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Discussion Starter #1
They are clearly so much more than that. I call my two boys my companions, my friends and my family. I care for them like I would for a member of my family, I worry about them when I'm gone and I've lost count of the times I leave the house only to double-back just to make sure I didn't leave a window open they might fall out of (I live in the city and they are strictly indoor kitties, plus 13 years old).

In short, I do and worry about things concerning them to a degree that the term 'pet' doesn't cover.
 

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I agree! I never, ever, get upset with my cats. They give me nothing but happiness and love and they are the best things in my life, I'm not kidding. Sorry, friends and family, but if I had to choose....
 

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But they are both companions and pets. The word I'd like to do away with is owner. However, my sister pointed out that there's a need for some sort of connection, perhaps for legal reasons. I like to think of myself as a guardian/caretaker. They are far too intelligent to be owned.

Can't say I never get angry at Missy. She got hooked up on my pants about a week ago and slashed me when I tried to unhook. I called her a few choice names as I tried to stem the blood flow. I never let it last long because it's not deliberate hurt. She can be very gentle, though. She'll sometimes reach out with a soft paw and tap my arm when she wants attention.
 

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Our 4 cats are our children, family, companions, not pets. We worry, fret and love them like family. Not that we don't get upset with them from time to time. I don't know what we would do without them, they bring so much joy to our lives!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I find the term pet to be insufficient in truly expressing what our cats mean to us. No disrespect to others out there, but a hamster is a pet or anything kept in an enclosure.

But a cat that cuddles, plays and sleeps with me is a companion to my heart and soul.
 

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They are clearly so much more than that. I call my two boys my companions, my friends and my family
Tutu is my furry child and no amount of eye-rolling from her human daddy can change that :)

The love she shows me is immeasurable, just like a human infant. She even gazes into my eyes when I hold her.
 

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I don't see a different between the word "pet" and feelings and attributes you guys are saying.

I've had pets my whole life, and I have a pet cat. Having a pet (versus having an animal, say, or 'raising animals') implies all the responsibility, love, heartache, and care that we put into them and receive in return. I don't ever doubt that my friends with pets feel the same way. Maybe it's the descriptivist in me. ;)

Though, personally, I do prefer the term 'companion animal', but don't have any problems with the ownership. This is my cat, and I'm not giving her up to anyone. I love her, but she's not smart enough to make good choices on her own (eating nothing but cheese, never seeing the vet, defenestrating herself, practising kitty parkour in the glassware, etc). I own her because I control her life in a way I could never control another human or creature I didn't own.

I guess its sort of like how I prefer to call my husband (well, technically long-term comman-law-husband) my 'partner'. "Husband" and "Wife" have too many negative, religious, and gender/sexually oppressive connotations for me to use comfortably.
 

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It is all semantics; pet, companion animal, whatever. Just as long as I can have them living with me and being my fur and feather kids, I do not care what one calls them. It does not change how I feel about them or how I treat them. And anyone not willing to spend time around them need not come to my house.
 

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I find the term pet to be insufficient in truly expressing what our cats mean to us. No disrespect to others out there, but a hamster is a pet or anything kept in an enclosure.

But a cat that cuddles, plays and sleeps with me is a companion to my heart and soul.
Our definitions of what is a pet are different. I presume your cats are not allowed to run free and are kept in the enclosure of a house. (Ok. I know what you mean, I'm just stretching things.) This is responsible behaviour here in North America where there are many dangers for cats and is good guardianship. There are fewer dangers for cats running free in the UK. I don't know about other countries.

For me, a pet must be able to respond to any affection I show it. I presume hamsters are kept in cages to prevent their getting lost in the house. I've never kept a hamster so I don't know how one would respond.

Some people keep their cats in cages. (horrible to me) Are they pets or companions?
 

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I agree! I never, ever, get upset with my cats. They give me nothing but happiness and love and they are the best things in my life....
Let me send the twinz to you for a couple weeks, Mary Poppins.

You'll be needing a spoonful of Tequilla.....
 

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Let me send the twinz to you for a couple weeks, Mary Poppins.

You'll be needing a spoonful of Tequilla.....
LOL, Marie. They are very cute trouble makers though ;)

To me, it's also about semantics, and what you feel comfortable calling your cats. I consider my cats my pets, companions, my babies, and for purposes of legality and for making responsible choices as their legal proxy, yes, I own them. I do understand that the words 'owner' and 'master' have terrible connotations particularly in countries where there was and is rampant slavery. I think all the terms are correct and wrong for a myriad of reasons. How you use them is strictly a personal choice. This is all very subjective.
 

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I call them My Girls. I was in a waiting room last week and some women were talking about their kids. One of them asked me if I had any, and I said that I have two 5-year old twins and a 6 year old, all girls. She said, "Oh, my!!! Well, bless your heart, sweetie. Have any pictures?" and I whipped out my cell phone.

My favorite part for unsuspecting people. The pictures are always good for a HUGE laugh!!! :grin:
 

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That is a slick move, Marie! I like it! I was never interested in raising children, but always have had multiple pets. Just didn't feel I could do a proper job of raising kids. Besides, my cats and parrots never get sent to college and I do not have to buy them exprensive tennis shoes. And, it is perfectly legal to lock them in the house when I go off to the movies!
 

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They don't demand the latest new toy when it comes out -- they're happy playing with the milk ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
By enclosure I didn't mean the confines of a house, something which many people do in the UK if, like me, they live in big cities with busy roads nearby.

For me the term pet has always had connotations of any animal kept for the primary purpose of serving a function other than companioship, like a horse. Other animals, like a hamster for example, while cute in it's own right, doesn't have the capacity to show affection like a cat or a dog can. If they were to leave their cage, they'd probably just run away (again, I know there are some exceptions with astonishingly intelligent rats and mice that they 're a 1 in a 1,000,000 situations).

The term pet just doesn't sit right with me. It makes me feel that the animal is subservient to me and that's not how I view my relationship with Castor and Orion.
 

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"Pets" in Chinese means "spoiled animals", or "animals to be spoiled". I think that's a proper term. I never fully understand why pets are called pets in English. You certainly can do a lot more than petting them. And some pets, like fish, you cannot even pet (or can you?).
 

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I think there are a bunch of parallels with a cat and a 1-year old child. They're adorable; you communicate with them on a basic level through body language and short, simple words; they're amazingly capable; they're completely themselves and they'll cry if they wanna. The big difference is that cats will never grow up, and you can leave a cat alone in the house without fearing Child Protective Services. I'll take cats.
 

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I know Best Friends uses the term neighborhood cats for ferals. Its to make a point that they are a living, important member of our community.

Weve all read accounts where the courts put little intrinsic value on a cat or dogs worth in a human family. Im all for any effort to bring value to any animal. Companion animal is a good start.
 

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For me the term pet has always had connotations of any animal kept for the primary purpose of serving a function other than companioship, like a horse. Other animals, like a hamster for example, while cute in it's own right, doesn't have the capacity to show affection like a cat or a dog can. If they were to leave their cage, they'd probably just run away (again, I know there are some exceptions with astonishingly intelligent rats and mice that they 're a 1 in a 1,000,000 situations).
I grew up on a working farm where (for the most part) if something didn't have a job, it didn't stay. That meant people, animals, and equipment.

WHen I was quite young we did have a dog in the house, she wasn't a working animal as she was gun shy so she was called a pet. Throughout my childhood we always had a non working dog in the house c alled a pet. A non working cat....that wouldn't have been allowed to stay.

That's how I was raised to differentiate and that's what I call them. My cats are pets because they don't catch mice or provide some other valuable ..thing.. to the household.

That said, I adore them and consider them my furry kids. I love them completely and I don't know if they are SUBSERVIENT to me (more the other way around) but I don't hold them on the same level as I am.... now if they wanted to get jobs and provide for their own care then I might give them more say in our day to day lives :p
 
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