Catholic teaching on animals?


so i’ve read the catechism says that we shouldn’t spend money on animals as a priority or give them affection due only to humans. i’m a little confused as to how this plays out in real life.

what about people who start animals shelters? usually that costs a lot of money to do, is that what it’s referring to?

sorry if it’s a dumb question


Hi Angel,

We are expected to spend money on animals if only to feed them. It is a question of priorities. If we find ourselves spending hundreds of dollars on animals and giving little to worthy charitable causes for humans, we should re-align our priorities.





considering i have a lab that has had titanium placed in his knee for TTA…i know i should worry more about humans but animals love no matter what…and i dont like to see an animal suffering.


Only to feed them, no shots, no Vet visits? How inhumane that would be! So many rules seems to come back to the bloody dollar. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil.

My pets are a gift from God which wards off loneliness and depression.


My pets are my family, if I could not afford them I would not have them. I can thankfully pay for the needs of my pets and still donate to our church charity, and do much sponsered activities.
I think the church might mean something along the lines of spending heaps of cash on pets and not giving anything to human needs. If you can afford both thats great. Many shelters are full due to mans faults, animals deserve our love and care just as much.



Yeah, I went pretty broke trying to keep my cat alive and well. I don’t regret it. She meant more to me than anything.


I think this is simply to make us aware of our priorities. We should not ignore our responsibilities to others in our lives, or helping other people in need. If caring for our animals causes us to neglect our family in friends there is a problem.

However, as a pet owner my whole life, I know that we can love our pets deeply and they deserve the best we can give them in terms of shelter, food and care. If we can’t afford to do this we should not own a pet and wait until we can. If our inability to provide for our animals is sudden, say due to a lost job or illness, we are obligated to find someone who can care for them and enjoy them.

I do think it is a mistake to believe that animals are not intelligent or worthy of our care.


This is CCC 2415-18. I found it in a few minutes’ Internet search. It’s a good idea to look up what the Catechism says before saying "I heard that it says. . . . " The Catechism is not hard to look up.

Clearly it’s not talking about shelters and things like that. The first sentence of CCC2418 says “it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.” Obviously establishing shelters so that they won’t suffer or die needlessly is encouraged, not discouraged. It’s a question of proportion. Some people treat their pets as extensions of their own egos and spend loads of money on them while not caring about human suffering. That’s presumably what the CCC is talking about. Similarly with the “affection due to persons.” It says explicitly that we are to love animals.

Again, looking up the whole passage is a good idea!



Perhaps you should look up what the Catechism actually says before reacting. And the previous poster didn’t say to do nothing but feed them–he was using that as a basic example that obviously we need to spend money on animals.

This is getting completely out of proportion to what the CCC actually says. I wish it hadn’t been worded in such a way as to imply that “excessive” love of animals was somehow an equal evil to treating them cruelly, but our society does sometimes go overboard about pets in a self-indulgent, frivolous way, and I can see why the CCC would warn against this.





:thumbsup: Good for you!


She was my baby…I had her 16 years. she died a few months ago. I am still not over it . :frowning:


I feel your grief. My cat Cameo died yesterday. There was nothing that I would not have done for her. It hurts so deeply.


Oh goodness! I am so sorry…losing a furbaby is so hard. Sometimes what helped me was an online memorial I opened for my cat…go to It costs 25 dollars a year, but the online memorials are pretty nice. You can post pictures of the kitty…write stories about her…you can choose one of the songs they have to play with your memorial. Sometimes it does help with the grief.

I am so sorry for your loss…


Are you saying that someone should spend USD 25 a year for an online memorial for a dead animal when that money annually could vaccinate or feed children?


$25.00 a year for mental and emotional health is quite a bargain !

For years I donated time and money to help the poor. Responding to every bleeding heart request. Lo and behold, my financial world came crashing down big time and not one of these same organizations would help me out with even a loaf of bread to help with the hunger I suffered. My animals love me even when I am in need, unlike the people who turned a blind eye!


People are more important than animals. USD 25 per year would be put to far better use to stop a child dying from hunger or disease.
If you had problems then why didn’t you talk to your priest?


SOME people are important! Of course I talked to my priest and heard about how many needy people there are and how short the parish was. I don’t beg, my friend, I accepted my suffering and trusted in The Lord. I could relate here my sob story but I do my talking on my knees. By the grace of God I am in a much better position now and yes, my animals are a gift from God, and my first priority.


So you feel USD 25 is better spent on an online memorial for a dead animal than trying to save the life of a child??

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