«Either the pet goes or I go.» It’s an ultimatum you think exists only in movie scripts. Until you hear it from your significant other.
A few weeks ago, Reddit user Sugar-Soad posted a question to the platform, asking «People who were made to choose between your pet and your partner, how did your ex react when you chose your pet?»
Surprisingly, it received over 9.6K comments, many of which detailed these exact situations people found themselves in. Luckily, they made the right choice.
Was getting a divorce and the ex-wife demanded my dog or she’d take me to court over the house. I reluctantly gave him to her. She called me five days after taking possession of him. He was chewing everything of hers, peeing all over her and her new boyfriends house. I got him back and he never did any of that for me. Still have him and he is 15 years old now
Image credits: SoIdidsomething
Holly Sizemore, Chief Mission Officer at Best Friends Animal Society, told Bored Panda that shelter and animal welfare workers have pretty much heard every random story on why people give up their pets. «Occasionally, there are reasons like ‘Oh, we got a new couch and now the dog’s fur doesn’t match it’ or ‘the cat hisses at my boyfriend every time he comes over and he’s offended’ but these random and quite frankly, nutty, reasons are rare,» Sizemore said.
Most people, according to her, cite having to give up their pet due to having ‘too many animals’ and ‘housing issues’, situations that often result in a homeless pet and a heartbroken family. If you’re interested, here’s a comprehensive article and data analysis on the most common reasons why people surrender their animals.
He wanted me to rehome my cat because he wanted a dog instead. We were not living together, and I’m allergic to dogs. That didn’t matter, HE wanted me to have one, so he demanded I rehome the cat. I rehomed him instead. The look on his face when I took him to his mother’s house was pretty priceless.
Image credits: Planksgonemad
This is my favorite story from when I worked in a shelter. A guy came in to surrender his cat, with the reason that his girlfriend didn’t like her. He starts filling out the paperwork, but partway through he just stops and says, «Screw this. I’m just going to break up with her instead.» He picks up the cat and walks out the door, presumably to leave his GF. I hope he stuck to it and he and his cat got a happy ending.
Image credits: hoomphree
Luckily, Sizemore said that some couples are willing to do whatever it takes to maintain both their relationship and their pets. «We also hear a lot about how potential romantic partners stand no chance unless they show interest in and are ‘approved of’ by a pet,» Sizemore added. «I know of a story where a couple who fell in love and wanted to get married were instrumental in changing their local town’s archaic and overbroad pet-limit law. They each had 2 dogs and wanted to marry and move into the same household with their 4 dogs, but the pet limit in their town was 2 cats and 2 dogs in total (despite no evidence showing that limiting the number of pets/species per household creates more responsible pet owners or fewer nuisances in a community. Cruelty, nuisance, and negligence laws are the best tools to tackle legitimate pet-related issues). For this couple, the thought of giving up any of their furry beloved family members was unacceptable, so they helped get their local community to repeal the outdated pet limit law.»
«I also know of another couple who chose to live in separate households because one had cats and one had dogs that really wanted to eat the cats. The woman in this couple joked that the pets (and really maintaining separate households) was the secret to their very happy relationship.»
I had an incredibly toxic boyfriend who had at one point paid the fee for a rescue cat for me for my birthday. the cat REALLY didnt like him, she wasnt aggressive she was just skittish and didnt want to be around him. We had gotten into a fight earlier that day about something unrelated and he decided to start ranting about the cat and how he believed we should get rid of her, that she was a bad animal JUST because she was skittish ( she was a rescue!! and a very loving one at that if you let her come to you when she felt safe ).
He started to threaten to leave her at the humane society or get rid of her when i wasnt around so i couldnt stop him. I told him to get out of my house and immediately broke up with him. Butters is still making quality biscuits at my side and loves to take naps with me 🙂
Image credits: palefrogs
My ex used to chase his cat around the house. Poor kitty was so scared. I took him to divorce court over that cat. Now she’s sleeping on my lap with her sister and she never has to run around the house unless it’s happy zoomies.
Image credits: Caramellatteistasty
There have also been very interesting studies on the subject. A survey carried out by Rover.com, for example, found that 60% of couple owners said that bringing up a dog together made their relationship stronger. But that’s not all. Half of the participants said their canines had helped them spend quality time together, as a couple.
Which, when you think about it, is understandable. Around 88% of those surveyed also said that raising a dog requires teamwork and 65% agreed that trust is needed, too. Both are important factors for a thriving relationship, so constantly working on these attributes is bound to produce valuable results for the couple’s everyday life as well.
I remember him saying my diabetic cat needed to go so he could get a dog. We weren’t even living together. I looked him dead in the eyes and said. «My cat will outlive this relationship» considering she was really sick at the time he said it was unlikely and stormed off.
We broke up 6 years ago and my cat is still going strong.
Image credits: buffalosansbuffalo
To be fair, anyone giving you an ultimatum to choose between them and one of your loved ones (human or otherwise) isn’t interested in a healthy relationship of any kind, and so isn’t worth your time. Long story short, never choose the one giving the ultimatum.
Image credits: weasleydreamteam
Sizemore reminded people that there may be occasional legitimate reasons to ask someone to give up their pet for you. «Say for instance, if you were deathly allergic to cats and could not be around them without risking anaphylactic shock. However, anyone worth their salt as a romantic partner would never make such a request unless it was absolutely necessary and unless there was a clear positive alternative for the pet and their partner (maybe the cat is very much loved by the next-door neighbor who would happily give a great home to the kitty).»
«Bottom line, despite all the love and joy pets give us, they aren’t without occasional challenges,» Sizemore highlighted. «Most challenges, whether linked to a romance or not, can be mitigated by a little research, veterinarian, and/or animal trainer or behaviorist. Occasionally, rehoming a pet is in everyone’s best interest, including the pet. And, sometimes it’s best to rehome the romance.»
For more information on pet care, take a look at all the resources provided by animal experts at Best Friends.
I dated a guy who told me he would convince me to choose him over my cats. I broke up with him shortly after, mostly due to that. Was happily single, then my now husband comes along and says, «I’ve always wanted to be the husband of the crazy cat lady.» Way to win a girl’s heart.
Image credits: catswhocant
Not me, but my sister was dating a guy who angrily accused her of loving her elderly cat more than him. She said she did — she had had him for 14 years and they had only been dating for about a month.
Guess he wasn’t expecting that because he just kind of shut up and left the house.
Image credits: honkdogs
My ex husband was a constant cheat, terribly abusive, and loved to destroy anything I owned in order to punish and control me. I put up with anything and everything for over two years because “I loved him”. The last time I ever saw him he yelled at/hit my dog. I instantly packed my car and dog and left. Immediately filed for divorce. Haven’t seen him since. His lost his wife, source of income, vehicle, maid, scapegoat, bodyguard, sober driver, and emotional support in ten seconds. He was absolutely astounded I chose the dog over him, regardless of how many times he was warned not to act out around her. She is my soul mate and I would die for her.
Image credits: Eyfordsucks
I found out my girlfriend was hitting my dog when I wasn’t around. I left her and she was unable to admit that was the reason. I guess answering the question of «what happened to you guys?» With «oh he found out I was secretly hurting his dog» might make for awkward conversations.
Image credits: 40ozSmasher
I had a live-in bf (we had been together a year, decided to cohab because LDR wasn’t fulfilling). I had a cat for 15 years. He didn’t demand I get rid of my old man but he repeatedly made comments about how it was time to PTS because my cat was old and thin. He always commented on my cat’s weight. Even went so far as to stop by a vet and pick up cremation pamphlets so I could shop for urns.
I spent $$$ on all senior bloodwork, checked thyroid, etc. He had a clean bill of health because I always provided the best nutrition and care.
One day I told him, “the next time you mention me putting my cat to sleep or imply I’m not doing right by him make sure your bags are packed.”
He was gone 3 weeks after that. The cat had 3 more wonderful years before cancer got him and I did PTS.
People: 15+ years of love and emotional investment will trump your new relationship, every time
Image credits: itsJussaMe
I have an elderly rat (going on four years, which is quite the feat for a rat). I’ve raised him since he was a baby with his brother, who passed away two winters ago. When we moved in with my in-laws over the summer, they didn’t want me to bring my rat. I straight up told my partner that I’ll live somewhere else for awhile (we’d been living together for almost three years at that point) because my rat is my responsibility, he’s very old, and that I was going to see him through to the end. They were a little upset and accused me of choosing the rat over them, but I explained that he’s an animal that relies on us. It worked out, I convinced my in-laws to let me bring him, and we’re all still kickin. He’s on his last days and I’m glad I’m here with him. He’ll be buried with his brother when it’s time.
Image credits: queerqunari
I knew a couple that had to break up because she was badly allergic to his elderly dog. They were both understanding of the situation and there’s was no animosity. They ended up getting back together after the dog had passed away and are now very happy.
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This was a long time ago but I just started dating this person and I was told they hated my dog, it was a bit of a shock but I was like no biggie just get to know my dog and you will fall in love with him.
So the next time, we had a doggie date and HE TRIED TO KICK MY DOG. I literally grabbed my dog and turned around and walked away. And that was that!!!
Image credits: clarkyto
My friend had his girlfriend spend the night at his house. While he was making her breakfast she began complaining about his «nasty dog». My friend told her, «You should stop complaining, the dog lives here and you don’t». They broke up a week later.
Image credits: Niall_Nine_Hostage
Not me but my sister choose our cat over her boyfriend of 4 months. He was furious when she dumped him and called her an idiot for picking a “dirty fleabag” over him. Cat was not a dirty fleabag, he just hated pets and wanted to try to control my sister. I was relieved when she dumped him. I never got good vibes from him.
Image credits: Aurora_Jones
She acted like she’d never even considered I’d choose the cat over her. I don’t think that thought had ever entered her mind. Then she went into a big spiel about how I’m a loser, I’m missing out, there’s only one of her, etc etc. Yeah, I knew all that when I put my foot down over her idiotic jealousy of the cat liking me more than her.
The cat is now 16 and still with me, happy in her senior years. There’s been other women since her, ones that treated me a lot better than she did. It was a total win for both the cat and myself.
Image credits: Fancy_Cassowary
ex says «im leaving»
im all worried about our cats. Dont want to lose them, dont want to seperate them
ex says: «dont worry im not taking the cats»
Image credits: pelukken
I had a boyfriend I dated for a few months and things were starting to get serious. One day he said “you know if we ever move in together your dog will have to be an outside dog. Dogs aren’t meant to be inside.” My dog was a 7pound chihuahua. I told him if he was not willing to change his mind we would not be moving forward with us. He told me it was my loss. I was ok with that. After that I would try and find excuses for my pup and potentials to meet before. When I met my now husband he told me he did not like small dogs. He met my pup and fell in love. Sadly she passed away two years ago but he just celebrated 12 years ago. I hope the other guy found someone good for him.
Image credits: michaelleehoward
I had a fortnight to decide, him or my cat. I thought he was joking! Nope, a fortnight later and he asked for my decision. We’d been in a relationship for nearly two years and were living together, I loved him but the whole thing was absurd and I wasn’t getting rid of my cat. We broke up and in general he took it well. Too well. I was pretty sure he wanted an to break up with me, but couldn’t admit it. So I left with my cat and went to stay with my brother. I came back that weekend to sort out our joint possessions only find him sneaking out the back door the 19 year old receptionist from his work that he’d been [having sex] in my bed. 12 years later and me and the cat are doing great! I hope he’s turned into a better human being.
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I was in elementary school when my stepdad made a comment about getting rid of my cats. I told him that we had the cats longer than him , and I liked them better. He looked at my mom to defend him, and she told him she had told him not to talk about my cats. One passed away at the age of 14 when I was in college, and the other passed away at 19 after I had graduated. He was never cuddly with them but was always nice after that conversation.
20 plus years later he has his own cat that adores him and hates my mom.
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Not my partner but my mom gave away my dog when I was away on a trip visiting my sister when I was 18. She called me while I was away to explain my dad was going to leave her if she didn’t rehome him.
Fast forward several years later.. my mom gave her cat to my 7 year old daughter only to later take the cat back after getting mad at me for something. 2 years later my daughter still cries over missing the cat. I went no contact with her immediately following that incident.
I bred tarantulas professionally for a few years. Most were in a specially designed shed outside, but I had a few in the house. Was totally upfront with people when dating, and if it was a dealbreaker, then no hard feelings.
I dated this one guy for a few months, but we’d always go out or to his. I didn’t really think much of it. Around month 4, he started getting annoyed and one day, straight up asked me how long it was gonna take to «sell a few spiders».
I thought he was talking about my actual job, so I was like, «oh, I sell them in bulk to a supplier. He’s coming round on Tuesday, actually.» And my bf was so relieved, but I couldn’t really understand why.
So the dude comes round on the Weds and sees the tarantulas in the house and goes on an abolute tirade about how I lied to him, how I’ve broken his trust, and how he’s gonna need time to heal. NGL, I just burst out laughing. I was like, «you really thought I was gonna give up my job for you?»
Well that was apparently not the reaction he expected. He stormed out, yelling about how I was such a dumb bitch for not realising how great he was lmao. Tried to crucify me on social media, but he just ended up looking like an idiot lol
Image credits: CrazySnekGirl
I had a friend who was dating this real assh**e guy. One weekend her parents came to town with a puppy. Let her play with it and love on it all weekend. At the end of the weekend they said “you can keep this dog if you dump assh**e.” She didn’t even think about it, dumped him immediately.
Late here- my aunt started dating this guy a while after my uncle passed away. Seems nice at first. She ends up basically buying him a house. He quits his job, the whole 9 yards.
My aunt has 2 dogs. Now apparently this guy decided he hates dogs now and they’re too loud and annoying and ends up giving her the ultimatum. When she chooses the dogs he tells her she’ll never find love with those dogs around. So he’s kinda jobless and out of housing right now. Good luck to him lol
Image credits: Tokidoki99
I briefly dated a guy who pretended to not be severely allergic to cats. He came over for the first time doped up on Benadryl and I confronted him about it, and he tearfully told me he hoped to keep his allergy a secret long enough for me to fall for him and choose him over my cat.
And that this was a repeat strategy for him.
I laughed so hard (poor confused guy) and told him the only winning move was not to play. I happily never saw him again.
Image credits: zoule
The dog chose me lol I divorced my husband and his dog destroyed his house and sadly wouldn’t eat properly or do anything but stress until he came to live with me and my dog. But to be fair, my ex is terrible at pets. He just kept him outside all day and night with no interaction. The dog is a Great Dane and at the time it was me, my toddler and my dog in a little town house but we gladly took in the big guy over keeping him alone and miserable with his actual owner.
Image credits: Davis1511
Well, he got jealous anytime I’d even pet the dogs infront of him. He started treating them terribly. Eventually he told me, basically, that he knows I wouldn’t get rid of them but so long as they were around our relationship would be negatively impacted and would deteriorate. Then we broke up. Shrugs
Imagine feeling threatened and jealous of your SO (of 14 years!) petting a dog. They are well behaved, house broken, no behavioral issues, no financial burden, and honestly they are low maintenance in the attention department too. Thaaaaaaaaaaats when I noticed something was very off and went ahead and proved him right. I didn’t get rid of my dogs, and I just started distancing myself.
Image credits: medvsastoned
Lol we had a puppy together but she didn’t end up liking her very much. 8 months later thanks to the ultimatum she broke up with me, it was the best decision ever. It was an eye opener when I finally realized how unhappy I was in that toxic relationship. My mom offered to take care of the puppy since I was finishing up school, she’s now my mom’s dog and she turned 12 this year!
Image credits: happy–muffin
Being told to get rid of my puppy for acting like a puppy and ‘embarrassing him in front of the neighbors’ for ‘stealing’ something he promptly took back to them was the last straw for me kicking out my ex. Not even the abuse or the cheating
Image credits: Lakechrista
Not my story but my friend. His gf forced him to choose between her or dog but that dog was remaining memento from his deceased mother and of course he instantly dumped his gf. His gf went from facefull with expectations to beet red full of shame and anger and smashed his house windows when she left his house.
Image credits: Manfroo1
I love my chihuahua. She’s super sweet and never growls or has ever bit anyone. I have had so many guys say “I hate chihuahuas/ I already hate your dog” before even meeting her. I had one guy lose his sh*t when I told him I was choosing to not go on another date with him because of how he talked about how sh***y and mean my dog was on a first date when I was asked what breed she was. My boyfriend now said the same things at first before he saw her and fell absolutely in love within 2 minutes. They’ve been best friends for almost 5 years.
Image credits: angibell92
My ex was allergic to cats and had asthma. I had a cat.
He just kind of moved in with me without asking over time. I wasn’t against it. His allergies and his asthma never seemed to flare up or anything too badly with my cat around.
We kept the place clean, etc.
He asked me to get rid of my cat multiple times. I said no every time.
Turns out the jerk was cheating on me with multiple women. Dropped the dude like a hot potato.
Glad I kept my kitty.
I never knew how bad some people could hate cats. Me and my fiancé (seven years)broke up. And I think it was partly because I had gotten a cat a year before she moved in. When she finally moved in, she wanted me to get rid of it. She left after barely six months of living together.
Image credits: chronictoker21