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Living in a large city with cats / pets...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,

I've been pondering moving to a large metropolitan city for a while now and I wondered if some of you had experiences that would shed light on the pet owner aspect of living in that type of city... Namely, if some of you have lived in a large city and chiefly walk/bike/use public transit, what effects does that have on owning a pet?

Are there pet-friendly renting options in a large city?

How hard is it to locate near a vet (within walking distance or I assume via taking a pet-friendly taxi)?

If you have any other input / info / experiences, please feel free to share...

I'd really like to move to a city where I can walk/use public transit and be minutes away from resturants, groceries, etc... But it seems that a place like that can be quite hard to find. Especially when you factor in that most large cities are very expensive to live in (I am on a teacher's salary)...

I'd be grateful for any/all input you have.

post #2 of 11
I live in a big city and owning a cat is not a problem. I can take the transit with them (in their carrier) to go to the vet. My vet is not close, but it's near a subway station, so it's not hard to get to. I think most taxis will allow you to carry a cat in a carrier (but you might want to mention it when calling the taxi).

Owning a large dog would be more of a problem without a car.
post #3 of 11
I live in Chicago, and pet ownership is not that hard. I'm sure there are some buildings that don't allow pets, or are "just cat" buildings, but most are pet friendly. Chicago has great public transportation, especially if you rent an apt. near some of the major bus or El lines. Walking or biking is the same depends what area you rent in. My neighborhood has all of the things you mentioned, and more. I do have a car, and I do drive to some places, but I often walk or take public transportation whenever possible.
post #4 of 11
I live in a medium size city of 700,000 people. And I live downtown in a high rise over looking downtown and a river.

The agency does not allow pets, but I have 2 and they know about them and haven't said anything. In fact the property manager helped look after them when I was in the hospital.

There are some apartments that do allow them, no pet deposit needed. And some that don't allow them at all. And some like mine that turn a blind eye for their long term tenants.

Not everyone can tolerate living in a large city, especially downtown. The reason I like it is because 1. I don't like the darkness and isolation of rual living. 2. being close to conveniences such as shopping, plus I work near where I live.

My brother is used to the city, but more towards a suburb away from downtown. He had a fire in his house a couple weeks ago and his insurance company are paying for a luxury furnished apartment in a gorgeous high rise not far from me. He absolutely hates it. He said the apartment is gorgeous, but he hates being downtown.

I want to buy a car by spring next year, so I'm not sure I'll stick to downtown or not. Prices for rent in the area are horrendous. Almost $1,000 for a one bedroom and I'd love to be able to upgrade myself to a 2 bedroom so that I can move some of my "clutter" to a room and get it out of my living space. So I may end up moving out of the downtown area in order to find cheaper rent for a 2 bedroom apartment, or even a townhouse with a basement.
post #5 of 11
My Sister used to live in San Francisco and had trouble finding a place that took Dogs. She lives in Daly City now which is on the San Francisco border.
post #6 of 11
You might look into Portland, OR. It has one of the best public transportation systems in the U.S. I lived there for 7 years and it seemed like everything was very accessible. Granted, I had a car, so I don't know about pets on the P.T. Plus, it is a friendly and safe city. Downtown is bustling day and night.

There is a member on here that recently moved there. Maybe someone can point you in her direction....also, if you have any questions about PDX (Portland), please let me know.
post #7 of 11
Austin has a really good public transport system, too. they have a LARGE blind population, since the Texas School for the Blind is located there.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the great info!

I am still very much in the "far in the future" mode of planning this thing, so I appreciate feedback from any/all cities. I have never lived out-of-state and never in a very large urban city (I went to college near Birmingham AL but did not live in the city).

laureen- I am, in part, thinking about this because of my vision condition... Although it is possible (in some states) for me to drive (and I am working on getting my license in my current state right now), it would be nice to have the option of extensive public transit and close businesses within walking distance "just in case". In my present city, the public transit is less than stellar, with only the poorest and/or disabled residents using it and our city is very spread out, so practically impossible to get around without a car.

Also, I have a friend that lives in Austin.... From what I've heard, the city is very spread out and not as "walkable" as some others...what's your take on this? I'd love to move to a city where I already know someone, but from what I've heard, Austin isn't easy to get around in without a car.

Much of the southeast is that way, and I've been told of only 3 cities in GA that might suit my needs (and I've never been to any of them).

I'm sure that moving out of state, especially to cities in the midwest or north east would be a big "culture shock" for me...But so far, it seems that I will probably have to go to those locations to find what I need.

In any case, I'll definately plan trips to any locals that I narrow my search down to before committing.

I was not aware that you could take cats/small dogs on public transit (in carriers) that makes me feel quite a bit better about the situation. Unfortunately, I am a "big dog" person, so if I did get a dog, it would be a medium to large sized one...which could complicate matters.

I have a few more questions for you:

1. Do you find your selection of pet-related products better in a large city?

2. For those that have lived in and out of large cities, how do the prices (for pet goods and other goods) compare to smaller towns?

3. How are the public school systems in the large cities you've lived in? (I ask because I am a teacher, so this would be my means of employment)

4. Do you have good parks and/or public recreation activities in your city?

Thanks so much for your input and help!
post #9 of 11
I live in Los Angeles, which is the 2nd largest city in the U.S. I personally don't see what having cats or dogs has to do with public transportation. However, as far as renting apartments or houses go, it's not hard to find an apartment that allows cats. It's a little harder to find an apartment that allows dogs, but it's not impossible. You will usually have to pay a pet deposit, when you move in, and if you have more than one pet, you'll have to pay a deposit on each pet. Some apartments tack on an extra $25 to $50 a month to your monthly rent for pets. I live in an apartment that allows both cats and dogs, and all I had to pay was a 1 time deposit for each pet.

Los Angeles is not known for being a very good public transportation city, although there are buses everywhere, and they run about every 3 minutes during the rush hours. And we have the MTA Trains and subways that run a lot also, and a lot of the commuters use those to get back and forth from work. Most people in Los Angeles drive, however because of the high cost of gas, more and more people are turning to public transportation to get where they want to go. I don't live that far from my job, so I drive to work. I probably wouldn't save much money taking a bus. I would say that if a person doesn't live in The Valley they would have no trouble getting around on a bus. However, in The Valley and more suburban area's, the buses don't run as often, nor do they run on as many streets, so it might take a bit of a hike to get to the nearest bus stop if you're out in The Valley.

There are Vet's all over the place, so it isn't hard to find a Vet. There are groceries stores all over the place, sometimes on the same block, as well as restaurants all over the place.

There are more reasonable neighborhoods in LA, as well as extremely expensive neibhborhoods, however I will warn you that even the most reasonable apartment in this city is at LEAST a thousand dollars a month and more. However, usually the pay scale is more as well, unless you have a boss like mne, who thinks that the cost of living hasn't risen since the 1970's.
post #10 of 11
artgecko, If one of those cities in GA is Augusta, I would not recommend it. It looks nothing like the photos you see. While it has its charms, they are few and far between, and public transportation is the pits. You cannot take any animals on the buses except seeing eye dogs. The crime rate disproportionately large for a mid size city. A woman I know got stabbed by a student in a school there. A teacher threw a student out of a second story window, and racism is still rampant. Vet costs are outrageous.
post #11 of 11
well, i wouldn't call Austin 'walkable' ... but before my friend was married, she lived w/in walking distance to a grocery, drug store, fast food place [maybe more than one?] & movie rental place, so you can find places to live near those things.
depending on the severity of your impairment [my friend is legally blind, not totally blind] you can get free mobility & orientation training from the Texas School for the Blind - she did when she moved there.

besides public transportation, there's also a 'taxicab' like service that she sometimes used. they would come pick her up at a pre-appointed time to take her wherever. don't know if that cost money, or if it was free because she's considered disabled.

if you want, i can send you her email in a pm [after checking w/her] & she would be able to give you much more detailed info. pm me if you want me to do this.
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