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Lowest maintenance pet?

(62 Posts)
Lulumush Wed 16-Jan-19 21:50:42

My 6 yr old twins want a pet. I'm a single mum and work full time. Would love a dog but it's not practical at the moment.
Any ideas for a low maintenance pet (aside from the obvious goldfish!!!)

lanbro Wed 16-Jan-19 21:56:29

I've had dogs for years but currently have a cat, so easy in comparison. She's a house cat so never goes outside, I can go away overnight and not have to worry. I have food and water dispensers and the only real 'work' is dealing with the litter tray

bunnygeek Thu 17-Jan-19 11:30:01

Goldfish are actually pretty hard work, grow massive and should outlive any dog or cat! Fish tanks aren't easy, there's a butt load of chemistry involved to keep them healthy.

A Furby maybe? At least then if the kids get bored, all you have to do is take the batteries out.

Any kind of caged pets aren't an easy option and you'll be dealing with the cleaning, smells, occasionally bitten children and an inevitable escape once or twice. They may also include surprisingly expensive vets bills if they get sick and you need to find an exotic vet.

Cats are great if you're in the right place for them (if you're next to a busy road it'll likely end in tears) and if your kids aren't super grabby as they will get bitten and scratched. They are a long term commitment though, my old cat was put to sleep at 18 years old, she'd had a lot spent on her in her lifetime, thank goodness for insurance, after falling off a fence and busting her cruciate ligament in one of her hind legs. In her later years she had thyroid problems which is common in older cats. So while kitties are lower maintenance than caged pets, they can still cost quite a bit for a great many years!

pombal Thu 17-Jan-19 11:35:04

Very low maintenance and you get a lot back in terms of affection and interaction.

Small, caged pets are high maintenance and don’t really bond with you.

Dogs can’t be left alone for long periods.

Cats don’t mind if they have a cat flap.

crimsonhair Thu 17-Jan-19 13:19:17

Stick insects, in fact fish is high maintenance, requires a lot of knowledge to keep fish alive!

bunnygeek Thu 17-Jan-19 13:56:46

My one memory of my childhood stick insects is when I let the eggs hatch and the babies escaped...kept finding stick insects around the house.

SpoonBlender Thu 17-Jan-19 14:13:51

Rocks are good. Googly eyes.

We have cats, who are a bit demanding. Things in tanks - wet or dry - are constant bothers (although I've not tried arachnids, they might be pretty chill). Dogs are almost as bad as children. Rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas are too dull. Rats need a lot of interaction.

Rocks it is.

TheVanguardSix Thu 17-Jan-19 14:14:56


HoustonBess Thu 17-Jan-19 14:17:06

Can you still get tamagotchi? Maybe plants?

Raven88 Thu 17-Jan-19 14:18:35

A guinea pig.

agirlhasnonameX Thu 17-Jan-19 14:19:56

We have snakes and I know a lot of people eww at that and isn't for them, but honestly they are the lowest maintenance pet I've had as long as you pick the right breed.
They eat once a week, poop once a week, full tank clean out once a month, don't smell or make any noise and are fine if left a few days or more without any interaction.
Neither me, my children or their friends have ever been bitten (adult snakes) and we've never had an escapee.
The initial tank set up can be trial and error and a pain to get right but once you get there they are so easy to care for.

Jens303 Thu 17-Jan-19 14:21:40

please don't get a cat if you want a low maintenance pet, it really isn't fair on the cat or any pet really

Timeforabiscuit Thu 17-Jan-19 14:22:41

Stick insects were great, but you have to watch the eggs and be in easy reach of suitable food for them (privet hedge and rose bush from memory!).

Degus are brilliant small pets, but agree they take maintenace with cage cleaning and plenty of stimulating play. They are noisy and messy, but fantastic characters.

The kids will get bored (no matter how good and responsible they are typically) so whatever pet you get you will be taking care of it.

PepsiLola Thu 17-Jan-19 14:22:56

I have dogs, cats and guinea pigs.

We are very lucky with my pets as they are all very easy.

Cats are the least maintenance and easiest to care for. Food and litter tray emptying is all you need! Our cats are amazing and have never scratched my children.

Guinea pigs are easy too but cleaning cages is a chore really, and cutting their nails, fresh veg daily, runs out etc.

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Thu 17-Jan-19 14:23:08

Guinea pigs? (Not just one)

Raven88 Thu 17-Jan-19 14:26:12

I wouldn't get a cat because you never know what your cat will be like with kids. They aren't as demanding as a dog but they need to be cared for and if they get sick the bills can be high. You might get a cat who is perfect and gives you cuddles and love or you might get a cat who hates kids.

Hiphopopotamous Thu 17-Jan-19 14:52:20

Our cat is super chilled, pleases himself napping in the sun while we are at work, enjoys a lovely cuddle and is absolutely best buds with the toddler. I know we are lucky with him but it's much less work than having to clean out a small furry cage or a fish tank.

bunnygeek Thu 17-Jan-19 14:52:46

Rabbits, Guineas and Chinchillas are definitely not dull if kept correctly, but definitely not low maintenance either. There's loads of cleaning involved. Loads.

I (obvs) have rabbits. I just lost one at 13 years old, in her last few weeks she was very high maintenance due to severe arthritis and a muscle wasting disease. I don't want to add up how much her and her dearly departed brother cost me in vets bills in the 8 years I had them. It was a LOT. My little old lady also hated small children, adults were fine, but children were for biting.

My boy now is a youngster and very flighty. We're allowed a nose boop and head scratch on his terms but he'd much rather watch us from afar unless we're holding snacks.

lumpsofitroundtheback Thu 17-Jan-19 14:58:20

Why do they want a pet? What do they want to do with it - handle it, play with it etc, or is it just the idea of a pet that they like at the moment?

ADarkandStormyKnight Thu 17-Jan-19 15:01:17

Have you got a garden? If you have got space I suggest hens. They are fascinating and can be friendly if handled regularly.

Nearthebig40 Thu 17-Jan-19 15:21:21

Second chickens. Very easy and at least give something back!

tablelegs Thu 17-Jan-19 17:03:38

African land snail.

costacoffeecup Thu 17-Jan-19 17:29:39

It's a cat. Anything in a hutch you have to clean out regularly, including hamsters. And let them out for a run, bring in when it's cold.

Cats clean themselves and do their own thing. You just need to feed them and make sure they have their jabs. Sorted.

Teaandtoastie Thu 17-Jan-19 17:34:07

Cat- once they have learned to go to the toilet outside! I would say get an older cat from a rescue centre.

My eldest cat is fab- it’s like having a furry flat mate grin He goes in about as he pleases, comes for cuddles when he wants, all I do is feed him twice a day.

My littlest cat (8 months) is a pain- scratches furniture, will go outside then come back IN to use the litter tray, miaows outside my door at night... it’s like having another child! But the DC adore her.

MoreNougatThanCougar Thu 17-Jan-19 17:38:49

We've got dogs, sheep, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and have in the past had giant millipedes, hamsters, and snails.

Cat wins hands down in the effort/reward ratio. I'd deffo say cat.

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