There are countless videos shared via social media that capture unlikely friendships between animals. However, there are some animals that, generally speaking, don’t always get along when forced to live together.
Here are some animal combinations that you shouldn’t try at home – or at least test-run first!
1. Don’t mix your farmyard animals
It turns out ducks and chicken generally don’t get along so well. Ducks and chickens each require vastly different living conditions, and approach living with other animals differently
2. Avoid pairing predator with prey
You may find that cats and dogs don’t always play well with rats, mice, guinea pigs and rabbits. If you have a cat with a strong predator streak, avoid getting a prey animal as a second pet. However, if you introduce your cat to your guinea-pigs when it’s a kitten – they’re more likely to get along. Although, don’t push to cat-bird relationships.
3. Give retiles their space
Reptiles should be keep separately from other animals. Not only can larger animals injure reptiles, but reptiles carry some diseases, such as salmonella, which can be transferred to other pets. And if you have a pet snake, depending what species it is, you might find it looking hungrily at your rodents or small cats.
4. Pick fish that like communities
It may surprise you to learn that some fish are aggressive, some are friendly, and others are semi-aggressive, depending what day you catch them on! If you want a tank full of different fish, it’s important to take the time to research fish that share similar habitats and lifestyles, and purchase fish that are happy to live in communities – you’re local fish or aquarium store should be able to advise you.
5. Female and male pets that haven’t been desexed
Unless you’re a breeder, you should always get your animals desexed, as not doing so can result in behavioural problems and unwanted kittens, puppies, bunnies or other furry babies.
6. Not all birds get along
It’s unwise to mix different types of birds in one enclosure. Traditionally, large birds and small birds don’t get along. Keep your budgies in one cage, canaries in another, and give your parrot some space.
7. Some animals can bully others
While guinea pigs and rabbits will sometimes live in harmony together, the RSPCA says that rabbits can sometimes bully guinea pigs or harm them because the two species have different ways of communicating.
8. Hunting dogs and cats
Some dogs and cats will always live harmoniously; however you might want to re-think adding a cat to your household if you have a hunting breed of dog. Even if the action is limited to the chase, you might find your dog harasses your new cat to no end.
Tips for getting your pets to live together in peace
- Introduce them at a young age
- Understand their relationship (such as predator-prey or large-small) and watch for signs of distress or aggression, and know when to intervene
- Always supervise play times
- Remember that accidents can happen between large and small pets
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