There’s lots of reasons to get a parrot – they’re intelligent, they’re beautiful, they make excellent companions.
The reality is, parrots aren’t for everyone.
In fact, parrots aren’t for most people.
Unfortunately, many people end up buying parrots before they do their research and once they find that the parrot is too much to handle, the parrot ends up getting sent away.
The problem with this is that parrots become very attached to their owners and can end up being depressed when sent to someone else.
For this reason, you should make sure you do your homework before investing in a parrot.
Here are 25 reasons you shouldn’t get one:
Parrots can live up to 90 years
The average lifespan of a parrot is between 20-30 years, but some species of parrot (like the kakapo) can live upwards of 90 years!
This means that parrots are not a short term investment.
If you are going to buy a parrot, you need to be invested for the long term.
As we mentioned above, parrots become very attached to their owners, so if you suddenly decide you can no longer care for them, they can become depressed.
If you’re going to buy a parrot, be prepared to have them by your side for much of your life.
Parrots are noisy
If you’re looking for a quiet pet, get a hamster – not a parrot.
Parrots are extremely noisy and they don’t live on the same schedule that we do.
Parrots can be vocal at all times of day, including in the middle of the night.
And if your parrot is angry? Look out because they will not hesitate to let you know!
Parrots talk, sing, and yes, scream during all hours of the day and night.
If you can’t handle noise or live in close quarters with other people (as in an apartment) a parrot probably isn’t the best choice of pet.
Parrots are needy
Unlike some other types of pets (like cats), parrots need a great deal of attention.
Parrots are extremely social creatures and without social interaction, they can become depressed and/or destructive.
If you work a lot or are not home often, a parrot probably isn’t the best choice of pet for you.
When you are home, you also need to be willing to invest much of your time with your parrot by your side.
Parrots are wild animals
Parrots are not typically considered a domesticated animal like a dog.
Rather, they are considered wild. As wild birds, parrots have a mind of their own.
While you can teach parrots tricks, most parrots are extremely stubborn and will do what they want, when they want.
If you’re looking for a pet that you can train to listen to your every command, get a dog instead.
Parrots are messy
In the wild, parrots live in areas with abundant resources of food.
This means that they don’t have to be picky with what they eat.
For this reason, parrots often waste a lot of their food. And where does that wasted food go?
Directly on the ground. Except when you own a parrot, the ground is your floor.
In other words, if you decide to get a parrot, you should expect your floor to be messy after every meal.
Not only that, but it’s not uncommon for parrot food to end up on walls as well. So if you don’t like a messy home, don’t get a parrot.
Parrots are emotional
Just like humans, parrots have different moods. Sometimes they experience good emotions like happiness or excitement, but other times these emotions are negative like anger or sadness.
Unlike some humans, parrots that are experiencing negative emotions are not good at holding them in.
Negative emotions often result in angry outbursts or destructive behaviors. Depressed parrots also have a tendency to engage in self-harm.
Parrots are very smart
Parrots have the intelligence level of an average 6 year old. This means that they can understand a great deal of language and have excellent problem solving and communication skills.
All of these things, of course, are positive traits. In fact, their intelligence is the main reason that so many people are drawn to them as a pet.
The problem comes in when you factor in the fact that parrots have the emotional immunity of a two year old. Combine intelligence with immaturity, and the results are intelligent temper tantrums.
Parrots can be destructive
Not only can parrots be destructive when they are angry, but they are destructive birds in general.
Though they are not always intentionally destructive, parrots don’t have hands.
So how do they manipulate their surroundings? With their beaks.
In order to maintain this important tool, parrots chew on everything and anything. They chew on their cages, they chew on their toys, they chew on your furniture – the list goes on and on.
In other words, they’re like a puppy that destroys everything in sight – except they never grow out of the chewing phase and it lasts 20-30 years.
Parrots are wild animals and biting is a natural part of their behavior. Sometimes biting is an act of aggression, but there are many other reasons that parrots bite as well.
Parrots might bite when they are curious about something, when they are nervous, when they are “teething”, or when they are distrustful.
Parrots may also bite if they are stressed, injured, or ill, or if they are cranky, bored, or territorial. Biting may also be used in play, when a parrot is trying to get your attention, or when they are excited.
A parrots bite hurts
Parrots bite for a lot of different reasons and when they do bite it hurts.
The strength of a parrots bite can vary depending on the reason behind the bite. For example, a parrot that is nipping at your toes during play probably won’t hurt as much as a parrot that bites to protect itself.
With that being said, a parrots beak is a powerful weapon and exerts as much force as the bite of a large dog. If a parrot intends to cause harm, severe injury and broken bones can result.
Find out more about which parrot has the worst bite?
Parrots have hormones
As a parrot grows up it eventually reaches its sexual maturity.
When this happens, hormones race through its body telling the parrot when it is time to reproduce.
Hormones, however, can wreak havoc on a parrots mood.
You can think of a hormonal parrot much like a hormonal teenager with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality.
One minute they are sweet and loving, and the next they are lashing out with vengeance!
Your parrot may reject you
When you buy a dog, you can almost certainly guarantee that the two of you will end up bonding. But the same isn’t always to be said by a parrot.
Parrots are extremely picky in who they bond with. If you are the only person living with the parrot, there’s a good chance that it will take you on as their life partner.
But if there are others in the family, it may bond more intensely with them, and may reject you altogether.
Parrots bond intensely
In the wild, parrots mate for life. When they are kept as pets, they don’t have the option of a mate. Instead, they take their owner on as their mate. This means that they will be faithful to you for life.
This is great for bonding, but what happens if something happens to you?
When something happens to a parrots owner they can become extremely upset.
Trying to pass them on to anyone else can be a nightmare because you are the one they chose for life.
Read more at Are Parrots Monogamous?
Parrots are one person birds
As we have already mentioned, parrots tend to bond closely with one single person.
For the owner of the parrot, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But bring someone else into the home, and a parrot can act out.
This is especially true if another person gets too close to their owner.
Parrots can be very territorial of their owners, and can lash out at anyone who gets too close.
Depending on the temperament of the parrot, this can result in severe bites and injuries to others.
Parrots can be territorial
Not only can parrots be territorial of their owners, but they can be territorial of their space, food, and toys as well.
Parrots who are territorial can become aggressive when someone gets too close to their property which, again, can result in severe injury.
Even parrots who are unlikely to bite, can still attempt to create fear in someone who gets too close by pretending to lunge.
You can’t leave your parrot for long periods of time
If you enjoy daytime or nighttime outings, or visiting friends and family for hours at a time, you might want to think twice about getting a parrot.
Parrots require a great deal of attention throughout the day and don’t tolerate being left alone well.
A parrot that is left alone for long periods can become bored easily. And when bored, parrots can become destructive, angry, aggressive, and self-harming.
You can’t have a full time job
People who work 8-10 hours a day are not well suited to owning a parrot. Yes, most parrots can tolerate being left alone for up to 8 hours, but it isn’t ideal.
If you do work a full time job it’s important that you wake up early and give your parrot plenty of attention before you leave as well as when you get home.
If not, you will deal with all of the same behaviors as listed above that are associated with boredom.
It’s hard to find a sitter
When you have a dog, it’s quite easy to find a sitter if you are going to be away.
Just call up a friend and most will be willing to watch your furry friend. But the same is not always true for a parrot.
Most people don’t know how to care for parrots. And remember, parrots don’t usually take to other people aside from their owner.
So even if someone is familiar with parrots, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea for them to watch yours.
Furthermore, you can’t just take your parrot to daycare like you can your dog. For this reason, finding a sitter can be very difficult.
You can’t go on vacation ever again
Are you willing to give up your yearly vacations for your pet? If not, a parrot is not a good choice.
As we just mentioned above, trying to find a sitter for your parrot is extremely difficult.
Even if you do find a sitter, your parrot can become depressed if you leave for long periods of time.
Taking off for a week vacation may seem like a great stress relief to you, but it can actually cause a great deal of stress for your parrot.
So if you’re not willing to give up your vacations, don’t get a parrot.
Parrots are expensive
You might think that parrots would be cheap to own, but quite the contrary is true.
Parrots require large living areas and cages, lots of toys to keep them busy, and a variety of different foods to meet their nutritional needs.
In addition, parrots destroy your property and chew on everything.
If you have a parrot, be prepared to invest in new furniture often.
Parrots require a lot of space
Parrots may be small, but they take up a lot of space.
Not only do they require large cages, but they also require roaming room.
In addition, it’s difficult to live with a parrot in a small space that is closely entwined with others (as in an apartment) because parrots are noisy.
Though you may be able to tolerate the noise, your neighbors may have a different idea.
Unless you have your own home that is not in close quarters with another, a parrot may not be the best choice.
You will never have any peace and quiet
Like to lay your head and take a nap? Maybe read a good book? Or watch your favorite tv show or movie?
Well, you can still do that – but it will never be peacefully.
As long as you have a parrot, don’t ever expect to do anything in peace again unless they are sleeping.
As we already mentioned, parrots are noisy. And just because you feel like having some quiet time doesn’t mean they do.
Parrots can be self-destructive
Sometimes when people get too bored or depressed they engage in self-harming behaviors. Well, parrots are no different.
The most common self-destructive behavior that you will see parrots engaging in is feather plucking.
When a parrot is angry, upset, bored, sad, depressed – all of these emotions can lead a parrot to engage in self harm.
So if you aren’t tending to your parrots every need, self destructive behavior could be the result.
You might not be able to have other pets
Whether or not your parrot gets along with other pets really depends on their personality.
We wouldn’t recommend a parrot and cat combination. Not only is the cat likely to go after the parrot, but the parrot may live in fear of this predator.
Most dogs are likely to be okay with your parrot, but that doesn’t mean that your parrot will be okay with your dog.
For more info check out this article, Can parrots get along with dogs?
While some parrots will adapt well to other pets, others will not tolerate them.
You don’t own your parrot – your parrot owns you
Oh – you thought you owned a parrot when you bought one?
Well, you’d be wrong.
In fact, when you buy a parrot – they own you.
Parrots are demanding, noisy, needy pets that control almost every aspect of your life.
When you own a parrot you will never have the opportunity to watch tv or eat alone again.
Your parrot will want to be by your side every waking hour and if you don’t let them they will act out.
In conclusion, parrots are not for everyone. Actually, parrots are not for most people.
But if you have went through this list of 25 reasons not to get a parrot and you still aren’t scared off, then it may just be that you are one of the few people in this world who can handle a parrot.
Just remember, don’t take this decision lightly.
Getting a parrot is an extremely long term commitment. If you aren’t ready to have a toddler in the form of a bird for the next 60 years of your life, don’t get a parrot – it’s not fair to them.