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Tarantulas and other pets - advice needed

Discussion in 'Spiders and Inverts' started by Colette, Jan 4, 2011.


  1. Colette

    Colette PetForums VIP

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    Just a quick question...

    I'm seriously considering getting myself a tarantula. I've always been fascinated by them, and I have the space and time to care for one. But there is one thing I'm a bit paranoid about....

    I understand that a tarantula bite isn't really dangerous to humans (unless you are allergic) but what about cats?

    I know plenty of people keep spiders as well as other pets like dogs and cats, but I have horrible images of coming home one day to find spidey has escaped, my cats have pounced and everyone ending up dead.

    Any advice? Would a tarantula bite kill a housecat? And what realistically are the chances of a spider escaping from a proper tank for it to happen?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jamie

    Jamie PetForums VIP

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    Firstly, congratulations on deciding to get a tarantula! ;)

    The potential damage to your moggy is dependant on the species of tarantula you get (there are over 900 species!). However as a first time tarantula keeper, you are most likely to get a docile starter species like a Chile Rose (Grammostola rosea), Mexican Red Knee (Brachypelma smithi) etc. Where in these species the venom is very weak.

    But all the above is a mute point, as your tarantula will not escape! I've had 1 escape in 7 years of keeping them, and thats because I left the lid off (Doh!). Luckily the escapee was a fairly large docile species, and was found alive and intact quite quickly! Also, I think the cat would win the fight anyway, tarantulas are very fragile.

    My advice for your first tarantula would be to get a Greenbottle Blue Tarantula (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens). They are not aggressive but can be a little skittish. They make interesting and intricate webs. They are virtually bomb proof as they have a higher tolerance to temps and humidity. Idealy you would want the temps around 75 degrees and mist the tank once a week. Oh yea, and they are bloody stunning! Can sometimes be hard to get hold of, but worth it if you can :)

    Feel free to ask me for anymore tips and advice ;)

    Also, I have a Chile Rose and a Mexican Red Knee that could be sold if you want...?! The Chile Rose is fully grown and the Red Knee is only a juvenile, so plenty of growing to do in that one! These are both slow growing species, so loadsa life leftin them!

    My Chile Rose...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My Mexican Red Knee...
    [​IMG]

    My old Greenbottle Blue...
    [​IMG]
     
    #2 Jamie, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  3. Jamie

    Jamie PetForums VIP

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  4. Colette

    Colette PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the advice. It seemed like a silly question, but whilst researching on the net I came across a few sites that said tarantuals were escape artists, and I know my cats would love to just poke the poor spider until it retalliated!

    I like the red knees and I also fell in love with the young red rump in my local exotics place. I am tempted by the greenbottle blue though as I love the webs.

    What would you recommend for housing? I like the look of the Exoterra vivs, but they do seem pricey for what is essentially a glass box! Is there a better option? And would front or top opening be better (or are vivs usually both)?

    I'm also trying to get my head round the feeding frequency issue. From what I've read, adults only need to eat occassionally - approx once or twice a week. But can go longer.... Is this the same for the younger ones and sub adults or do they need more frequent feeding? When you get a new spider do you stick to the same freeding regime initialy or would it not matter?

    Sorry if these sound like stupid questions, but I'm used to more routine species (in every sense) and don't want to get anything wrong!

    Edited to add:
    Just noticed you're in Herts - that's where I work. Are you in a hurry to sell the ones you mentioned as it will be at least a few weeks before I'm ready?
     
    #4 Colette, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  5. Colette

    Colette PetForums VIP

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    Having spent a bit more time online, I am fast coming round to the idea of a Greenbottle blue - beautiful spiders and great webs. Will have to see if my local place could order one if for me perhaps....
     
  6. Jamie

    Jamie PetForums VIP

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    With regards to housing, I like House of Spiders - Enclosure Specialists for enclosures. Exo Terra tanks are expensive, but they're good quality enclosures. A tank with a top opening lid is always better.

    With feeding, again it depends on the species. Chile Rose and Red Knee species are notoriously slow growing and will eat less then others. The Greenbootle Blue is a ravenous feeder and will eat a lot more often. Any uneaten food should be removed from the tank. Younger spiders will eat more anyway. As a rule, if you feed any spider once a week, you wont go wrong! I would feed younger spiders twice a week. An adult Chile Rose can go for months without feeding!

    I am in no rush to sell the ones I have, they are not advertised anywhere. You are more then welcome to come round and have a look, and ask any questions. I can sell you the tanks as well. The Chile Rose and 30x30x30 Exo Terra tank I could do for £20, same price for the Red Knee and plastic tank.
     
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