Sometimes people wonder where pets fit in in the minimalist lifestyle.
My answer: Just like they do in a non-minimalist's life.
Minimalism isn't getting rid of stuff just to get rid of stuff (although, if you're seeking out the ML, chances are good you DO need to get rid of the excess). It's about clearing the space to make room for the things that are most important to you. My four cats are extremely important to me, and part of my motivation for chucking a lot of my possessions was to make more room in my 550 sq ft apartment for them to run around, play, and generally enjoy our home. They are my priority, which is why I was utterly baffled by what I found on one blog.
One minimalist featured on another blog actually gave away her two cats because they weren't "convenient for the lifestyle" that she wanted.
Granted, she found them good homes, rather than dumping them in the street, but the bottom line is that she treated her cats like inanimate objects, dumping them off on someone else when she no longer wanted them.
And boy, oh boy, was there ever some backlash to that post. The vast majority of posters were outraged at this person. A few defended her choice, saying "Well, she found them a good home!"
Personally, I was aghast that she could ever give up her pets. Pets are not for convenience. Pets are a long-term commitment, and if you aren't prepared to care for them their whole lives, you shouldn't have any in the first place.