Are Parrots Good Pets: 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get One

Birds are beautiful in the wild, and they’re incredibly cute, but they are not good pets because they require so much care. Parrots taken from the wild aren’t meant to be kept in cages. Birds that are born to caged birds are still only one or two generations from being tamed. They’re not domesticated pets. The practices that are used to catch birds and bring them to your home are abusive and cruel too.

why not to own a parrot

Do parrots make good pets? Here is why they don’t:

  1. It’s a big responsibility
  2. The inhumane shipping and handling practices
  3. They need a lot of space to be happy
  4. Captivity can lead to mental health problems
  5. A parrot needs a mate to be happy
  6. They are very messy creatures
  7. They live for a very long time

1: The Responsibility of Owning a Parrot

Parrots are a huge responsibility. They require even more care than other pets like cats and dogs. They are more complex creatures than dogs or cats too. Scientists have explained that parrots have the emotional maturity of 4-year-old human children. They feel emotions and have emotional demands that people don’t often understand. Since we humans don’t understand their emotional needs, we’re not able to meet them, which makes for parrots with emotional problems.

2: Inhumane Treatment and Shipping

The wild bird trade is worth billions of dollars, and the people who poach birds from the wild don’t do so humanely. Many birds are traumatized or killed during the process. They’re ripped from their homes, mates and flock with little regard for their emotional well-being. Birds fly together, share their homes and raise their young together. When one bird is taken, the life of that bird changes as well as the entire flock that had been living together.

3: Parrots Need a Lot of Space

Birds that are already caged can’t be released into the wild, but they are not getting the space they need to thrive. Birds are meant to fly long distances, and they will never have enough space in the home even if they are not caged at all times. While cages in the home don’t provide nearly enough space for the bird, that’s also true of aviaries in places like a zoo. The wild is the only place where they’d have enough natural space to live. They spend much of their time flying around looking for food or to enjoy the act of flight. It can be devastating to leave that behind.

4: Being Confined Creates Emotional Problems

Humans don’t always properly understand the emotional needs of a parrot. They’re complex creatures on par with humans and monkeys. They can become bored, upset, depressed, or sad. If they are without a mate, they could have bonded with the owner. When they see an owner touching or hugging someone else, they feel betrayal, sadness, and anger as a human would. This can lead to screaming and agitation. Birds that are bored or upset can pluck their feathers. Emotions can lead to serious mental illness in birds.

5: A Parrot Needs a Mate

Birds are often better when they have a mate, but only if they get to choose that mate for themselves. It can’t be a forced situation. This can be tough for owners who might buy another bird hoping for a match that neither bird feels. It would be like your parents setting you up on a blind date that has to turn into a marriage. It’s unlikely to go well. When you add more birds to the home, you’re also adding more responsibility. The birds will have to be entertained and mentally stimulated to ensure that they’re not losing their minds from depression and boredom.

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Macaw Parrot

6: They Are Messy Creatures

When they’re in the wild, they will take a piece of fruit from a tree, eat a few bites and drop the rest to the ground. Food is abundant to them, and they will take a new piece instead of finishing the first down to the core. The seeds of the fruit littering the forest floor is how new plants and trees are created. Parrots will do the same in the home, so it’ll be littered with half-eaten items. They will preen and clean themselves for hours per day too. This translates to a ton of fine dust and feathers all over the home. Between sweeping and dusting, owners spend hours keeping the home clean each day. It’s not something many potential owners know about owning a parrot.

7: They Live a Very Long Time

Most people buy a parrot on a whim with no idea what they’ll do as they get older. Parrots live to be around 90 years old. They might have to be passed down to a younger generation when the owner passes away, but that doesn’t always work. Parrots are a huge amount of work, and not everyone wants to experience the ownership of a pet parrot. There are plenty of birds that are abandoned each year. They feel the loss more keenly than other animals too.

Social Parrots

Parrots feel all the emotions of a small toddler, which can be tough when the bird with a human mentality is caged for its entire life. Birds who are bred and raised in captivity still need constant mental stimulation, or they can become so bored that they start exhibiting nervous gestures and mannerisms. They can peck people, pluck their own feathers, scream constantly, or pace incessantly.

5 thoughts on “Are Parrots Good Pets: 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get One”

  1. Yes-all the points you made are valid, but as long as you treat a parrot with common sense and the same way you would like to be treated everything will work out fine. We got Walter our African Grey parrot when he was 10 weeks old and he will turn 25 in just a few months. We do not keep him locked up in the cage-on a perch in the family room most of the day where he can look outside and watch the golfers. In and on his cage for dinner and at night. If he feels lonely he can climb down and walk around the house looking for us which he frequently does. Along with his bird seed mixture, he eats what we eat plus his daily dose of cantaloupe, green beans and bananas. Yearly visits to the vet insures he is OK.

  2. Howard Jones – thanks for such a lovely post. So sorry to hear of Sally’s loss, she sounds like she was such a special character. I’m so glad she was ‘rescued’ and found such a loving home with you – I too don’t feel that birds (or indeed any creature that we must imprison) should ever be considered as pets. It does become such a complicated issue though, when we are destroying vast areas of their their natural habitats at such a fast rate. Plus, any bans will naturally create a black market which could only cause more suffering.
    I, for one, would love to hear more about Sally if you’d kindly post again. You never know – it might also help other owners realise that the emotional and mental well-being of their pet bird/other animal, matter as much as the physical care. I fervently hope so.

  3. You obviously don’t understand the concept of a parrot companion. And obviously would make an awful companion for a parrot. Many parrots are breed here and not smuggled into the country in tree trunks.
    Many parrots are quite happy and yes, they need a lot of attention and care. Yes, they are messy and they are not totally domesticated. This is one of the most beautiful points of having one as a companion.
    And Finally, yes. They are often handed down from generation to generation and may live the final years of their life in a sanctuary with other birds.
    Your article is so negative it borders on cruel. I’m glad my Macaw can’t read and be subjected to your seven negative rules and biased negative opinions.
    People could write arguments for not having children and justify it with seven or more rules as well.
    Please! Don’t get a bird. You’d make its life a living hell!

    • I find that The caring pets staff has the most honest, logical and factual information I’ve seen to date. Parrots really don’t belong in cages, houses.
      I’m 64, male, total animal / pet lover, and yes, My parrot just died. The brass tag on the cage had been stamped “1990”. I am about the 5th owner of an Amazon yellow head, slight blue front female. I rescued her and got her back to good health, but she had breathing problems from former smokers.
      I believe She was originally trained by an older woman who spent an enormous amount of time with her, because she sang and whistled the show tunes from the 60s.
      I named my parrot “Sally” because the last two owners caller her Solomon, thinking she was a male. When I got her, she immediately started laying eggs. She would hold a bell and sing into it like a megaphone, speak clearly when she wanted something, time to take a bath, and take a bath, asked me to pick her up, Her musical talent and speaking was unbelievable, much, much more to tell you.


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