Pet owners usually like to keep different species at homes, such as cats and dogs, and many times, an aquarium filled with fish. The only issue is, while you are ready to take additional responsibility, is it safe to keep fish at home when you have other pets? And Do you know How to pet proof your fish tank?
The most common pets people own are cats and dogs. Hence, we are going to cover only these two pets. We will explain the same below and help you protect your fish from pets.
If Your Pet is a Dog:
Having a dog as a pet is a more ideal scenario if you plan on getting a fish tank, as dogs are more disciplined. They can be trained not to disturb the fish tank, and you can trust them to co-exist with the fish over time.
If you plan on getting another pet while having a fish tank at home, we strongly suggest you get a small dog breed from Premier Pups. Smaller breeds have lesser hunting instincts and cannot reach higher shelves; hence, you have nothing to worry about, as they can easily co-exist.
If Your Pet is a Cat:
Unlike dogs, cats can be highly mischievous in nature and also rebellious. Dogs still listen to their owners, but cats are more independent. This makes it tough to make them co-exist with fish at home. Also, cats are predators that chase mice and similar instincts make them hunt fish. Even if it is a docile indoor cat, its predator instincts are still strong. The movement of fish can be soothing to you but acts as a trigger for the cats to hunt. Hence, you have to be extra cautious about your fish if you own a cat as a pet.
How to Pet Proof Your Fish Tank:
By pet-proofing the fish tank, you can be assured that even though your pet is harmless to the fish, they are still kept safe even without your supervision. Here we have listed a few tips to help you do so.
1. Choose the Right Tank:
An open fish tank is out of the question with other pets at home. Instead, place a tank with a hard lid for the best protection. Ensure the lid fastens to the tank so your pet cannot remove it.
Also, put objects on top of the fish tank so that the cat cannot jump into the tank and hence cannot disrupt the tank setting much. The tank should be secured on a platform so the pet cannot push it over the edge.
2. Keep Your Pets Away from the tank:
Instead of placing the fish tank in the living room or a common area, keep it in a room where your pets have limited access. Ensure your family members are aware not to let the pet near the fish tank without supervision. This way, you can keep the fish tank and your pets away from each other without any issues.
If you have a dog at home, then keeping the tank at an elevation it cannot reach also works. But with a cat, this is not a good idea as even keeping the tank on the top ledge of the bookshelf will not be inaccessible to the cat as they can jump up to 6 times their own height.
You can keep the cat from jumping onto the high surface by keeping the area clear of human, cat, and fish food. Place the tank on an aluminum foil or a textured shelf liner. Cats dislike this material and hence will avoid the tank. You can also attach these materials to the fish tank lid, which discourages your cat from trying to open it.
3. Mentally Stimulate Your Pets:
Your pets might be more interested in the fish tank because it stimulates them. This can make them mischievous. Instead, engage them in other activities that can tire them mentally so that they leave the fish tank alone as much as possible. You should have enough information about the breeds you own or planning to get, be it a cat or a dog, from Breeder Best, where you can find all details of pet breeds and the best breeders.
4. Set up the Tank for Fish Success:
In the worst-case scenario, even if your cat is able to reach the tank, your fish should have enough hiding spots to protect themselves. Include caves, shrubs, and rocks for the fish to hide from the sight when the cat gets curious.
5. Cover the Tank in the Night:
It is a good idea to cover the fish tank at night with a towel to keep the nosy kitty away from it while you are sleeping. A covered fish tank will not be that stimulating for the cat as it cannot see the fish moving; hence, your fish will stay safe as you sleep.
6. Consider the Type of Fish:
Before buying fish from the pet store, do some research to understand the kind of fish you should get if you have pets. You should do thorough research as different fish have different requirements and care. With pets at home, fish that need more care might not be ideal. Hence, make a list of fish you can easily manage while caring for your pets.
The Bottom Line:
Please remember that your pets are not being cruel by planning to hunt fish, but it only comes naturally to them. You can discipline your dog to stay away from the tank, but do not trust your cat with the same. Only taking precautions to keep your cat away from the fish tank can help you handle the situation better. Also, do not forget to enjoy long playtime with your cat to keep them occupied and happy. This way, they are stimulated enough, which can help them shift focus from the fish tank. Your pet should not feel neglected because you must take care of the fish. Divide your time in a fair manner which will help them to co-exist.