Every canid & felid on Earth dies. What other species could we domesticate?

What brings this to mind is the case of that poor woman who was mauled by the chimpanzee. In talking about the case, many persons have asserted that chimpanzees kept as pets are ticking time bombs, as they can never be truly domesticated. To me this makes sense, at least in the short term; humans have been interfering with canine & feline evolution for tens of thousands of generations, and the traits that make some members of those families amenable to captivity by humans have been reinforced and culled for quite effectively.

But suppose we no longer had that option. Suppose there were some calamity that caused every member of families Canidae and Felidae to perish suddenly and without warning, and that for whatever reason we cannot clone more. Assume further that any genetic material currently being stored for research is also ruined, and bear in mind I specified the families, not just the genus or species; all the wolves, foxes, lynxes, bobcats, & so forth are gone too. Naturally there would be a great outpouring of grief, but in time people would surely say, “Okay, what else can we make pets off?”

What would be the best choices to start with? What would be likely choices that would end badly?

(Assume for the sake of this argument that there’s no huge organized objection from PETA and its insane ilk.)


But those are in the canine order, or genus, or something… do bears and big cats get eliminated in your hypothetical?

I’d domesticate an Otter otherwise.

We could breed miniature bears for domestc purposes. Or perhaps hunting bears.

Goats, miniature horses, mustelids, rabbits… But remember that the function of cats and dogs is not really as pets but as working animals - pest control and hunting / guarding respectively.

The mustelids could take over as the pest control replacements. Is there another medium-sized pack predator as a replacement for dogs? Can you tame badgers?

It had better be a rodent, because that is what you are going to have the most of.

Couldn’t we just… use other animals that are already used as pets now? Chinchillas? Ferrets? Rabbits? Ducks? Miniature pigs?
I vote lemurs. If worst comes to worst, I think I could take a lemur.

If the Planet of the Apes series of movies taught us anything, it’s that apes are what we’re going to domesticate when a plague kills off the cats and dogs.

Which kind of raises the question of why, since the other thing *Planet of the Apes *taught us is that apes are damn dirty and have stinking paws.

Also, sometimes they snap and eat your face. That’s tricky to breed out.


This just might be the opening that mustelids are waiting for. Could you really say no to this?

Hey, why not domesticate each other? It could be fun!

Our barn-yard and Bar-B-Que buddies!

I have always thought elephants bred to miniature size would be great pets. Bred to miniature, they aren’t wild animals. (I’m talking down to about Great Dane size). They are herding animals, so understand a pack/family mentality. Plus the trunk?? How perfect for an assistant animal for a differently abled person. They’re PERFECT!

Would we have to breed them down, or just find the DNA for the already extinct dwarf elephants, remove the dna from an elephant ova and clone from there?

They already existed?? DAMMIT! I’m always late to the party!:smack:

I think we should breed some custom species – I would say ultra-moronic humans. Or if people get too squicked out over that, maybe something like ostriches with arms and hands. I think so long as we’re going to replace our domestic animals, go for bipedalism and hands. I want my pet to be able to take out the trash and do the dishes.

Even miniature elephants would pose problems. Firstly, the bulls go crazy during mating season and attack pretty much everything that moves. Sure, a responsible pet owner would have theirs neutered, but you know there’s always going to be that one joker down the block who thinks he doesn’t have to, and that’s how preschoolers get gored. Even a Great Dane-sized elephant could mess someone up.

Secondly, elephants are too damn smart. They’re like the smartest dog ever, with an incredible memory, and a hand on their nose. So they’re going to figure out how you open that gate. They’re going to want to know what’s in the cupboards. Your refrigerator had better have a padlock attachment.

Thirdly, they’re herbivores. Which means two things: they need to eat a lot of plants, so if you have a yard, it will soon be gone; and they produce (relative to carnivores and omnivores) a fairly colossal amount of poop. Lingering byproducts of digestive fermentation will soon strain relations with all but the most tolerant of neighbors.

Fourthly, the trunk. It will become an object of trepidation, and fast. An elephant’s sneeze is one of the most disgusting things ever. Imagine a snot shotgun-- a “snotgun,” if you will. They will suck up toilet water and blow it at you just for the hell of it. If you find it awkward when the dog noses your crotch, imagine the complications of a highly curious pet with a grasping organ. No one will ever visit you again, except for that one mailman with the waxy pallor who will visit several times a day until the restraining order is issued.

Awwww! Cute Cubs.

I keep seeing this thread title and hearing, “Every canid dies. Not every canid truly lives!”