Cat or Betta

Cat of Betta for my son

  • Cat

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Betta

    Votes: 12 92.3%

  • Total voters
  • #1
My son has his first job out of school. He is away from home in a town where he does not know anybody. He wants a pet. He would really like a dog, but he knows that is not a realistic option so he is thinking about getting a cat. He thinks he can have an inside cat with a litter box. He would be able to leave it here when he leaves town with an automatic feeder and water supply. I am sure it could be done, but I do not think it is a good idea. I think a 10 gallon Betta tank is a better idea. Not quite the same experience as a cat or a dog. But Bettas are more interactive than other fish. And leaving the Betta unattended for a week while out of town seems more doable than leaving a cat.

So I am wondering what you think. Cat or Betta? For the purpose of this poll it is a binary choice. Cat or Betta. None may be the best answer given his lifestyle. That is a good question but it is not the question I am asking.
  • #2
Can we vote both?
  • #3
Cats are more social and wouldnt do so good for a week alone. Heck I go to work for just a few hours and my cats are up my behind as soon as I walk in the door, staring at me like they thought I was dead. I could only imagine being away for a week.

Id go with a betta.
86 ssinit
  • #4
Can we do neither? . Get a bearded dragon..
  • #5
I believe a betta would be better. You would not need to hire a pet sitter or board them when you leave either. I think a cat might work, but ideally you would want two if you will be leaving for often. That way they have social interaction with someone they know.
  • #6
I would recommend heavily against getting a cat if he is planning to leave it for multiple days in a row.
Even with an auto- feeder it would not go well. The litter would become quite smelly and the cat would likely decide to instead pee and poop all over the house- he would come home to a horrible smell and lots of cleaning. For a single cat the litter needs to be cleaned at least every other day and fully replaced weekly. As Platylover mentioned it would also need another cat if he planned to leave it alone. A bored or lonely cat is a destructive cat and no one wants to come home to a couch full of pee and shredded pillows. A cat is also a significantly bigger commitment than a fish- they can live for over 20 years and need yearly vet checks to stay healthy. Not to mention the cost of food, litter, and toys. It would almost definitely need a cat tree as well otherwise it would likely be extremely bored. In all honesty a cat is just as much work as a dog.

Also just as a note because you specified "inside cat"- all cats should be inside cats. Letting a cat outside is not only dangerous to the cat but also to the environment. Plants, predators, cars, etc can all be deadly and cats (smart as they are) will inevitably get sick, hurt, or die. They will also hunt and kill things that very well could be sick or poisoned. There are also multiple studies that prove cats damage ecosystems by killing wildlife.
  • #7
I'd go bigger and do an Oscar in a 75.
  • #8
A few questions...
How often will he be leaving the pet alone for a week? Is this occasional, or regularly?
Is there any opportunity to have a neighbour (or a pet sitting service?) come into your son's place while he's away at all? (if so, that changes things).
If not, I don't think either pet is ideal. Leaving a cat alone for a week at a time is a bad idea for many reasons. With an established tank, and an experienced fishkeeper, leaving a tank for a week is definitely doable, but again, not ideal. I know many of us will leave a tank for an extended period ON OCCASION for vacation etc... but it's likely not going to go too well if he's leaving it for a week frequently. And, does he have the time/inclination to do the upkeep on a tank?
What about suggesting that he acquaint himself with the local Pet Shelter/Humane Society? There he can interact with animals, and it will also help him meet some people in his community. They are always looking for volunteers for dog walking and cat enrichment, etc.
  • #10
Cat is a long term companion. say 10 years
  • Thread Starter
  • #11

Lots of good thoughts. Leaving it alone for a week would probably be two or three times a year for vacation. For a weekend, more often. Maybe a few long weekends.

Shelter is a good idea, but dangerous. Almost a certainty that he would end up with a dog. He came very close to getting a dog in college, but we talked him out of it.

There is probably a pet service in his apartment. But a cost as well. He does not know his neighbors yet. May not get to know them. Probably moving when this lease is up.

There may be a monthly fee added on to rent for a pet. I am assuming an aquarium would not be subject to the pet fee, but a good question to ask.
  • #12
Yes, I understand being at a shelter can be very tempting It would depend on how your son would handle it. (I would handle it by bringing home anything that looked needy so maybe not a good fit for me.)

What if your son was to offer up his services as a local dog walker? Again, it would allow him to have some quality pet time, and meet a few people (without the temptation of keeping the dog LOL). If he could do it on his own schedule (allowing for his absences) that might work? Just trying to come up with some alternatives.

Either pet will have costs... which will vary. I personally wouldn't get a cat knowing I'd be leaving it alone for a full week 3 times a year, plus many weekends. It's just not fair to the cat. This would encourage behaviour problems as mentioned above. Vet bills (think bladder infection) and cleaning/replacing furniture are VERY costly.

Seems to me that the whole issue would be resolved if your son had some 'support' from a neighbour, friend or work buddy. Maybe find ways for him to meet up with people that down the line could help him care for a pet. Then there's really no issue
  • #13
A perk to the betta is a small tank is easier to transfer, he could bring it with him easier instead of leaving it behind.

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