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Do we pick favorites with pets?

I don’t treat my pets the same. I live with three animals: my mutt Ace, my gray tabby cat Scout and Josh’s orange tabby Beamer.

Josh and I have not reached the point in our relationship where the pets are “ours.” Instead, it’s my dog, my cat and his cat. We take advantage of this, saying things like, “Josh, your cat got in the garbage!” or “Lindsay, your dog puked on the carpet.”

Really, each animal gets into an equal amount of trouble as the other two. The difference is how we deal with and discipline each pet.

I totally have favorites.

Beamer the creme tabby cat lying by his scratching post

I’ll just say it: Beamer can be an asshole. He is by far my least favorite of the three. On any given day, the chances are high I will yell at him.

This 14-pounder is constantly on the counters, begging for food and licking dishes. He steals Ace’s bed and Scout’s food and would steal my bed and food if he could. The second I get up, I am harassed by meows until someone feeds him. He really tests my temper.

Scout on the other hand is petite and quiet (he’s pictured at the bottom of this post). Because of this, he gets away with a lot more than Beamer. Scout is just so dang cute. If I catch Scout drinking from the kitchen sink, he might get picked up and set on the ground. If I catch Beamer doing the same thing, he gets shoved from the counter if he’s lucky enough not to get sprayed with water.

I will be the first person to point out that owners of Yorkies, Chihuahuas and min pins need to step it up a notch and discipline their dogs. Yet, my 8-pound cat gets away with a lot more than a certain Garfield I know. Maybe I need to rethink my actions.

And then there’s Ace.

Ace the black lab mix closeup with red collar outside

I am very aware of my energy around my dog. I try not to show anger because I know he needs a leader who is calm and in control. I can really lose it with Beamer, but it’s rare I raise my voice with Ace. If I want my dog to be calm, I make sure to be calm.

I know when I’m anxious, in a hurry or stressed, it makes my dog anxious as well. The same is true with my cats, but I forget to think about that because they’re cats.

I also expect more from Ace because he’s a dog. I set rules for the mutt that I don’t have for the cats. For example, if Ace were to squeal, spin in circles, jump and ram his body into my knees at the site of food, he absolutely would not get fed. But that’s what Beamer does every morning, and Beamer still gets fed.

If Ace were to jump into my lap as often as Scout does, I would not tolerate it. But Scout spends his afternoons going from office to office, lap to lap.

I give Scout attention every time he nudges me, crawls into my lap or meows at my door. I even pick him up when he subtly lets one claw sink into my thigh. But when Ace asks for attention while I’m working, I often tell him “No!” Dogs get affection on my terms.

A few other examples:

– Both cats run up and down the stairs. Ace is expected to walk behind or next to me.

– Ace has to sit in the back seat of the car. The cats sit where they want.

– No dogs are allowed on the chairs, the couch or the beds. Yet, I’m pretty sure the cats think the couch is theirs and that they are sharing their beds and chairs with us.

It’s no wonder these cats are dominant over the mutt (and maybe, me?).

Do you pick favorites with your animals?

I could see things getting really interesting in multi-dog households. It’s a little different between dogs and cats. Do you think you are being fair with your animals?

Scout the gray tabby cat outside by a tree in a park on a leash


Sunday 2nd of April 2017

I have an almost two year old orange swirly tabby named Fynn, and a purebred two year old Akita named Bran. I actually had Fynn since he was only a couple months old, and had him for a companion to lessen the blow of my Pharaoh Hound Jypsy's inevitable passing. I thought that this might color my behavior towards the new dog-- Bran, whom I got after my 13 year old pup's passing and I heard a breeder say she, 'couldn't sell him and no one wants him because he isn't small and cute anymore.' I thought I might baby the new dog, spend too much time tending to him and making sure he feels happy and welcome, but I didn't. I set rules and limits for him, and continued to give Fynn enough attention that he didn't feel depressed. I think because I gave them equal treatment and still do, that they became best friends and play together all the time. I think it's important that all your pets know that you love them all. They are absolutely capable of jealousy, and know when you're treating one better than the other. I've seen it in several of my friends' homes and their 'less liked' animal generally acts out to get ANY sort of attention. Pooping on the floor, knocking things over, getting into the garbage, etc.

Abz & Chels

Saturday 29th of November 2008

Shhhhh, dont tell them but yes, Chels is my her to death... Lucy is my sons dog and not overly fussed on anyone but him... Shiloh is just beginning to bond with me... Do I treat them the same? I try to, I think I do.. and as I look down both are curled on my who runs this outfit?


Monday 24th of November 2008

I have to admit, I let my little Silkey Terrier get away with much more than I did my German Shepherd. Maybe because she is so small and cute. It seems so different and even funny when she snatches something from the table than it did when my German Shepherd did it.

Saint Lover

Monday 24th of November 2008

I am guilty of this. I wish I didnt have faves, but I do. I like each of my dogs for different reasons and I try my best to share the attention equally.


Monday 24th of November 2008

I just asked my husband this the other day and he claims that he doesn't like one better than another. I think he's lying. As for me, I totally have favorites!

Maries last blog post..Yay! It’s Monday