You’re familiar with dog people, cat people and maybe even the occasional bird person. But do you know anyone who is an exotic animal person? They do exist, and most of their pets are legal to own in their respective states! Exotic pets are unusual not just in the way they look but also in their care and maintenance. Some popular choices of unusual pets include:
Maybe you want one for yourself, but you’re not sure which one is the best for you. Luckily for you, there are plenty of people out there who don’t fall in the category of dog or cat person, and for good reason. Some of their choices of pet are incredible, and almost too good to be true.
Here’s a list of the most unusual pets that are legal to own in some places around the world:
1. Capybara. The largest rodent in the world and a native to South America, the Capybara can measure 4 feet on average and weight more than 120 pounds. They’re not fully domesticated, but they’re easy-going and relaxed rodents. They require a lot of outdoor space to swim, because they’re semi-aquatic. They’re herbivores and they require a lot of fresh water for drinking.
2. Fennec Fox. This desert animal is smaller than a cat, and very smart too. They can be housetrained to use a litter box and they are not a threat to the general public. When they reach their full size, they can weigh as much as a Chihuahua.
3. Serval. These felines don’t just look like leopards, they also need just as much care as one. They need a lot of areas to explore, swim, hunt and run in, and a special and pricey diet to keep them healthy and happy. They’re obedient and affectionate, and they love to hunt at night.
4. Skunk. The skunk has a bad reputation for being smelly, but people who own them as pets simply remove their scent glands when their 4 weeks old. They’re described as sensitive, intelligent and extremely curious by people who have owned these striped little friends. They need to be litter trained and they eat fresh veggies and dry food.
5. Spotted Genet. They might look like a feline, but they’re actually more closely related to the mongoose. They’re nocturnal, shy and they love dense forests and marshlands. It’s possible to train them to be friendly around dogs, cats and hamsters, but they’re still wild animals and are known to attack every now and then. They can live up to 20 years in captivity.
6. The stick insect. This wonderful little insect is more than your local elementary school pet. It’s unique in appearance, easy to take care of and harmless. They measure about 4 inches in length and they can live for several years if you take care of them properly. They need roomy enclosures kept at room temperature, and when they molt they need room to climb out of their old skin.
8. Pygmy Goat. Goats make wonderful pets with a lot of personality. The pygmy goat has a particularly small size and friendly personality, making them as good as a dog. They require roomy shelters, and they thrive in a herd atmosphere with other pygmy goats. They eat grass hay, brush and leaves.
9. Wallaby. A marsupial like the kangaroo, this little guy can grow to 42 inches and weigh 53 pounds. They’re fast jumpers and they need a lot of space to move and hop around freely. They’re usually shy and need a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. They’re impossible to keep within a fence because their jumps are so high, and they’re very social so they need a fellow wallaby to keep them company.
10. Hermit crab. The hermit crab looks like a mix between a snail and a lobster, but they can make for great pet friends when taken care of properly.
12. Scorpion. There are over 1500 species of scorpions around the world, and while most people consider themselves lucky to be far from them, some people seek them out and keep them as pets. Not all scorpions are venomous and harmful to humans, and people who own them report that they’re inexpensive and easy to take care of.
13. Degus. These rodents native to Chile are sociable, they like to play and they can easily bond with other people. They don’t like to be handled too much, and they need a lot of room and play time, otherwise they become anxious chewers that can destroy your furniture. They can eat chinchilla food pellets, hay, vegetables and nuts.
14. Kinkajou. Also called the honey bear, this soft, velvety animal can be very sweet and good-natured when handled by the right person. They bond well with their owners, and they can also socialize with other humans easily. They’re quiet, clean and nocturnal, so they require an owner who’s willing to stay up late at night with them.
16. Pot-bellied pig. This pig is a lot smaller than the usual 2,000 pound type that you find at a farm. They don’t smell, and they’re very smart, making them easy to train. Their sense of smell is so good that police departments have used them for sniffing out drugs in the past. They need exercise and a balanced diet, and they can be trained to go for walks just like a dog.