Pets Banned in Saudi Arabia Because Used as Lure to Attract Women

When I saw this news article I could not help but write a spontaneous post on the topic matter. Basically the yahoo newslink advises that the Kingdom has placed a ban on selling cats or dogs as pets in pet shops because some men are using these pets to attract women. I believe there are much more serious issues that need to be focused and acted upon instead of the impact pets may have on bringing the opposite sex together.

39 Responses

  1. Wha what?!

    I actually use similar tactics to attract women, but women don’t seem to take the bait.

  2. I’m just stunned that this can be contrived into a religious and morality issue!

  3. Grabbing at straws aren’t they?

  4. When I take my cat out on a leash, I am usually guaranteed an audience.

    The sad part is everyone wants to hang out with the kitty. I am completely ignored when Her Royal Fuzziness preens and soaks up the attention.

    I agree with fictitiousness, my kitty is no good at getting me dates.

  5. Olive,

    I’m happy to hear that I am not alone in having a cat who will walk on a leash. You should see the looks I’d get (back in the States) when I’d be out walking my 3 legged cat on a leash! We made quite a spectacle. Of course that just isn’t done here…

  6. Sorry, the link above for this article says no page is found at that site.


  7. I think you misunderstand this Bedu, All my pets are ideal for attracting and starting up conversations with cute guys! You should see what happened when I took my rabbit Cosmic Ears out on a leash, or sitting on my lap! Not even in the train the conductor could pass me by without a chat!!!

    And now I have Zora, remember Zora is a killer/attack dog! Imagine having something with a higher caressability-coefficient!!!
    One of my male friends, has the cutest, cuddliest, Islandic dog: he says he can’t walk to the end of the street without getting attention of at least three women 🙂

    Actually, I have looked after that dog a few times, and had my own share of attention. While it is true most people fall flat on their faces for the dog, they do want to talk to you about the dog 😀 …

    No, I must give it to the mysogynist bigots, they are really on to something here…..

    Fictitiousness, Are you sure you’re using the right kind of pet? Make sure you stick to small, fluffy, tsjirpy animals! Think Tribbles!

    While a lizard, rat, Python, or gigantic tarantula may look interesting, they don’t really pack the kind of magnetism you are aiming for.

  8. People living outside the Kingdom have discovered almost by accident that walking an attractive pet can draw an audience, from which may emerge a person of interest.

    People living in the Kingdom have to be deliberately creative. Meeting people (read “dates”) is such a dangerous activity that all efforts in this regard must be covered with the fluff of approved activity.

    But since when do people in the Kingdom walk, except from one end of the mall to the other? And since when do Saudis keep dogs and cats as pets?

  9. Reminds me when I arrived in Bahrain over 20 years ago…first thing I did was get me a puppy to keep me company(very lonely)…and how…this was before dogs were a common sight in Bahrain. So there I am walking with this puppy in my arms smack dab in the middle of Muharraq…which if anyone doesnt (didnt) know was very old fashioned and very traditional back then(Hidd is much more than Muharraq ever could be though…had a dog here too)…anyhow…I would litterally stop traffic…I kid you not…STOP TRAFFIC!!! with this small pooch. Then again…I was never sure if all the fan fare was directed solely at my pooch…I managed to cause quite a stir with or without him. As he grew and I kept him on a leash…people would literally dive out of my way when they realized I had something furry with four legs at the end of the leash…King loved it and eventually grew into a massive beautiful dog that carried himself as regally as his name implied. I miss him.

    I suppose times have changed…back then people acted as if I had a wild lion on a leash…if they are seeing your dog as an excuse to chat you up…then count yourself lucky. All my dogs usually just got rocks thrown at them(myself included) or were threatened with death. Is there help for Saudis yet if they have come to view dogs as pets rather than with scorn and shouts of HARAM!!! yay dogs

  10. sorry if the link is not working but just google Saudi Arabia and pets or cats or dogs in Google news and you’ll see so many hits. Most newsfeeds have picked up this ridiculous story.

  11. […] 31 07 2008 This post is inspired by a shocking news flash on American Bedu’s blog! It seems that the misogynist anti-fun nutters in KSA have finally hit the […]

  12. The link Carol provided works if you copy and paste the URL into the browser address field.

    This article reminds me of why I feel like I am about to enter the Twilight Zone every time I am standing at the immigration line at Jeddah Airport.

  13. Here’s also another link with the story from Associated Press:

  14. I’m not a dog owner, I am a hardcore kitty addict. I’m the owner of 3 persians, one of whom lost a leg. Bedu, I can relate to the running 3 legged kitty.

    Surely they jest? I found it quite ironic that the pet store owners weren’t informed but AP was.

    I remember when I first came here watching very mean spirited boys throwing rocks at animals. I was shocked. We finally have pet stores, and I actually found cat ”hoodies” for sale at the vet last month.

    Kuwaiti boys began this trend a few years ago, it became so comical. They walked pet monkeys, cats and dogs. It hardly constitutes criminal activity.

    I can picture it now, imprisoned pets with official visiting hours, and steep bails set to discourage future immorality.

  15. Total segregation!!!!!

    Houses have to be adapted, so that the pets do not mingle with the owners!
    There will be special curfews for times men can walk their pets, and when women can walk their pets! The women get the most uncomfortable and inconvenient time-slots of course!
    Female cats and dogs will be required to be covered in black covers! Particularly pretty and longhaired cats will have to have their heads and faces covered!
    Male cats and dogs are only allowed for men!
    Women can only keep female cats and dogs, but as having a pet constitutes as fun and ”having a good time” It will be only a matter of time before women are banned from owning pets alltogether!

  16. Aafke,

    You are right. Next time your dog tries to hump your leg the little fornicator needs to be put to death!

  17. I beg your pardon? Maîtrise de soi, s’il vous plaît!
    Zora is a very decent and modest lady-dog!
    And she weighs 80 pounds! I don’t call that little!

  18. Ok AbuSInan, you are going overboard now. A dog cannot be married, so the penalty will be just a little Flogging for the Naughty Puppy. 🙂

  19. and male dogs or cats will have to sport a lengthy beard…

  20. Bedu: Snort!!!!!

    Saudi in US: As you are an expert, I’m sitting behind my desk, alone in my office, but: with my male cat on my lap, is this a punishable Khulwa situation?

    Or, as he is my official house-cat, (I even have papers proving that) is it quite halal, but I’m in serious trouble when visiting a friend and sitting on the couch and patting her cat?
    Who actually is the son of Ishtar, my female cat, s basically family, would that be allright? or haram?

  21. I doubt women will be allowed cats…they are notorious for being independant and superior…a definite bad influence on the weak minds and easily lead Muslim women everywhere. Dogs will be the preferred choice…no matter what you do to them…they roll over and submit to it…hmmmm

  22. Yes, if he is neutered then you are fine you just apply the rules for eunuchs

    On the other case you sound like a Grandma by adoption. So you should be fine.

    That reminds me, how do you get away with calling me old when you are already a grandma!!!

  23. hè, hè, hè!!!
    Yeah, I’m getting on myself… 😦
    Yes, basically we’re one big family.
    And I suppose riding out with man-friends is far worse khulwa anyway….

    Talking about riding… what about the Tarq? And Rabhar? one can’t get more male than those blokes… and I had two at the same time….
    but I loved them equally…
    And I’m still single because I expect the same sort of quality in a man.
    (dream on…)

    So coolred, I think they’ve made a mistake, women and horses are the most dangerous combination!

  24. […] American Bedu, an American woman and former diplomat now married to a Saudi, says: I believe there are much more serious issues that need to be focused and acted upon instead of the impact pets may have on bringing the opposite sex together. […]

  25. Banning cats and dogs from being sold is not going to put a dent on guys trying to get the female attention here or vice versa. While it might help to strike up a conversation with people, most will not fall for this ‘pick up’ trick if that’s what it is.

    Come on, give the human species more credit than that.

  26. And as quoted within the global voices link, think about how a man with a baby can attract women who enjoy smiling and chatting to the baby… what would the muttawa do in this case….ban the babies?!

  27. I understood from reports that all you need to do to get chatted up is to be a woman in a black abaya?

    Yep, the baby/holding/trick is a recognised top choice for attracting and favorably impressing women!

    On the other hand, I did quite well this evening getting the attention of a handsome bloke by the clever use of my German Shepard! :mrgreen:

  28. Congratulations Aafke! I was so happy to see that Global Voices quoted much of your own post (with link) on views of banning sales of dog and cats.

    Now I’ve got a question, are we (and the traditional media) making too much of this edict? Is it being taken out of proportion because of the global attention received?

  29. Yeah, I noticed! How cool is that????
    Mega-COOL!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    No, we are not making too much of this edict. It’s totally ridiculous, It’s evil to deny people pets. It’s increadibly stupid. It’s insane to deny people how to live their lives.
    And it’s dangerous to wonder if something like this looks a bit unimportant and therefore let it be.

    I agree that owning or not owning a pet stands a lot lower on the ”Scale of Importance” than being on deathrow for alleged ”witchcraft” , or getting 200 lashes as extra punishment for claiming your rights.
    However, this messing with the most basic, simple details of how people live their lives, is symptomatic for real, really bad evil to come. I truly believe that. I have been making a lot of fun about it because that is how I deal with my fears and problems, and in this case concern for others, but I truly consider edicts like these very, very, very scary.

  30. Speaking of horses, do women there ride at all? I can’t imagine trying to ride while covered in a veil – the last horse I had spooked at her own shadow so trying to ride while ‘covered up’ would have been a disaster at best.

  31. It’s not going away. Today’s english language papers here are now stating that the Muttawa decrees any dogs must be muzzled.

    Peggy — yes; women do ride here. They ride on private farms, estates as well as a few riding schools. And no, they do not cover per se when riding. Most women I know (Saudi and non-Saudi) ride as any woman in the west, uncovered, hair flowing or maybe tucked up in a hat. However there are a few women who do choose to ride wearing a hijjab but not niqab (hijjab being the hair is covered whereas a niqab only the eyes are visible).

  32. Obviously, this won’t be a popular opinion, but… the Arab News likes to make things look ridiculous, so I’d like to see what the official statement actually said.

    But I’m sure some of you must know that in Islam, it is not allowed to have dogs unless there’s a reason – like a guard dog or one on a farm. The different schools of law may be slightly different, but for most Muslims, having a dog touch you (especially its saliva or wet fur) is a problem – you have to thoroughly wash those clothes or dishes or whatever it touches. And there are hadiths which prohibit buying and selling cats and/or dogs. (Although having a pet cat is no problem, as long as it’s not mistreated.)

    Until recently, it was rare to see people walking around with pet dogs in this region. The fact is that most Muslims don’t want that a dog touching them, and it’s a major annoyance. (In fact, before I was ever a Muslim, I hated that, simply because I’ve never been fond of dogs.)

    Of course, Islam doesn’t allow abusing animals in any way; there are hadiths about people getting Paradise for helping animals, and others being condemned to Hell for mistreating them.

  33. Interestingly when I was doing a special for Saudi TV about Pets in the Kingdom and interviewing a well-known vet, I learned that dogs are now more popular as a pet in the Kingdom than cats and we are not talking about use as a guard dog either!

  34. I need my dog. For protection, mental support, and company. And, thanks to God, there are animals created that share out nothing but love, loyalty and affection.
    I hope I will be always aware and fully appreciative of all that is beautiful and good, and which is offered to us in this world.

  35. I think I was getting a bit too sentimental here… They also share out puke, hairs, hairs, and hairs. And like to sit on my clean laundry, sit on my laptop, and throw over the dustbin, etc. etc. etc…

  36. Ann

    Actually dogs were a part of the Arab life before Islam and hadith came along. Through my extensive reading on the subject it would appear that in all likely hood an outbreak of rabies occured that caused people to fear dogs. Better to be safe then sorry and harm society by having dogs in an age when vaccines were unavailable…so forbid the owning of dogs…except for certain circumstances. There is no mention of owning dogs being forbidden in the Quran…while pigs are mentioned as being forbidden to eat…so it would appear that it would be plausible that the forbidden ayat would be there…if it was actually forbidden by God…and not just something Arabs accepted over time.

    Now days we have soap and water…anti bacterial soaps…vaccines etc that protect society from potential harm from dogs and cats…so the original reason to forbid ownership..really doesnt apply any more…and like slavery…can die out and be forgotten.

  37. There’s also a hadith that tells how a dog peed in the courtyard of the mosque, and mohammed said just to pour some water over it.
    Sounds pretty relaxed to me.
    The hadith about cleaning your bowls after your dog has eaten from it ranges from 3 times, to 7 times and once with dirt.
    What I find interesting is, not only that it is apparently normal to have a dog, but even that it’s apparently normal to have your dog eating from your bowls.

  38. Aafke, same with cats…they offer love, affection, moral support, protection (in their own way) as well as hairballs, hair, shredded papers….. (smile)

  39. I thought that hadith was about a bedouin peeing in the mosque – and the mosque was just an open place with no flloor but the sand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: