever happened, so i can certainly sympathize with anything you might be going through.  i hope you're doing okay.

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I feel the same way about feeding mice as food.  I'm a biologist and doing my insect collection in college was hard enough - especially since the competitive goal was to get the biggest, best looking insect of a species. I couldn't catch a dragonfly, a friend did it for me.

I'm sorry to hear about stripe.  That's how it was with Cat.  Him and me.  I came home to sleep in my bed everynight because I didn't want him to be alone.  (I did take one vacation a year to a music festival, but I wouldn't visit my parents for more than a couple of days at a time and only when absolutely required.)  My family and friends all knew that he came first.  He was only nine.  I gave over my whole heart to him, so I can't say that I loved him less, but having a cat for the first 21 years of your life means that he was around and tied into your memories for all of your pivotal growing up years.  That's a huge bond and an enormous loss.  I wish vets and aunts got that more.  I'm all teared up now thinking about the helplessness you felt when other people were making decisions about your soulmate.

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I was actually planning to switch my cats to a 70% lacto-ovo diet. (I have good sources for eggs and dairy locally. -Not that I'd eat them.  :P)

Then I read that the only cats who can't tolerate a largely vegetarian diet are males prone to urinary tract / kidney issues and females with FLUTD.  Three of my cats have been diagnosed with FLUTD (and they've never eaten commercial food - go figure.)

My next best option was this:  http://www.canz.com/ I can feed them the raw diet they need, but feel a little better about the 'humane-ness" of the meat (NZ year-round free range.)

My cats do love broccoli, though.

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sorry, i seem to only be able to type in run on sentences tonight with tons of ADHD-like tangents in parenthesis.

;D That's most of our posts on vegweb.

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sorry, i seem to only be able to type in run on sentences tonight with tons of ADHD-like tangents in parenthesis.

;D That's most of our posts on vegweb.

;D ;D ;D true dat

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I feel the same way about feeding mice as food.  I'm a biologist and doing my insect collection in college was hard enough - especially since the competitive goal was to get the biggest, best looking insect of a species. I couldn't catch a dragonfly, a friend did it for me.

i was supposed to do that in biology in high school.  they taught us how to catch them and then "humanely kill" them by either freezing them or setting up a gas chamber with a jar and cotton balls soaked in rubbing alcohol (i bet that burns!).

i absolutely refused.  i couldn't do it.  they told me to look for dead bugs.  i was supposed to some how fall upon 15-20 perfectly preserved (not broken) dead bugs, each of a different species, and in one week.  yeah right.  i told them that i couldn't find them.  i walked home from school and everyday i looked, but all i could find were moths.  that's only ONE of the 15-20! 

they eventually let me (and i guess the other like-minded students, as there were a bunch of these "alternative projects") do something else that didn't involve killing.  we just had to find pictures of the insects and put them on a display board (the kind used for science fairs that have three panels) and a small report about each one... like, a paragraph each.

sorry, but i don't believe that killing should ever be taught in high school.  even if it's "humane".

I wish vets and aunts got that more.  I'm all teared up now thinking about the helplessness you felt when other people were making decisions about your soulmate.

your experience with Cat sounds just like mine with stripe.  i've always liked to stay up late, but stripe would actually come downstairs and tell me that it was my bedtime because she wanted me to get into bed with her.  haha!  i actually didn't really know stripe before she came to live with us, so the experience might be more comparable to yours than you thought.  stripe was the kind of cat who really only bonded with one person at a time and then she spent all of her time sleeping away from everyone else.  i had only met her a few times before she moved in with us because usually she was hidden away somewhere in my aunt's house.

and thank you for your sympathy... it was quite helpless feeling since my whole point in taking her to the doctor was to get her help & then i didn't have any say in it.

you know, the vet wouldn't let us take her home to bury her.  we had three options:  pay tons of money to have her buried in the city's pet cemetery, buy an expensive urn for her ashes, or just leave empty handed.  my aunt didn't have the extra money to spend on either of the options, so before they "did it"  they shaved off a piece of her fur for both of us and put it in a plastic bag (they offered it, i wouldn't have thought to do that & a lot of people are put off by it, but it's the only thing i've got left of her since i cannot visit her, you know?).  they said that at the end of the day, they cremate all of the animals that didn't have arrangements made and they dispose of them somehow.  not the best thing to think about when you're going through that situation.

i don't know if anyone else encountered that... maybe it's some city law saying that you're really not supposed to bury animals in your backyard or perhaps at least not the ones that have been injected with the euthanizing solution.  i don't know... but it was really surprising to me when she said we couldn't take her.

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I was actually planning to switch my cats to a 70% lacto-ovo diet. (I have good sources for eggs and dairy locally. -Not that I'd eat them.  :P)

Then I read that the only cats who can't tolerate a largely vegetarian diet are males prone to urinary tract / kidney issues and females with FLUTD.  Three of my cats have been diagnosed with FLUTD (and they've never eaten commercial food - go figure.)

My next best option was this:  http://www.canz.com/ I can feed them the raw diet they need, but feel a little better about the 'humane-ness" of the meat (NZ year-round free range.)

My cats do love broccoli, though.

we give our kitties raw advantage when we feed them raw (meat) food.  i don't know if it's just a local thing or not because i think it's made pretty close to where i live (could be totally wrong!  one of the raw cat foods around here is locally made, anyways).  i buy that one because it isn't tested on animals and they remain completely frozen until you feed it to your kitties, which reduces the chances of their getting bacterial infections like salmonella.

i have one cat, tiger, who must think he's just like one of his bunny siblings.  he wants to eat EVERYTHING i feed to the rabbits (i google it first to make sure it's okay, of course!).  shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, bananas, dried fruit treats (these babyfood treats that are freeze dried fruits with no added ingredients), strawberries, melons (he LOOOOVES THEM!), parsley, mustard greens, collared greens, bunny cookies (like vegetarian dog biscuits made for small animals), and HAY.  he and his brother, ivan, both like to eat hay.  it's kinda strange.  their sister, zoey, wants absolutely nothing to do with any of it.  i know cats aren't supposed to be able to taste sweet, but i'm rather convinced that they might be able to because tiger has quite a sweet tooth!

http://www.canz.com/
do they test on animals, do you know?

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Rainbow, no they don't test on animals.  ;)b

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Rainbow, no they don't test on animals.  ;)b

awesome, we'll look into it!  thanks!

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How often do snakes escape?  I think that if a snake escaped in Seattle, half the problem would be it freezing to death.  I would think that a snake is somewhat hardwired to hunt.  I don't know much about them, though.  Do parent snakes teach them, or are they on their own?  I have the impression that they sink or swim by themselves in that regard.

Snakes are hard-wired to hunt. They are not raised, they hatch and are ready to live on their own.
Check your local and state legislation before acquiring a reptile, be it an exotic or local animal. Some states (like Michigan for example) don't allow reptile ownership unless you have a handler's licence and proper installations. Others like Denver don't have a problem with it. However the fines for keeping a reptile can be pretty steep if it's not allowed where you live.

ETA: Oopps...Colorado, not Denver. Denver is not a state.

I knew that.

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you know, the vet wouldn't let us take her home to bury her.  we had three options:  pay tons of money to have her buried in the city's pet cemetery, buy an expensive urn for her ashes, or just leave empty handed.  my aunt didn't have the extra money to spend on either of the options, so before they "did it"  they shaved off a piece of her fur for both of us and put it in a plastic bag (they offered it, i wouldn't have thought to do that & a lot of people are put off by it, but it's the only thing i've got left of her since i cannot visit her, you know?).  they said that at the end of the day, they cremate all of the animals that didn't have arrangements made and they dispose of them somehow.  not the best thing to think about when you're going through that situation.

i don't know if anyone else encountered that... maybe it's some city law saying that you're really not supposed to bury animals in your backyard or perhaps at least not the ones that have been injected with the euthanizing solution.  i don't know... but it was really surprising to me when she said we couldn't take her.

We creamated our dog (RIP Jackie) and they let us take him without buying an urn. All we had to pay for was the creamation. We bought a treat jar for him because it seemed more fitting.

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once i was at a pet store and there was a snake cage, and in the corner was the cutest little white mouse shaking and trembling for his life (smart mouse).....he kept looking at me I think to save him. There was nothing I could do, but I thought it was one of the cruelest things I have ever seen.

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once i was at a pet store and there was a snake cage, and in the corner was the cutest little white mouse shaking and trembling for his life (smart mouse).....he kept looking at me I think to save him. There was nothing I could do, but I thought it was one of the cruelest things I have ever seen.

...see, i could never do that!

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It won't help you large snake dilemma, but if you want a "vegetarian" snake you can go the way of the Common Egg Eating Snake.  I've heard they don't like fertilized/developing eggs, and you can feed them quail or chicken eggs.

I think when I have more space I will want companion farm animals, and while I wouldn't eat chicken eggs I could feed them to a/the snake. 

Anyways, I've heard of them being kept in captivity, and I read on a forum of a person having one as a pet.  I'm not sure what their temperament towards people usually are though, if they are hard to keep as pets, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasypeltis_scabra

This one is beautiful!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasypeltis
http://www.repvet.co.za/snakes_caresheet_eggeaters_dasypeltisscabra.php

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http://www.canz.com/
do they test on animals, do you know?

Anybody have the actual company name?
I was interested in looking when i read this (as I feed a natural diet for my ferret and always looking to increase variety), but the domain name is no longer registered.  :(

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