How Domestic Life Differs Between Animal Species?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Having animals share our lives is in my opinion the most rewarding and heartfelt experience. The power of animals is unfortunately greatly underestimated by the vast majority on this planet. That is of course, unless you are an animal lover. Animals are our companions, best friends and family members. They love us unconditionally, treat us without prejudice or judgement and teach us about the planet and ourselves beyond our greatest expectations. I know I have become a better person simply from trying to be more like my animals. I am fortunate enough to share my life with two gorgeous cats Mattie and Shea and two amazing dog companions Akeira and Savannah.  They make my life so meaningful, loved, supported, but most of all enlightened.

As we know each of our animal friends have uniquely different personalities and therefore need to be treated and respected according to their needs and wants as individuals. Similar to what we would expect from our human companions.  This however seems to be far more difficult for people to achieve. They tend to feel that giving of themselves openly and completely to another, makes them vulnerable and so most keep to themselves.  Animals on the other hand are able to accept us openly and wholeheartedly with ease. People seem to have many agendas for a multitude of reasons, whereas animals seem to be mostly free from that burden.  That is of course, until they get involved with the human race. For this reason I would like to discuss domestic animals, from a species point of view.  Taking on any animal as we know is a serious but wonderful commitment.  As each animal has individual needs, so does each species, and we need to make sure we understand what these needs are specifically. Once we are clear, we are closer to fulfilling our commitment and responsibility; and reach a deepened bond with the beautiful animals we choose to spend our lives with.

Dogs and cats have actually agreed to be our companions in domesticity, but sadly many other species have not. Dogs and cats while needing us to incorporate the characteristics of their wild counterparts, have adopted a somewhat domestic compromise. This allows them to live more closely by our side.  They play an incredible role in our life purpose and are here to help guide, protect and keep us on track.  It is only fitting we do our best to make their experience with us as equally incredible. Mattie has been my greatest teacher throughout my journey as an animal communicator and Shea my stabilizer and rock to carry out the skills I have learnt. Throughout their lives I wanted to make sure that an indoor life did not compromise their health and happiness.  I chose a predominantly indoor life for them, as the neighbourhoods are not what they used to be for a cat on the prowl. They are very crowded with people who are continually under stress and this leads to some not treating animals the way they should or deserve. There are also a vast array of different breeds of dogs and cats in close proximity making it very treacherous out there for any beloved feline.

Even though Mattie and Shea were spayed, I did not want to contribute to the ruthless killing of our unique wildlife; whilst other totally irresponsible people were allowing uncontrolled breeding of not only their own cats but creating many feral cats. I needed to carve out a completely new existence for my beautiful felines that would be agreeable to them, myself and the environment. I have always provided scratchy poles – to remove the dead husks from their nails, as they would normally use trees or rough surfaces outside. Potted cat grass located somewhere convenient in the house for them to eat – they would normally eat outside grasses as this aids in digestion.  Stimulating play and toys – cats would normally be looking for prey or other stimulation in their travels as they explore their environment. Fresh clean kitty litter away from the hustle and bustle of the house – cats don’t like soiled areas for toileting and need privacy. Natural raw diet – cats would eat lizards, mice, rats or birds, which would provide them with what their body needs, so I mimic this with a raw meat diet and supplements.  Finally they need fresh air and sunshine which through cat runs and meshed areas have provided Mattie and Shea with comfortable, healthy and safe environments for them to choose from.

Well what about other animals? It may interest you to know that horses and birds are only willing to bridge the gap between wild and domestic, as they are animals of expansion and freedom. Which means they need their needs erring on the side of wild more than domestic. Horses by nature, want to roam in vast spaces and engage with others in their herd. Their diets are varied, natural and eaten at leisure. These are the very basic needs and will be the cornerstones for your horse if you want to keep them in domestic situations. Horses are rarely interested in being ridden but most will be more than happy to engage in relationships based on a level of equality of giving and receiving between their species and yours.  If you have experienced these powerful majestic beings with a deep heart connection you will be more than happy to do what is necessary.

Birds are meant to fly.  There it is in a nutshell –  they have wings and their method of mobility is through flight. If they can’t perform this task then we should see the situation as totally unacceptable.  Birds do not belong in cages, we call that prison. Yes they will appear happy if they are free to roam your house but given the option of escape, they will take it. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice do not have much joy in domesticity. In most cases it is boring and many are isolated from their own kind, and their enclosures isolated from the house.   They are used to foraging and exploring in different natural environments.  Be inventive with the way you treat your small guests until all parties are enjoying the experience.

If you would like to accommodate fish in or around your home, make sure you do your homework. Different fish come from different environments, conditions and diets.  Some fish don’t thrive together because they would not normally come across each other in a natural setting. Remember they are confined and can’t get away from trouble makers.  Many things that go on in an aquarium, go unnoticed until too late. Reptiles, amphibians(frogs), stick insects etc have only agreed to educate but not to be domesticated in any way.  In other words, they have agreed to be in a wildlife park with experienced handlers educating the public about them and their plight in the wild. Not in domestic houses with many handlers, very inexperienced to their real needs. When you think about it, being a domestic reptile is highly unnatural. Not only confined, but kept in artificial lighting and heating not conducive to what they experience in the wild.

Reptiles are very instinctual due the amazing amount of time they have been on this planet and survived with vigour. They have kept so many of their wild prehistoric origins, even to this day. From my experience snakes and lizards do not enjoy being held as they would prefer to go about their business unhindered. Freedom as you can see is a high price for all these animals, so we need to make it worth their while or not even entertain the notion of domestic captivity. Yes that is right, animals are captive no matter how you look at it and their life and wellbeing depends totally on our decisions. We need to make sure that the animals in our care are still able to make choices about their own lives where ever we can.

We need to ask ourselves. What’s in it for them? Which animals are happy to be with us?  What is our motivation for wanting to have animals join our families?  They are not entertainment but living breathing beings with emotions and feelings and are on this planet in their own right. What changes can you make today that will change the life of your much loved animal companion?  You love your animals and your animals love you. They try so hard to enrich your life and share what is in their heart .  Imagine if we spent each and every day trying to enrich the life of another. What a wonderful world this would be.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

About the author 

Trisha Mc Cagh

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