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blueberry_kid's avatar

I really want a pet in the family, mom says no. Any tips?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5869points) May 30th, 2011

I have wanted a pet for…I dont even know. Forever. I’ve had 4 fish, and two of them died within two days. I had another fish who lived five yaers. He died I think last year. But, I always tell my mom I know how to take care of a dog or a cat and I really do. We tried to have a dog once, but mom travels too much due to her job. I would much rather have a cat than anything.

I have tried absouletly everthing to try to get a pet, and no use. My mom wont even let me get a job as a dog walker. I have no siblings (except a 6 year old brother who lives with my father, but thats another story.) and nothing left to do or tend to but school and sports. I really want your guys’ help. Please! I feel so alone.

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36 Answers

KateTheGreat's avatar

Why don’t you prove that you are responsible? Do things without being told and doing your part in the household could convince your mother otherwise.

laureth's avatar

If you are no longer satisfied with fish but your mom won’t allow a dog or cat, perhaps you could compromise and ask for a small mammal, such as a gerbil or hamster. If you care for the small pet reliably, it would be a sign that you have accepted more responsibility. Also, they don’t need to be let out to go potty (and don’t live for upwards of a decade), so if you default on the care, your mom won’t necessarily be stuck doing it for you.

everephebe's avatar

I got a cat when I was 6. They’re pretty darn low-maintenance.

woodcutter's avatar

So many youngsters get all excited about a new pet and always promise to love it and feed it and clean up the shit and often for a short time they will but soon enough the parents end up doing it once the newness fades. It’s a huge responsibility and some parents may not want an animal that craps in a box inside the home. Then there are the vet bills which often are more costly than treating people.

snowberry's avatar

Here’s a fun way to get your point across, and perhaps it might even work. Get a large potato. Give it a name and fit a collar around it. Get a leash for it, and food and water dishes. Take it for walks, and talk to it as if it’s alive.

Make sure you do this in front of Mom and her friends. Hey, if nothing else, it might be a distraction until you get a real pet.

Coloma's avatar

I’m sorry your mom won’t allow you a pet. I am sure she has her reasons, so, I would suggest you follow the above advice of being ultra responsible, doing your chores without having to be asked or reminded. Go above and beyond, find extra things to do to prove your responsible side.

Perhaps you can discuss with your mom what, if anything, you CAN do, to change her mind.

What baffles me is that she is resistant to you being a dog walker or pet sitter. That makes no sense to me, but, I don’t know your moms reasoning behind this.

I would ask her if she was willing to compromise, and allow you to find a way to be with and enjoy animals if she absolutely refuses to give in on the kitten/cat desire.

My daughter got lucky with me, I was the one that brought home most of the pets. lol

If nothing else, look forward to, and daydream, about the day you will be an adult and can make your own choices.

My daughter is now 23 and would love a pet, but apartment living is not conducive to that for her right now. She is, however, daydreaming about the day she can buy herself a Scottish Fold kitten. Dreams are good, and they will materialize when the time is right!

Hold on to those dreams! :-)

wundayatta's avatar

My kids wanted a pet for a long time, too. They wanted a dog because we can’t have cats due to allergies. But we can’t have a dog because there’s no one home for about ten hours a day. The dog can’t be alone that long. It’s torture for a dog to be alone that long. They can survive, but they will be very unhappy.

Cats, I guess, don’t care. They don’t need company (weird).

We decided to let them get a guinea pig. The pig lived in my daughter’s room for four years until it died of an impacted bowel. She made the decision to have him put down. They haven’t wanted another pet since. Well, they’ve asked for a dog, but not very insistently.

You don’t say how old you are, but parents worry about children making decisions about their pets, and being able to care for them. If your cat gets sick and your mother is away, is there anyone taking care of you? Can you get a cat to the vet?

Will you change the kitty litter every day? Will be able to buy it? What about food?

Parents are generally the fall-back when their kids lose interest in the pet. They stop cleaning up. They forget to put water out. So the parents have to do that. If a parent is away a lot, it gets impossible to back up the kid, even if there is someone else there to watch.

And if both you and your mom are away, arrangements for the cat are not easy to make. So it may be that scheduling will make things too complicated. Your mother presumably knows your maturity level. She knows how well you attend to your homework without prompting. She knows how well you do other chores without prompting. Based on past behavior, she may be reluctant to let you have a pet, knowing that she will have to take care of it.

Find out what her concerns are. Maybe you can meet them. Maybe not. But the first step is to understand her concerns.

kheredia's avatar

I would ask your mom what her reasons are for not allowing you to have a pet and see if she’ll let you have something a little more low maintenance. A dog will probably be out of the question, a cat is more independent so you might be able to convince her of that, but if she won’t budge you should consider a smaller animal like a hamster or guinea pig. If you can prove to her that you are responsible and can take care of a smaller animal all by yourself, she might later let you have a bigger animal.

marinelife's avatar

What about a Guinea Pig? That would not have free reign of the house. It would stay in a cage in your room.

What about volunteering at the Humane Society? They need dog walkers and washers.

6rant6's avatar

The hamster/gerbil idea is probably much better than pursuing a cat for these reasons:

1. Cats cost $400—$700 per year to own (food, litter, treats and vet bills.) Are you going to have that much money to put into it?

2. A cat owns the house. That means fur everywhere. Whoever does the housecleaning is affected most. They get sick; they throw up. They bring dead things into the kitchen. They yowl to be fed. They yowl to have the litter box cleaned. They claw furniture. They make it impossible for people with cat allergies to come to your house.

3. Cat’s can live into their teens. That means that when you move out, a cat bought now might still be alive. You could be moving somewhere cats aren’t allowed. That would burden your mom with an old, possibly infirm cat to deal with.

4. It’s possible you could get a nice cat and have it not bond with you. And you would lose interest, as anyone would. Poor mom.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I 2nd what @woodcutter has written. Animals get sick and because you don’t know what’s wrong with them or how serious it is, off to a vet they go. An average visit without any meds is usually a minimum of $100. and their food is easily $40. a month.

Cat litter stinks like holy hell inside a house, I don’t care how often you scoop it. My mother has a cat that gets it’s litter pan scooped daily, changed out with new litter twice weekly and it still reeks, our a/c shares that smell throughout our house. When we change our air filter each month then it’s coated with cat hair which means there’s a good amount we’re inhaling, yay.

Having an indoor/outdoor cat is a gamble, I wouldn’t do it and here’s why (experiences):
Cats can pick up parasites from yards as well as other people’s pets.
Cats get attacked/killed by other people’s pets and children.
Cats get run over by cats on accident and on purpose.
Cats occasionally do roam off and never come back, leaving you to never know their fate.

Coloma's avatar

@Neizvestnaya

What you say about the risks or indoor/outdoor cats is true.
It is also true of us indoor/outdoor humans. lol

We might all live to 100 if we never went outside, drove a car, engaged with life, I think any living creature, if given a choice, would prefer to take it’s risks while living a life full of experiences. ;-)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Coloma: Sure but I’m one person in particular who is tired of seeing roadkill, putting mangled pets to sleep, patching up mauled but living ones, being at the mercy of their schedules to go out to potty, find people to feed them if I want to leave town, cleaning up their “accidents” and grieving when they die.

Coloma's avatar

@Neizvestnaya

I get it, I have downsized on my pet responsibilities too, but, will never be without one as long as I am able to care for it properly. Too much joy in our little furry friends. :-)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Coloma: Me too. If not for blending the pets into one household, I’d just have my little indoor doggie because his needs are close to a person, lots of attention, lots of upkeep and I like to be able to have time/energy for him.

Hibernate's avatar

Tell her that a pet will teach you responsibility [ worked for a lot of people ].

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Pet vaccinations for the first year, approx.- $500.
Carpet cleaning to get under the carpet, pad and foundation where urine settles down to- $50+
Tile/Grout steaming to extract dried urine- $50+
Replacing carpeted areas (to match) due to pets digging, scratching, chewing- $100.+
Pet teeth cleaning- $200.+
Shaving and vet exam after a bite- $150+
Cost to put a pet to sleep- $50+
Monthly scoop litter for 1 cat- $50.
Monthly food for 1 cat- $25.
Monthly disposable pet diaper pads to put under box- $5.
Monthly disposable foil pans for litter- $5.
Monthly change of air filter for the house- $5.

Coloma's avatar

@Neizvestnaya

Wow! I have never had those types of costs for my guys.
The start up vaccines for 2, and neutering for one at my vet yes, but, everything else, no.

After this next round of vaccines they both will need no boosters for 3 years.

And, one can utilize low cost vaccine and spay/neuter clinics instead of regular vet. hospitals. I also opt out on the heartworm and leukemia vaccines after they test negative, as they have no exposure to other cats. I do buy Advantage for summer tick issues, no fleas.

My cats have never soiled the carpets or floors.

Monthly scoop litter for 2, around $16

Monthly food for 2, around $18 for canned food and $12 or so for dry.
( I mix 12 lbs. of a Science Diet & Cat Chow blend that lasts around 6 weeks for a total cost of $25 ) Total monthly food cost about $32 for 2 cats, splitting one can in the morning and free feeding on dry food night and day.

I have never used disposable pet pads, foil pans, or air filter for the house.

The cats have a filtered litter box in my garage that they access through their pet door.

I think your costs are reflective of some behavioral problems and a bit of a perfectionistic streak. lol

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Coloma: My mom’s had cats as many years as I’ve known her and I don’t remember any of them not messing in the house or destroying things. I envy people who have pets that never get sick, never barf, never squirt on the floors and furniture, etc.

blueberry_kid's avatar

I appreciate all of your guys’ advice. Someone above asked how old I was, 13. I know that I need to walk a dog everyday, change the cats litter box, feed them, bathe the dog, all that stuff. I’ve researched on Humane Society but not very well, I’m researching more as we speak. I know that my mom will be away alot, and I can’t tend to pet as well, because I’ll be with my grandparents or something. She absolutely refuses a gerbil or a hamster because she thinks they smell horrible. I don’t know what else to do but to go with an imaginary potato.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@astrix24: It’s not a pet but do you any have interest in taking up the care of houseplants or indoor vegies? You joke about the potato but you can bring home a sweet potato/yam from the grocery, poke toothpicks in it to suspend it partially in a bowl of water and it will start to grow leaves and flowers :)

blueberry_kid's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Im not a good plant person. I killed a plant within 3 weeks. I think I gave it too much water.

Coloma's avatar

@astrix24

What about a bird?
A Cockatiel is a great pet! If you get a baby they are very sweet and loving, easy to care for, like cockatiel seed mix and some bits of fresh fruits and veggies. If you get a hand tamed/raised baby they bond very well and are very smart and sweet little birds. It could travel with you to your grandparents. Read up on Cockatiels! They can live 15–20 years though, so a big commitment!

rock4ever's avatar

Clean your house spotless and when your mom says something about your good work say “see I’m responsible enough for a pet”

Coloma's avatar

—@Neizvestnaya—

I guess I have been lucky, the occasional cat barf, but no house soiling ever with my cats.

Sunny2's avatar

Do you have a friend who has a pet you like? Could you ask to be the pet’s aunt or uncle which simply means visiting and making friends and playing with the pet. If the friend and friend’s parent says yes, you could buy a toy for the pet that would exercise it and you. Ask for suggestions at a pet store. Might be worth a try.

rooeytoo's avatar

Mothers are always the ultimate caretaker of all things in the house (well almost always). I would never place an animal with a family where the mother was not 100% for the idea because when everyone else in the house has other things to do, it falls to good ole mom to take on the task, so she has to be in the game.

Dog walking is a huge responsibility, I think your mom is correct in not allowing that. Too many unleashed dogs to impede your progress or eat the dog you are walking and possibly you as well.

I would either volunteer at a no-kill shelter (kill shelters are too hard on your sensibilities) or else get a job at a kennel. Then you get to lavish your affections on all the animals. Vets offices usually need kennel help or cleaners, again you get your animal fix and make a buck at the same time.

If it doesn’t happen before, when you are grown up, you can get your own place and have a dog or a cat then.

Let us know how you make out.

creative1's avatar

My neice brought home a turtle to watch for the summer and the tuttle is still living there today. He’s came home with her in first year of Junior High and she is Finishing up her Junior year of High School this year. So proving to my sister she could take care of the little turtle, she ended up getting a kitten as well a year later.

6rant6's avatar

Gerbils and rats are very clean pets. If their cages are kept clean, they don’t smell bad. Mice are another story.

Obviously when they infest a house, rodents make a bad smell. There’s no one to clean up the poop. And there are LOTS of them. If her objection to a rat is just the smell, perhaps you could ask her to go to a pet store, talk to someone there, and actually sniff the cages.

But before you buy one there, call your local humane society and see if they have any abandoned ones. People often breed them unintentionally or unthinkingly and end up dumping them off at the local facility.

blueberry_kid's avatar

One small problem. Did I mention my mom hates animals?

laureth's avatar

That may be an insurmountable obstacle to attaining your goal, then, @astrix24.

Hibernate's avatar

She cannot hate them all .

From another perspective ... ask her to pick an animal for you.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I can appreciate a young person’s interest, nay even desire, to have a pet, but even having been in those shoes once myself, I find it very easy to see it from your Mother’s perspective.
Despite the fact that pet would be ‘yours’ it would actually still fall upon your Mother to provide for it. Pets require a lot of care, and not just the sort that involve the walks and the food and water (or specially treated milk in the case of cats/kittens). I’m not sure how it works in the States, but here in the UK we have to have pet insurance, this covers for vet costs in case Mr.Kibbles does become almost Kibbles and Bits in a road accident, or poor old Smudge has a nasty dose of some pet related ailment. Essentially the responsibility would lie on your Mother to provide for the pet, more than it would you. To that end, you would have a hard job persuading your Mom to let you have pets of any kind that aren’t fish.
Fish are invariably the cheapest to look after but not always the cheapest to get (especially exotic and particularly Koi are definitely only for those with money to throw in a swamp).
If needs must, I think Hibernate raises a good point of asking her to pick an animal for you. Failing that I’m afraid it may well be a case of – and no offense here – “shutting up and putting up” as it were.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster Welcome to Fluther!

The OP (Original Poster) asked this question over a year ago, so it would be interesting to find out if she ever got a pet.

I’m fairly certain from previous posts of hers that she lives in the US. Here, pet insurance isn’t required, but you have a valid point about the cost involved in owning one.

@blueberry_kid If you still want a pet and don’t have one yet, the best way to to make the sale to your mother is to put together a business case. What will it cost to properly take care of it? What is the ROI (return on investment)? With pets, the ROI typically boils down to the affection that gives back. It can also be the learning of being responsible for the well being of another living creature.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I would hasten to point out that @Pied_Pfeffer‘s here is “US” here, and my here is “UK” here. Thanks for elaborating on that fact m’dear!

woodcutter's avatar

It has been a while since you asked about this. Did you get to have a pet? If you did,what did you get?

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