A pet-friendly home 'must take into account the animal’s needs'

Monday, 10th September 2012

Before getting a pet, it is important to think about the animal's needs, such as cat scratch posts and chew toys, an expert has said.

Dr Candy d'Sa, an animal behaviour consultant and expert witness in animal law, explained that some behaviours are innate to animals and should not or cannot be trained out of them.

For example, a cat needs to sharpen its claws and display its predatory behaviour, while small animals like rabbits and rodents need to chew.

When it comes to getting more than one species of pet, owners should consider how the animals will interact, the expert said.

"In multi-pet households owners must not mistake mere tolerance between pets for amicable relationships," Dr d'Sa said.

"Predator-prey relationships should be considered when choosing different pets, for example cats and hamsters or dogs and chickens."

Dr d'Sa said other things that will make a pet friendly home include thinking about a pet's needs, such as space, companionship and somewhere to retreat.