Aquariums And Cats

MeganLLB

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This is a question really more about fish than cats. I've always had aquariums in my home. We had a very large one at my parents house, I've had countless beta fish live for many years, and various small aquariums. I really want to get fish. I also think my cats may enjoy watching an aquarium. But do you think that would stress out the fish? I want to have healthy happy fish and if the cats would stress them out too much then I wont get them.
 

Kieka

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I have never thought about that.... I have a small aquarium and my girl loves to watch the fish. Honestly, she doesn't touch the tank much unless they get really close. When she does the fish do dart to the back of the tank but it honestly isn't more then when we walk by the tank. Granted, my tank is in such a spot that she can't really touch it unless I move a chair for her to stand on.

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Willowy

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I've never noticed that the fish cared at all. If a cat is particularly obsessed with the fish, and keeps patting at the tank all day every day, that could get stressful, I think. But a normal cat showing normal interest is fine.
 

MarcEwing

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Get tank have tops that the cat can't get past and it will be fine. You are exactly the same stress for fish as a cat.
 

molly92

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If you give the fish lots of safe hides, so it can choose to be out of site of the cat when it wants, it should be perfectly fine.

My mouse isn't afraid of the cats at all-when they walk by his cage, he comes out because he thinks they're going to feed him...
 

sabrinah

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The only time I've noticed the fish get stressed is when a cat jumps on top of the tank. My cat just wanted to drink from the filter (despite having her own fountain) but my aunt's cat would sneak in my room with the intent of going fishing.
 

Freedom

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It is a good sleeping spot as it is WARM! LOL That really is a great photo.

I had as many as 3 aquariums, at one time. Largest was a 50 gallon, smallest was a 20. As others have said, as long as you keep a top on the tank, no issues.

Way back about 1996 I got my first aquarium; I had 2 cats at that time. I got some tetras. Every morning I'd get up and find a few fish missing. They were just GONE. No dead bodies, nothing. I really couldn't figure it out.

Along about the 3rd week, I woke about 2 AM to a huge CRASH! So I got up, turned on lights. There was my Sparkle, standing with her back feet IN the tank and her front paws on the rim. Good thing I got up! If she had jumped out on her own she may have tipped the whole thing over. And a 20 gallon tank dumping onto the floor in an apartment on the 3rd floor is NOT a good thing! I bought a top the next day, lol. Sparkle had been fishing and enjoying herself!

Some years later, I made sure to have cat 'seats' set up in front of the 50 gallon tank. Tommy was about 6 months old, he would sit and watch, pat the glass, until he was tired and needed a nap. Never bothered the fish, some would pause and stare out at him.
 

MeowHiss

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I have 5 aquariums right now. Kiki likes to watch and paw at the fish, mostly the neon tetras and kuhli loaches. They really don't seem to mind at all. I think fish can become used to a cat as long as there's a good tank cover and lots of hiding places for the fish.

Also, I may be paranoid, but even with a good tank cover, I still won't get piranhas. (Yes they're available all over here and pretty popular)
 

inkysmom

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Don't piranhas eat people? II wouldn' get one either!!!
I had fish as a kid. My childhood cat was a great hunter. She pulled the parakeet out of the cage and luckily we got there in time to save him. Fluffy had a huge gash down his chest. You could see his little heart beating. My mom put peroxide on it and that bird wound up living longer than any other parakeet we ever had. After the cat attack, he seemed to get Birdy ptsd though. We could never put our hands in his cage again, even to feed and clean, he'd bite so hard he'd nearly take your fingers off, drew blood every time. Bloodied the large dog's nose for sniffing the cage once.
This cat wanted the fish and jumped on top of the refrigerator next to the tank to view the fish from above. One time she decided to pounce and didn't seem to realize she'd get wet if she dove in.
She jumped in and quickly jumped right out and ran skidding across the floor.
Poor fish must have thought they were in a horrible tsunami. A few got swept right out of the tank so my mom and I were trying to catch them thrashing and squirming on the kitchen floor, now slippery from the water, and get them back in the tank before they suffocated.
None of them were killed outright but I think a few died that week, probably from stress or hidden injuries.
Quite the memories of adding water to the tank, gathering up fish, cleaning up the kitchen and my furious mom finding and giving the now stinking soaked cat a full bath and shampoo in the bathroom sink. Then she decided the cat would be chilled and get pneumonia if wet. My mom was very superstitious and also germophobic. She firmly believed you'd basically die if anyone walked around with even slightly damp hair.
So she attempted to blow dry the cat, with the blow dryer set on high speed to get it done as fast as possible. I could hear her cursing in three or four different languages over the blow dryer as I looked once and saw the thrashing cat. I was a little kid then and this had to be back in the 80s so I couldn't interfere.
She got scratched pretty well and gave up pretty quickly.
That cat lived to be twenty and never went near the fish again. We gave up on having them as none of them lived very long we tried several different kinds and it was a lot of work cleaning the tank.
Maybe they were stressed by the cats and dog. We had two or three cats and a large dog.
Now decades later I feel bad that my old cat was probably traumatized that day but I know my mom meant no harm. The cat really stunk and needed the bath and our house was large, old and drafty and my mom was honestly afraid she'd get chilled and sick so was trying to get her warm and dry the quickest way she knew.
That cat was pretty fearless so I don't think it even occurred to my mom that she'd be afraid of the hair dryer, she was never scared when we used it on ourselves.
 

MeowHiss

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Piranhas eat rats. There's certain people in my local fish group who feed theirs frozen or even live rats.

Last year, I was talking to someone who wanted to sell me his school of red bellies. I just couldn't see it ending well with a cat that likes to climb on everything . So I went with a safer fish instead.
 

Fish Em

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My cat loves to drink from the divided fish tank (I clean it very frequently + doubel filter) and my betta fish think it is feeding time briefly, come to investigate and take a breath and then go back to their business. I have not heard of cats terrorizing the fish. Birds on the other hand...
 

Willowy

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Piranhas don't generally attack things that can move away. They're mostly scavengers in the wild. The ones in documentaries that "skeletonize a cow in 10 seconds!" have been starved and kept in too large of a school for dramatic purposes. My cousin once got one and was kind of disappointed that it wasn't more "interesting". He even ended up with pet goldfish because the piranha wouldn't eat all of them. I wouldn't worry about cats and piranhas, unless it's a VERY small kitten or you have about 100 piranhas all starving ;). Even if one bit someone, he couldn't do much damage by himself.

Anyway, a canopy is a good investment if you have a large aquarium and cats. It covers the hood and gives the cat a place to sit without breaking anything or falling in. They look fancy too.
R&J Enterprises Aquarium Groove Series 48
 

inkysmom

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My mom grew up in Brazil many years ago and had heard many stories about piranhas attacking people in the Amazon.
I did a Google search and they are aggressive to anything and have injured human tourists in South America. Less natural resources so they're starving. A bunch of piranhas did kill and eat one five year old girl that fell into the river when her canoe capsized.
So a bunch of starving piranhas in the wild can kill and eat anything. The injured tourists said even one bite from a single piranha hurt and bled a lot and they're very aggressive. These are hu gry ones though.
 

CAW

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This is a question really more about fish than cats. I've always had aquariums in my home. We had a very large one at my parents house, I've had countless beta fish live for many years, and various small aquariums. I really want to get fish. I also think my cats may enjoy watching an aquarium. But do you think that would stress out the fish? I want to have healthy happy fish and if the cats would stress them out too much then I wont get them.
 

CAW

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The fish are unlikely to be stressed out by having more observers, they’re just as flighty for people as they are cats, but everyone’s saying that so I’ll add a little extra to the mixing pot. — If the tank is an accessible surface for the cat(s), it - and the lid - need to be very sturdy, my mothers aquarium fell apart at the seems due to the strain of up to two cats jumping onto it, the top is just so warm and cozy from the light and heater, she ended up just getting a better tank and lid, and we got the cats some better perches so they had more options.
 

catloverlady

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Well for me I had my Betta Fish and then I got my kitten and in no time she was able to finally jump up on the stand where I had my fish. He was in a 5 gallon tank with a good lid on it, but once she got up there she kept pawing at the tank and scaring the crap out of my fish! I thought my fish was gonna die, so I ended up taking him and his tank down in our basement where he can be safe from the cat. He still gets plenty of attention because I end up going down there often to do laundry and stuff or I just go and say hi to him. He's much more relaxed now. I guess it depends on the cats and how old they are as well.
 
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