8 alternative ways of getting your animal fix if you don't own a pet

Fluff withdrawal levels: stabilised.


Remember pets? Those little furry happy things that you want to snuggle up and whisper incomprehensible sweet-nothings to? Yeah, they're great.

But if you're reading this, chances are you can't currently have a pet of your own. Rented accommodation sucks, right?

Yes - the world is a barren, pugless/catless/fluffless wasteland, because your chances of having a furry or feathery protégé are basically nil.

This is hard - nay, unacceptable - for the animal lovers among us who live and breathe paws, ears, whiskers and poop.

The good news is that there are a number of alternative ways to get your animal fix.

Sweet furry salvation, where are thou?

  1. 1 BorrowMyDoggy
    Source: BorrowMyDoggy

    A site that matches up busy dog owners with dog-deprived walkers, BorrowMyDoggy does what it says on the tin. You can borrow someone's DOGGY.

    Create a profile, find a match, and revel in your fluff time.

  2. 2 Cat in a Flat
    Cat in a Flat
    Source: Cat in a Flat

    Screw dogs - you need some cat time, dontcha?

    Cat in a Flat is a little like BorrowMyDoggy, only it's a network of cat owners and cat sitters.

    And with this site you can get a little extra cash for it, too.

  3. 3 Visit a city farm

    Even in the most city-ish of cities, teeny tiny little farms are tucked into areas' green spaces.

    If you live in a city, Google '[your city] city farm', and you'll probably be surprised by the results.

    The Hexjam team did just this and went to Kentish Town City Farm, and we'd gosh-darn do it again.

  4. 4 Ogle some dogs in the park

    Remember those green things? Parks?

    Wherever you live, they never fail to have an insane collection of dogs. While it's not a good idea to run up to a dog and embrace it with all of your love at once, ask the owners if you can pet them.

  5. 5 Visit a cat cafe

    Once a speciality only known to exist in Japan, cat cafes have now fully kicked off in the UK.

    From Scotland to Brighton, there's a cat-cappuccino combo waiting for you. It doesn't get better than this.

  6. 6 Or a cat pub

    #thedeviousbookofcats @thedailykitten #bagofnails #bristol #kittens #beer AND #lego

    A photo posted by larenski (@larenski) on

    A rarer breed than the cat cafe, but they do actually exist.

    The Bag O' Nails pub in Bristol is home to 15 cats. Imagine it: one hand holding a pint, the other stroking a feline.

    If you can't make it to Bristol, plenty of pubs have cats - you just have to sniff them out.

  7. 7 Go on an animal walking trail
    King's Cross Bee Trail
    Source: King's Cross Bee Trail

    Ok, so these usually involve bugs. But bees are furry, right?

    The King's Cross Bee Trail, for example, has you download an app and follow an interactive walking tour tracking bees across the area.

    And sure, you may feel that you've aged about 40 years, but alternatively try Googling '[your city] wildlife walk' and take your pick. They're actually pretty ace.

  8. 8 Beg a friend

    If all else fails, we all have a friend or family friend with a pet.

    There mightn't be a need to beg - maybe they're sick of Mr Fluffington meowing for food the whole time, so they'd be happy for you to satisfy his needs for a while.

    Maybe one day, you'll have your very own Mr Fluffington. But until then...