8 Dangerous Pets (Photos)

Cats Can Stay If Baby's on the Way

Q: I'm getting contradictory information on my cats now that we're expecting our first child.

And it all seems credible. My doctor says I can keep my cats, if I'm careful, and if my boyfriend handles the litter box. But I've seen other doctors who disagree and also caution that cats hate babies and will kill them, if they can, out of spite.

Cat websites say keep the cat, but I'm not sure they have my baby's interest as top priority.

I'm not sure you do, either, but I'll ask anyway. I want to keep my cats, after all.

- T.I., via email

A: Your own physician is up on the current thinking in this area.

In fact, you don't need to find a new home for your pet when a baby's on the way, no matter what well-meaning relatives and friends or anonymous Internet advisers may say to the contrary.

Cats do not maliciously smother or suck the breath out of babies, and the litter box risk can indeed be managed.

The myth that cats have it in for babies probably came from their natural curiosity to investigate a new addition to the family, coupled with the tragedy of what's commonly known as crib death. We can easily understand how, in generations past, people may have seen a cat in the crib - perhaps sniffing at a baby's milk-scented breath - and later found a dead child and then tried to find an explanation for the loss by linking the two events together.

We now know there's no connection.

But common sense still dictates that no animal be left unattended with an infant or small child. And, of course, before the baby arrives, safety dictates that someone other than the expectant mom clean out that litter box to reduce the risk of birth defects caused by the parasites that may be in the cat's feces.

As our Dr. Marty Becker says: Get rid of the risk, and keep the pet. It's good advice, as is taking your cats to their doctor to make sure their own health is tip-top to further protect your human family.

- Gina Spadafori

Do you have a pet question? Send it to petconnection@ gmail.com

Pet Tips For Evacuating

HONOLULU -- In the event that your area is evacuated, never leave animal companions behind to fend for themselves. They aren't any better equipped to survive disasters than humans are.

Know your destination ahead of time. Shelters often do not accept animals, but motels in the area will probably accept cats, dogs, and other small animals in an emergency. Call destinations in advance, and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals. Do not plan to leave animals unsupervised in a car; they can suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open.

Place small animals in secure carriers. Dogs should be leashed with harnesses because frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt and get strangled. Take water and food bowls, your animal's favorite toy or blanket, a towel, and enough food for at least one week.

Put ID tags on your animals so that your companions can be found in case they get separated from you.

Cathy M. Rosenthal:
Don't Start Crate Training at 16
Cathy Rosenthal - MySanAntonio.com

Dear Cathy: We have a 16-year-old Pomeranian. We lost our other dog very suddenly a few weeks ago. Now the 16-year-old is having what we believe is separation anxiety and is urinating on the floor when we are gone. He has never done this before.
We took him to the vet to be sure there were no other medical issues and all was fine. Is it wrong to start crate training him now at 16 when he has never been crate trained or in a crate unless at the groomers? I have a hard time doing this and feel it would only make him more depressed. Thanks.

— S

Dear S: I am a big advocate of crate training, but I would strongly advise against crate training your dog at 16 years old, especially when he is also suffering from grief. While a crate can serve as a den for a dog, if a dog hasn't been taught that this crate is his den, he may feel the crate is punishment. And you are right in assuming that it would only make him more depressed.

You can put him in a room during the day where it's not the end of the world if he has an accident. Or you can hire a pet sitter or family member to come by during the day to let him outside to relieve himself.

Be patient with him. He is working through his grief and will likely only do this for a short period of time. The best thing you can do for him right now is not get upset over the accidents and let him know he is not alone.

Dear Cathy: Perhaps you can provide some guidance about how to handle a neighbor who lets her completely declawed female cat roam the street.

I thought the cat was a stray and took her to the vet who said she was spayed, microchipped and declawed on all four feet. Apparently, she had been brought in once before to the vet by someone else who was bitten by the cat. Our vet called the owner and explained the cat should not be an outdoor cat because she is declawed.

One week later kitty shows up in our yard again. We think she is adorable but can't add another cat to our household with four other pets. We are not privy to the name of the neighbor or the address where the owner is, as the vet would not disclose this, but we feel really bad for the cat. What recourse do we have?

— C.Z.

Dear C.Z.: There is little recourse since there are no laws against letting a declawed cat outside. But the action is neglectful since the cat can no longer defend herself against attacks by animals or run up a tree to escape. She definitely needs to be an inside cat.

If you take the cat to the vet or a local shelter, the microchip will ensure she keeps getting returned to those owners. Maybe they do love her: They did get her spayed and microchipped. But, it looks like they need a lot more education. Ask the vet to be more aggressive in explaining the dangers that lurk outside for defenseless felines. If he focuses on what could happen to the cat rather than on their neglectful behavior, maybe they will listen.

Send your pet stories and questions to Cathy M. Rosenthal, c/o Features Department, San Antonio Express-News, P.O. Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171, or cathy@petpundit.com. Cathy's advice column runs every Sunday. You can read her blog, Animals Matter, at www.mysanantonio.com

Are Peanuts Good For Pet Birds Or Not?

There is no argument that peanuts contain a lot of essential ingredients like fiber, unsaturated fats, protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. So this is probably one possible answer to your question are peanuts good for pet birds? It will be good to think about feeding your pet with them because there are also some possible negative answers.

Actually peanuts are seeds, not nuts and they grow under ground, they are from the legume family. Their environment is damp, warm and dark which gives the best condition for mold and fungal growth.

Actually those traces of a mold called Aspergillus Flavus cause the problem with peanuts. The toxic substance – Aflatoxin,is in fact produced by Aspergillus Flavus. It is known that Aflatoxins cause severe liver damage for humans and animals and they are carcinogenic (cancer causing). The level of toxicity depends on the amount of toxin ingested at one time, age, size,accumulation of the toxin, etc.

If the officials detect contamination after inspecting all peanuts for sale in this country, they reject them.

The USDA and The FDA determine the safe levels for Aflatoxin in human food stuffs and if the product is dangerous, they ban it from going to market. But this safe amount of traces of Aflatoxin in pet food is not very clear, especially for such small creatures as birds.

So the question- are the peanuts bad for your pet birds?- still remains unanswered for all pet owners. Some of them continue to feed their pet birds with peanuts, of course the amounts are not big and they announce that they haven’t found any illness effect.

They assume peanuts as high-energy nutritional, pet, and because their birds love them and have fun, they outweigh the risk.

If you have decided to feed your pet bird with peanuts, neglecting the risk, there are some precautions to avoid the deadly Aflatoxins:

1) Be informed about the recent research on pet bird consumption of peanuts

2) The risk of Aflatoxins in dried, heated peanuts is lower so you’d better feed your pet bird unsalted, roasted peanuts

3) To decrease the risk of the growth of Aspergillus Flavus, if you feed your bird raw peanuts, you must be sure they have been grown, stored and shipped properly

4) Give your pet birds no more than 2 or 3 peanuts daily

5) Valencia or Spanish peanuts contain less Aflatoxins so use them if it is possible

6) Human grade peanuts are less contaminated than bird seed mixes or animal feed

7) Buy your peanuts from reliable and quality sources you can trust

Consider carefully the risks and benefits of using peanuts as food for your pet birds and the decision is up to you.

Daci Georgieva writes for http://www.BirdCagesBlog.com who specialize in Bird Cages and Bird Stands. Visit the website for more details.

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Road Trip Essentials with Pets

Depending upon where you live, you may be dreaming of a road trip with your dog. Here in the northeastern part of the U.S. we have another snowy day. Driving is out of the question. However, if you live in warm climes (lucky you) or are planning ahead, you will want to save these tips before your next road trip.

Local Travel

Thanks to the economy, Americans have changed their travel habits. Most are taking local trips—exploring their home states and visiting nearby ones. Road travel is up, and people are traveling with their dogs.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the U.S. travel industry, 14 percent of all U.S. adults (that’s 29.1 million) have traveled with a pet on a trip of 50 miles or more in the past three years. Dogs are the most common type of pet to take along (78 percent). Cats came in a distant second at 15 percent.

On the Road with Your Dog

Amy and Rod Burkert, co-founders of GoPetFriendly.com, a free-to-use internet resource for people who prefer to travel with their pets, are constantly amazed by the welcome attitudes they encounter when on the road with their two dogs, Buster, a 2 1/2 year old rescued German Shepherd and Ty, a 5 year old Shar Pei.

“Who would have thought you could take dogs on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC,” says Rod. “Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s people’s changing attitudes. But many times, all you need to do is ask if the location is pet friendly.”

Packing for their Trip

The Burkerts always take extra leashes in case one gets lost or left behind. Other essentials include carpet cleaner, in case there are any accidents in hotel rooms; a first aid kit, which they ordered through Amazon, a roll of paper towels, a micro fiber towel to dry the dogs off if they get wet in the rain or go swimming in a creek or beach, complete medical records of the dogs that have been scanned to a thumb drive, treats, a gallon jug of water in case the dogs get thirsty, pet toys, insect repellant, sun screen, and a backpack for Buster, “to give him a job of carrying stuff when we go on hikes,” says Rod. Plus they pack medications and food.

“What we don’t pack are crates,” says Rod. “Everything is within reach and easy to get to. And, one thing I would like to add is that we maintain the dogs’ morning and evening walk schedules—time and distance.”

Must Haves

When the Burkert family travels, they concern themselves with their dogs’ medicine and food. Both dogs have conditions that are easily controlled with medication. (Buster gets seizures and Ty has hypothyroidism.) “Before we hit the road, we simply pick up a supply of pills from our vet that will last for the duration of the trip,” says Rod.

Food is another issue. “We recently switched our dogs to a dehydrated raw food diet from The Honest Kitchen,” Rod explains. “The food is not widely available (maybe not at all at the big box pet stores) so this will require some planning. The Honest Kitchen provides free UPS ground shipping on bulk orders (along with a nice discount). Our first shipment took only 3 days to get to Pennsylvania from California. We start our trips with a food supply in the RV. As we travel for months at a time, we always plan ahead and order more food when we start running low. This way a shipment can reach us in time.”

Plan ahead, drive safely, and have fun. Have a tip on traveling with your dog? Please share it with us.

Man Drives Car, Walks Dog, at Same Time!

If you can't text while driving, what you really, really shouldn't do is walk your dog while driving.

But some crazy guy in the U.K. did...

According to the BBC, a man named Paul Railton, who's 23, was caught walking his dog while driving, holding the leash through the open window.

He lost his license.

The best line from the story: "In mitigation, his solicitor, Paul Donoghue, said: 'He accepts it was a silly thing to do, borne out with an element of laziness.'"

Herhold: A Dog's Story
By Gerry Herhold - MercuryNews.com

You are, perhaps, surprised that I can write. Let me clear that up. I have a ghost writer: my human.

Unusual? I guarantee you the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, has a ghost writer. A guy who spends all his time around dogs needs one. So bury the skepticism, please.

You may know my story: I am a yellow Lab, born on March 12, 2009, in Bakersfield, a good place to be from. In a conspiracy engineered by my human's two sons, I arrived at my new San Jose household last Mother's Day, a surprise to my human's wife, Sarah.

For obvious reasons, her approval has not come easily. I'm a 75-pound Lab: I've dug a hole in the backyard and trashed the lawn. I've eaten a bicycle pedal, chewed the pillars of the house, barked noisily and destroyed two sets of earphones.

Sarah thinks I'm unaware that she sometimes refers to me as the "DD," for "damn dog." When she hands me a treat, she'll sometimes drop it in fear. But the other day, as she arrived home, I heard her say distinctly, "Hi, baby!"

"Hi, baby!" I think I've come a long way. Not as far as I'd like, but still, those two words bespeak an achievement for the canine race.

My human? He's a well-meaning creature — affectionate — but like many humans, he does strange things. He took me to a 12-week obedience class in Los Gatos, one that drummed in the commands of "sit, down, stand'' ad nauseam.

Test of discipline

Can't they comprehend? I know what they want me to do. I just don't want to do it. As part of a test of discipline, they put a tasty morsel on my paw as I was in a down position. This was torture, plain and simple, a violation of the Geneva Conventions. I made short work of it.

A couple weeks later, I got revenge: During class, I relieved myself — number two — near a back wall of the room. My human was mortified.

I don't mean to say my day-to-day existence is bad: My human wakes me early from my crate, and we go for an hour's walk. Then, in late afternoon or evening, we usually have a shorter walk or go to the dog park. "Dog park" are the only words I need to race for the car.

(When we drive, my favorite position is to climb between my human's back and his car seat, sticking my head out the driver's window. People chuckle at this arrangement. But frankly, I think he's lucky to have me as a guide: I know where to turn.)

True, I still have philosophical differences with my human about the nutritional value of a Peet's sleeve or an empty cigarette pack. He spends so much timing staring at paper — newspapers and magazines — that I wonder why he doesn't just eat it. I would.

Guarding resources

I know he is worried about my tendency to guard my prizes fiercely, something he calls "resource guarding." At breakfast, he feeds me by hand, and he'll try trading me for a bag I've grabbed from the recycling bin. Sometimes I'll take the deal. But I find a growl makes him lead me outside.

Sadly, some of my carefree ways have ended. When we walk now, he puts on a "gentle leader" that goes over my snout and keeps me from pulling him. And my humans have installed an anti-barking collar that emits a chamomile spray, which I detest.

A well-placed whimper, however, can prompt my ghost to do what I want — throw a ball, let me inside or get my food. I have high hopes that with more training, he'll emerge as a rock-solid human some day.

Sniffing Dog Gets a Little Too Friendly
By Mac Lane - News-Record.com

I have to confess, there are some situations in which I am very much at a loss.

Take the other night for example. My wife, Michele, and I were invited to a dinner party at a neighbor’s house.

The problem started when the host’s mammoth-size dog, whom I’ll call Bowser, became a little too friendly.

Upon arrival, I paused to make friends with Bowser by giving him a little scratch behind the ears.

I could see that two other couples had arrived before us. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and enjoying themselves, and I was looking forward to joining the gathering.

I gave a short wave in greeting and was about to say something like, “Hi, everybody,” when Bowser stuck his nose sharply into my crotch. Scoring a direct hit, I think I may have winced slightly as I stood there.

“So, Mac, how have you been?” one of the men said in greeting, apparently ignoring the dog trying to unzip my pants with his nose.

“Oh, you know,” I said, trying to look nonchalant while at the same time attempting to push this giant dog’s snout away from my groin.
“I can’t complain. How’s it going with you?”

“Can’t complain either,” he said as I took a step to one side and, a little more forcefully this time, again tried to fend the dog off. But like one of those heat-seeking missiles, this dog was seriously locked on to my groin.

Had I spilled something tasty in my lap earlier in the day? I didn’t think so.

As I made more chit-chat, I would push Bowser away only to feel the dog’s nose bumping my private parts again an instant later.

I recalled that scene in the book “Marley and Me” by John Grogan where the young couple is trying to teach their rambunctious dog not to jump up onto people.

They instruct a friend to knee the dog in the chest whenever he jumps up. I thought this might work with Bowser. If I raised my knee sharply right now, I grinned, I think Bowser might get the message. I desperately wanted to show this dog that my crotch is not an area to be trifled with.

But on the other hand, I was an invited guest into this house. I can’t go around kneeing people’s beloved pets, can I?

In the end, I tried another tactic. I walked over to the kitchen counter and took a seat.

I thought this would take my crotch out of play, but this only seemed to egg Bowser on as he continued to sniff crazily around my legs.
Bowser eventually ambled off, only to return to sniff my legs again some 10 minutes later to pick up where he had left off. This went on and off throughout the evening.

The strange thing is that the dog didn’t seem to notice anyone else the entire night, and I have no idea why he singled me out.

But if I had to guess, I think Bowser could smell a guy who wouldn’t know what to do in these awkward situations.

Contact Mac Lane at maclane@northstate.net.

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Feline Feeding "Faux Paws"

Is your cat's diet up to snuff or does it leave something (namely purrfectly balanced nutrition) to be desired? A 9Lives-sponsored "Pet Parent Purrception" survey of feline guardians across the country...

A 9Lives-sponsored "Pet Parent Purrception" survey of feline guardians across the country revealed that an overwhelming 94 percent of American cat owners are confident they feed their felines the most nutritious meals possible.

Sweet, but not the best choice for your cat.

While most of these cat owners seem to have their furry friend's best interests at heart, many are unintentionally subjecting their pets to potential harm. Nearly half (48 percent) admit they regularly feed their cat table scraps, which don't provide the essential nutrients that cats need. Others said they offered their felines food choices that they mistakenly believe are healthy, such as root vegetables (73 percent), green tomatoes (54 percent) and raw potatoes (50 percent). These foods all contain oxalates, which can negatively affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. (For a more complete list of foods to avoid feeding your cat click here.) Only 30 percent said they were aware that many adult cats are lactose intolerance and cannot properly digest cow's milk.

Other statistics from the "Purrception" survey include:

•75 percent believe that the more expensive the cat food the more nutritious it is.

•70 percent believe that giving cats milk to drink is a healthy practice.

•23 percent think a purely vegetarian diet is a wholesome choice, when in fact it can be harmful for cats.

More than 90 percent of cat owners surveyed said they would be willing to switch foods if they knew it would improve their pet's health and help them live longer. This is fabulous news considering that 40 percent of cats in the United States are considered obese and approximately 26 percent have never been checked out by a vet.

And neither is this.

According to the 9Lives press release I received, "Morris the Cat and 9Lives want pet parents to know that, armed with the right nutritional information, they can give their cats the food they need to live a long and healthy life." To help, the company has created its very own "9Lives Nutrition Simulator."

While I personally found the survey results informative and the company's mission to help cat lovers make smarter food choices for their pets commendable, forgive me for being a bit skeptical about 9Lives promoting itself as the spokesperson for "wholesome" and "highly nutritious" cat food. But since I always like to give people and companies alike the benefit of the doubt, I decided to take a closer look at some of their ingredients. Maybe they've changed, I thought to myself as I typed "9Lives Chicken and Tuna dinner" (yum!) into my Google browser.

Here's a quick analysis of the first five ingredients:

•1. Meat by-products: This vague label indicates 4-D meat (the cheapest source) and can include diseased tissues (tumors) and organs.

•2. Chicken: A good start, although this is best used in canned food, as it can sometimes add weight to dry food, but less protein nutrition.

•3. Water: This is the cheapest, most non-nutritive filler in canned food; meat broths are preferable.

•4. Fish: Non-descriptive; could be rancid and of poor quality with potentially high levels of mercury.

•5. Poultry by-products: This means it can include diseased foul, all internal parts that are often lacking in nutrition, as well as feet and beaks.
Hmmmm...not really the best top five, huh? If you're curious, check out the specific ingredients in other 9Lives cat food formulas, along with reviews and ratings here.

Some good quality, affordable brands that I've had positive experiences with are: Healthwise, Wellness and Taste of the Wild. Other very high-quality, but more spendy brands include: Innova, Merrick, Best Feline Friend, EVO, The Honest Kitchen (Prowl) and Blue Buffalo.

Woman: Cancer-Finding Cat Saved My Life

'I know I certainly would be far worse off'

WINNIPEG, Canada (CNN/CBS NEWS) - When a cat showed up on her doorstep one night, a Winnipeg woman thought it was just another stray. But the cat may have saved Judy Danchura's life.

"About 3:00 in the morning, we heard this meowing outside the side door. I went down and let him in. He wandered around for a little while in the house I guess. I went back to bed," said Danchura.

After she let the cat into her house, he jumped on her bed and crawled up her side. He stopped at her breast which Danchura says was unusually painful. She felt a lump, which doctors confirmed was cancer.

Danchura says she might not have found the lump without the cat whom she's adopted and named Sumo.

"I know I certainly would be far worse off. I would probably be having to take chemotherapy that's for sure. I don't know what my chances would have been without him," she said.

Now she's taking anti-cancer medication and going through radiation therapy. Doctors say her chances of survival are 96%.

Danchura says Sumo is her furry four-footed angel.

"I sometimes feel overwhelmed. I feel humbled because I can't understand why this animal turned up for me, let's say. There are so many people who have cancer. And I think to myself, why would he show up at my doorstep?"

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Gary Bogue: Lost Cats:
Oh Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Cat Gone?"
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

Spring is bursting forth in blossom,

But the rains continue to be a wet blanket.

Oh, the price we pay "...

— Gayle Reece, Lafayette

Dear Gary:

Last year the Maine coon cat that grandson got up in Reno turned up missing. I think he was gone a couple of months. We thought he must be dead.

Wonder of wonders, he showed up, nice and healthy but without his tags with his name and address inscribed thereon. A few months went by and he was missing again for several weeks. Then he arrived back home one day but this time he had his name tag and collar back on.

We never knew where our wonderful cat Raider had been. He talks to my grandson but we had no translator so it will always be a mystery.

He does have a chip installed for safety's sake and we thought that if he had been killed, animal control in Hayward would have made contact. So, I guess my advice for those who are searching for their lost pet is: Don't give up. But do have the I.D. chip installed. It could help.

Shirley Borden,


Dear Shirley:

An amazing number of pet cats seem to be living with more than one human.

Most people don't even know it. After some people head off for work in the morning, their cat will mosey down the block to another house and spend the day with their other "owner." That night they head back to the first house to spend the night with their other human "... ad infinitum.

Unless something happens to break the pattern, the human participants in this feline juggling act rarely figure out what's going on.

Exceptions are like yours, where your cat has a collar with his address. Whoever he's been staying with on these little vacations knows he has another human and may have been keeping him indoors until he got out.

Knowing how cats wander, the other house isn't more than a block away.

Dear Gary:

Having lived in Livermore since 1958 I have seen many different animals.

In my lifetime I have seen several mountain lions (two in Livermore and two in Lassen County), many bears, and many more, but today was different. I looked out my back window and I saw a hen roadrunner.

I live on the Springtown Golf Course where I see on a regular basis skunks, raccoons, squirrels, kites, and other assorted birds of prey. To say the least I was shocked to see the roadrunner. I have seen them 21 miles up Mines Road but never in Livermore on the Golf Course.

I called my next door neighbor and he confirmed what I had seen.

This is not the habitat they thrive in so I'm stumped. I can understand why many animals are being seen on a regular basis due to construction, but a roadrunner in Springtown on the golf course? What do you think?

Jack Renaud,


Dear Jack:

Meep! Meep! We like to think of roadrunners as living in the desert and playing with wily coyotes. Fact of the matter is, they're found throughout the Central Valley and from Livermore to Mount Diablo, and here and there around the Bay Area.

I know of one sighting in Richmond. Now THAT's a surprise.

When Man's Best Friend Is Deadly:
8 Dangerous Pets
Huffington Post

Some people just love having unusual pets -- perhaps for their cuteness or the fact that they're uncommon pets. Even Paris Hilton had her own unusual pet: the kinkajou she called "Baby Luv." Well, Baby Luv sent Hilton to the emergency room twice. So, a word of caution to Hilton and all those out there who want a "different" or potentially dangerous kind of pet: some of the following animals are not meant to be domesticated.

Check these photos of potentially dangerous, and sometimes deadly pets you should fully research before calling your own.

Although this girl seems to be doing just fine riding this ostrich, ostriches are known to be rather aggressive and their powerful kicks have been deadly. They're also fast runners, which doesn't help if you're getting chased.

Looking like a cross between a monkey and a ferret, when provoked, this "honey bear" can aggressively scratch and bite. They're also a bit clinging. Baby Luv, Paris Hilton's kinkajou, bit and scratched her to the point where she had to go to the emergency room -- twice, in 2005 and then in 2006.

Constrictor Snakes
From Burmese pythons (pictured here) to boa constrictors, constrictor snakes can grow to be quite large and can kill adults easily by constricting them. They're also powerful biters. Finally, constrictors are excellent at escaping, so be wary of calling these snakes pets.

Venomous Snakes
Even snake handlers get bit, so why should you risk owning one of these? The black mamba (pictured here), is the most venomous snake in the world and is responsible for a large number of human deaths a year. Before an anti-venom was established, their bites were capable of killing a human in 20 minutes. Skip the ego-boost of owning "the world's deadliest snake," since it could actually kill you.

Tiger (or any other big cat)
Although big cats can appear to not be overtly aggressive, they are natural-born predators, so it's hard to completely train that behavior out of them. From the man in Harlem, New York who thought he could own a pet tiger to even trained professionals like Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy, big cats have been known to attack -- so they're just not meant to be pets.

Alligators, Crocodiles, and/or Caimans
Have you seen their teeth? They're carnivores that can exceed six feet in size.

Baby Turtles
Yes, they may look cute. But, they can be carriers of salmonella. A reported quarter million cases of samonellosis occurred annually during the 1970s -- when there was a baby turtle pet craze. Children were the most affected by such outbreaks.

Deadly Spiders
While tarantula (pictured here) bites are usually not deadly to humans (unless you're fatally allergic), their hairs cause intense itching, so they're not meant to be petted or regularly handled. Poisonous spiders include: the Redback Spider, Tree-Dwelling Funnel-Web Spider, Brazilian Wandering Spider, Brown Recluse Spider, and the Black Widow.

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