Saturday, April 6, 2013

Goth Pets You Will Love

What comes to mind when you think of Goth pets? The first thing that comes to mind for me are adorable bats, but let's face it, bats are illegal to own as pets in the United States. But what other options are there? I decided to make a quick list of some cute Goth-appropriate pets that I think we'd all love to have. (And for my arachnophobes, no tarantulas here. Feel free to read away.)

Disclaimer: Pets are a long term commitment and can require years of care. Please take your own skill level, economic resources, home situation, and schedule into account before adopting a new friend. 

I wouldn't feel right starting this list with anything other than a Cat. Black, if you want maximum Goth points. Above is a picture of my cat Zoot! (Yes, with exclamation point included) who I love dearly. Healthy indoor cats can expect to live up to sixteen years and there are a variety of fun goth-appropriate cat toys available  especially around Halloween time. And why not pick up a black coffin-shaped cat bed from Etsy while you're at it?

Pygmy Goats are an extremely cute option if you're ready for a high-energy, very friendly pet that looks a little bit like Satan when it grows up. They are very sociable but might not necessarily need a herd if there are plenty of people around for them to love in. Expect pygmy goats to live up to a decade or more. Unlike many of the other animals on this list, Pygmy Goats are prey animals so be careful with any predator animals you might also be keeping. Like a leopard. Or something.

Gypsy Vanner horses are next on my list because, while they're not exactly practical for everybody, nothing screams gawthick romance novel like a big black horse (preferably ridden by a handsome rake whose shirt is perpetually unbuttoned.) Horses require huge amounts of exercise, expensive food, and stable lodgings with other horses as they are social animals. Horses can live for many years and are definitely not for the faint of heart. But hey, you can ride them sidesaddle in your Victorian finery.

Did you know that there is a fish called a Black Ghost Knife? I didn't until about a week ago, and I thought it was the funniest thing. Black Ghost Knives (I assume that is the plural....) are nocturnal, carnivorous fish that usually grow up to be twenty inches long. They prefer large tanks, preferably over fifty gallons, and need plenty of hiding places. They can live with other fish, and you can teach them to eat out of your hand if that catches your fancy.

Rats, more specifically Fancy Rats, can make for great pets if you know how to treat them right. Some of them can be extremely cuddly and are known for riding around on their caretakers shoulders. Rats are social animals and it is best to have multiple at a time, but it can be difficult to find a quality breeder. They live for a few years, certainly less than other animals, but with proper care can make for wonderful companions.

African Pied Crows are actually legal to own as pets in the United States, as are other species of crow and raven that are not indigenous to the USA. While these birds are not the famed all-black ravens and crows you may be used to, they're still extremely beautiful. However, they live for many years, require a specialized carnivorous diet, and lots of space to spread their wings.

Lop-eared Rabbits are almost every five year olds dream animal and they're still so precious to this day. While they are not naturally the most cuddly of animals (and aren't too fond of small children), they can form bonds with their caretakers. They are herbivores and if you're awesome you will name your rabbit Bunnicula because come on how could you not.

If you want something a little less leg-y, how about a Mexican Black King Snake? These non-venemous snakes live over a decade, prefer not to live with other animals, and primarily eat rodents. They are mostly nocturnal, but don't particularly mind being held (unless they are shedding) and make wonderful companions.

Again, I'm not trying to suggest that my readers should go out and buy a pet just because it is Goth-y without looking into the pet's care and making an educated decision about whether the pet is right for them. I am suggesting that it's worth expanding your horizons, and some pets are spookier than you might expect!

What pets do you all have, and do you think they speak to the Gothier side of you?


  1. I grew up with dogs, so I naturally became a dog person, rather than the Goth stereotypical cat person. I have 3 dogs! 2 of them have light hair, which is hell on my all black wardrobe.

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  3. LOVE this post! I'd thought of rats, cats and snakes, of course, but some of the others are totally new ideas to me. You forgot tarantulas, though. I don't have one, but I've heard that they make wonderful pets for the right people.

    Of our ten cats, three are completely black, one is a black/white bicolor (50/50 mix), one is gray, and one is a tortoise-shell who is mostly black with orangey-tan and just a touch of white. Our cats are all strays or ferals that we found and adopted, so we didn't choose them for color, but the darker ones make up for the mess of orange and white hair the other three leave on my black clothes!!

  4. I know a few people that own rats, snakes and tarantulas. Though the majority of friends own dogs (great danes, dalmatians ("because they are black and white like Cruella" said one owner) and chihuahuas) :P

    That Gypsy Vanner is the most beautiful thing! If one could have such a place for such a large pet.
    I had never seen a Black Ghost Knife, the seem very appropriate indeed.

    I own a cat named Frodo, and I think he wold love a coffin bed as awesome as that one!

  5. I seriously want a pygmy goat xD I love cats and dogs too though! ...and rabbits, I keep joking that when I have a house it'll be filled with animals :p

  6. I have a white fluffy dog as a pet. Totally un-goth and her constant white hairs being all over my black clothes is a pain in the ***. But still I love her and I wouldn't want to trade her for a gothier pet. :p

    And that pygmy goat looks so cute!

  7. We currently have a green-cheeked conure, Isambard the Steamparakeet, who has amazing intelligence and personality. Other pets I would like include fox, raven, cat (if I can get one that doesn't chase Isambard), fainting goat, clydesdale or gypsy vanner horse, bat (if I can one day afford the inoculations), tortoise, rabbit, other birds. I will have a menagerie like Lord Byron.

    My boyfriend's childhood dog is also called Frodo!

  8. We have two lop eared bunnies, no black one though. Unfortunately we have to take one of them away, the one we had a few months only. A mix of bad breeding and an ignorant previous owner has made his conditions so bad that we must remove him :(
    We also have two budgies.
    Something that is so important when taking care of pets is that you MUST treat them well and give them a natural habitat as much as possible. Our bunnies have a big outdoor cage and a pasture to run freely in and our budgies cage is always open so they can fly whenever they want. It's also very important to give the animals proper food to keep them healthy.

  9. Even though bats can't be owned as pets, I always thought it would be great fun to volunteer or work at a bat sanctuary!

    As it currently stands, I have only one black cat for a pet.

  10. Bunnicula! *someone understands*
    We have two dogs, and I raise guide dogs for the blind, so there's always one of those around. I would love to have fish, actually. Dogs are great, wonderful and loving, but for someone who hopes to live in a city apartment soon, they're not the most practical of pets. I very much enjoyed reading this, thanks for posting it :D

  11. Oh, good grief, I would not recommend Knife fish as a pet! They grow absolutely massive and can attack and injure other fish, and are notoriously aggressive. Instead I would recommend the beautiful Siamese Fighting Fish (or Betas), several of which I have owned. Other than that, this is an excellent list - I'd love a snake myself, but not sure about their diet.

  12. I have a brown striped Tabby cat called Tegan who I came across completely by chance :) eventually though my dream is to lose enough weight to learn how to ride safely, move to Wales and buy a farm and have several horses. Though my favourite breed is the very non-Goth coloured Suffolk Punch XD

  13. I had a lop-eared rabbit I loved so much that I lost more than one year ago. I can't forget her. She was not black, but had tawny hues, and was a real carebear, so affectionate.

  14. How about dogs? I think the Hound of the Baskervilles in the book was some kind of mastiff/hound cross but I imagine a black Great Dane or Newfoundland would do (no less impractical than a Gypsy cob).

    I grew up with American Eskimo dogs, which are uniformly and un-gothily white, and currently have a brown tabby shorthair cat, who is a complete bad-@$& but utterly lacks any gothy personal composure or sense of mystery.

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