13

Quoting from the Hogwarts letter Harry receives in the first HP book:

students may bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad.

The word "may" suggests that students can also choose not to bring a pet/familiar at all, or to bring one that's not an owl, cat, or toad. Hermione and Scabbers, in the first two books, show that both of these conclusions are indeed the case.

What about the word "OR"? Grammatically this suggests that students may not bring more than one familiar (or if you want to be pedantic, not more than one of the three specified: it doesn't say anything about bringing both an owl and a rat). Is there such a rule at Hogwarts?

  • Does Hogwarts allow students to bring more than one pet?

If there's no canon answer to that question, then

  • Do we know of any instances of a student bringing more than one pet?
  • 1
    This does raise the question of why Ron is allowed to take a rat. – Dr R Dizzle Sep 16 '15 at 10:21
  • 2
    @DrRDizzle That's already been raised. – Rand al'Thor Sep 16 '15 at 10:22
  • 3
    The fact that OR is capitalized strongly suggests that the intention is to prohibit having more than one pet. – Harry Johnston Sep 17 '15 at 1:46
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Unknown, but I would guess not.

I can't remember any ruling on this in canon, nor can I recall anybody who had more than one pet at the same time. I also had a look through lists of pets on fan websites; I couldn't find anybody with more than one pet.

This would suggest that you're probably limited to one pet at a time (if not by rules, by practicality).


As part of Pottermore, you can visit Eeylops Owl Emporium & Magical Menagerie. If you've bough a pet and try to buy a second, you get a warning:

Sorry, you can't buy another pet. Only one toad, cat or owl allowed per person.

Given the wording matches the Hogwarts letter, and Pottermore is considered canon, this could be seen as tacit confirmation that multiple pets aren't allowed.

  • The mighty gold-badge-wielding Chan strikes again! :-) +1; I'll accept this unless anyone comes up with something better. – Rand al'Thor Sep 16 '15 at 10:15

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