Octopuses are venomous soft-bodied mollusks of the Octopoda order and Cephalopoda class. They are well known to be dangerous, unpredictable creatures with predatory instincts.
However, there are also unverified rumors that octopuses could be friendly if treated properly. How true are these claims? Are there any real studies or records of octopuses being tamed and domesticated? Find out in this guide.
Are Octopuses Dangerous to Humans?
Octopuses are not dangerous because they do not attack humans. They only attack humans if they feel threatened or are defending their territory. An octopus avoids contact with humans by staying away from the water.
Are Octopuses Friendly to Humans?
Octopuses that live in the wild are not friendly to humans. They do not like us and will avoid us altogether. They will keep their distance if left alone. However, they will immediately defend themselves and attack us if they perceive us as a threat.
On the other hand, octopuses in captivity learn to associate humans with kindness and get to like us. They can even recognize faces and will agree to a petting session with familiar individuals. These eight-legged animals are intelligent enough to become friendly with humans over time.
Can You Keep an Octopus as a Pet?
You can keep octopuses as pets, but they require intensive care. They are extremely intelligent animals, and your idea of a perfect home for these animals may still not be satisfying to them.
Octopuses love space and like to solve puzzles and tricks. So the typical colorful aquarium filled with nice stones, beads and flowerpots may fail to keep them from being distressed. Stressed octopuses are likely to commit self-mutilation.
Raising an octopus is not the best choice for beginners with no real idea of these animals’ needs. It can be increasingly frustrating and harmful for the pet.
However, if you insist on keeping one, the perfect recommendation is the Octopus Bimaculoides, also known as Bimac. They are sociable, calm and likely to do well in a medium-sized aquarium.
Do Octopuses Get Attached To Humans?
Octopuses are intelligent enough to recognize and bond with their owners over time. They can recognize familiar faces they often see, including an owner’s family.
Well-raised octopuses will express excitement whenever they see their owners and enjoy being petted by them. They also rub their tentacles around their owners’ arms in a show of affection.
Octopuses squirt water on people and animals they do not like. So once your pet stops that behavior, you can take it as a good sign and the beginning of your bonding process.
Do Octopuses Have Feelings and Emotions?
Octopuses have feelings and can express fear, excitement, curiosity, anger, and affection. They enjoy close proximity with other octopuses, even though they live alone most of the time.
In the same vein, they use their tentacles to rub people they like and will squirt water on those they do not like. However, it is not yet confirmed if octopuses can express more complex emotions like sadness and love.
Are Octopuses Friendly with One Another?
Octopuses are friendly towards each other even though they are solitary animals. There have been records of octopuses living in groups as families, which confirm their tolerance towards themselves.
How Do Octopuses Communicate?
Octopuses typically communicate with their skin color changes. They change colors according to their mood, thanks to their complex skins comprising structural light reflectors and chromatophore organs. They also use their limbs to communicate when showing anger or affection.
Octopus and human interactions are great most of the time. If they like you, they will rub their tentacles around you in a passionate embrace. If they don’t, they will squirt water to register their displeasure.
When stressed, octopuses will refuse to eat and may self-cannibalize themselves. It is important to know how these beautiful creatures communicate to care for them better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Octopuses Good Pets?
Octopuses are good pets, but you must raise the right species and commit to bonding with them for the ideal relationship. Once bonded, octopuses physically express their warmth for owners and others they recognize by rubbing them with their tentacles.
Is It Legal to Keep Octopuses as Pets?
There are no legal restrictions on keeping pet octopuses in US states, and the same is true for most countries. However, a pet octopus requires a large aquarium, and most apartments will restrict bringing home those kinds of tanks.