Did you know? Traditional pets in Beijing

November 19, 2010 | Posted by Vicky

Dogs and cats are by far the most common pets in Beijing -- but have you heard of the other traditional types of pets?

Like anywhere else, Chinese people take great enjoyment and care in their pets -- and like anywhere else, people in Beijing have their prefences. There are many traditional pets in Beijing, which can be divided into four categories: birds, insects, fish and animals. Raising pets is not only a hobby of Beijing people but also a significant part of the culture.

Pet Birds

Shopping for pet birds in China, above.

There are more than a dozen types of birds that are raised by people in Beijing, such as thrush, lark, oriole, jade birds, parrots, starlings, and pigeons. Hearing them singing in the early morning is the biggest joy for the people who raise them. Thus going for a walk with birds in the first thing in the morning is a common activity for bird-lovers. If you live in Beijing, you can see people in the park taking one or two birdcages in each hand leisurely and carefree.


Have you ever seen crickets fighting?

Since they require very little upkeep, people in Beijing are also known to keep certain insects as pets. The insects are also in a great variety, but crickets --especially Chinese singing crickets -- are the most common. In traditional Beijing and even today, people of all classes are known to enjoy watching cricket fighting.


A special type of goldfish commonly seen in China

People in Beijing have kept goldfish for hundreds of years. Fish in China are traditionally regarded as lucky -- and so these symbols of good fortune have typically been raised in courtyards. Typically now people keep goldfish in basic household aquariums. Many people who keep fish -- like people anywhere -- like to watch the fish eat, think, and enjoy their ability to give one a sense of calm.

Cats and dogs

Cats and dogs can live in peace!

Despite the unusual nature of some of the traditional pets above, like fighting crickets, cats and dogs are by far the most common pets in Beijing. Cats used to outnumber dogs in Beijing, but nowadays dogs are just as common. In the days when people were not rich in China, the cats and dogs food would merely eat the leftovers from people, but in recent decades their lives have improved dramatically, and they enjoy expensive pet grooming and vetrinary treatment.

  • Goldfish Care
    November 27, 2010 11:11 am
    I have a goldfish like the one shown in the picture but it is not yet as fat as the one in the pic... Hope they'll be fat too...!
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