In cartoons or in the collective imagination, it seems unthinkable that a cat and a fish can coexist as pets. In fact, many pet owners refuse to adopt one or the other under penalty of witnessing a tragedy. However, cohabitation is feasible if you make sure to respect certain requirements.
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Can cats coexist with fish?
If there is indeed a prey/predator relationship, it is perfectly possible to have these two animals. This is particularly valid for lovers of exotic fish with a closed aquarium and therefore inaccessible to other animals. Some cats are indifferent to the presence of fish nearby and do not dare to approach the aquarium. In addition, if the cat has been accustomed from an early age to their presence, it will not be a danger. Nevertheless, zero risk does not exist and the cat can continue to see fish as distractions or prey. A second of inattention can therefore be fatal, both for the cat and for the fish.
What are the risks?
When the fish is installed in a small round jar or on a piece of furniture to which the cat has access, the risks are multiplied. Being open, the cat will tend to drink the aquarium water or slip its paw into it to try to catch the fish. Small open aquariums can also easily be moved. By pushing it, the cat can bring down the aquarium, break it and put the life of the fish at risk. Broken glass also represents a danger for the cat who can cut himself while trying to approach the fallen fish. The presence of electricity in some aquariums (via lighting or pump system) can also cause dangerous electrocution for the cat. Finally, you should know that some fish are toxic if they are consumed by pets. Anticipating and protecting are therefore the keys to ensuring everyone's safety.
What precautions should I take?
A good cohabitation requires preventive measures to protect the fish from the cat or cats and vice versa. The first essential point is the location and opening of the aquarium. In order to avoid stress for the fish, the ideal is to install the aquarium in a closed room to which cats do not have access. If this installation is not possible, placing the aquarium high up and fixing it makes any involuntary movement impossible. Choosing an aquarium with a closed lid, or even magnetic, offers additional protection.
It is also possible to keep cats away from the aquarium with a few tricks. Putting many water points and toys available will capture the cat's attention and keep it away from fish. If this does not work, place a mint foot or citrus peels near the aquarium, this will keep the cat at a safe distance from the fish.