18 Exotic Small Pets That You Can Own

Small Exotic Pets

As people look for new and different types of pets, the practice of keeping exotic animals continues to rise. These wild creatures are typically labeled as such due to their very specific care or behavior needs that make them much more difficult than owning usual types of pets. Although they are usually harder to attend to, this won’t stop enthusiasts from trying to raise them. We’ve put together a list of some less challenging exotic pets that most people go for.

1. Scorpions

ScorpionScorpions are not the kind of pets one might expect to find in a home. They may be scary and seem dangerous, but they’re actually quite easy as long as you can provide them with an appropriate habitat for their needs. Scorpions don’t need a very big tank and can live in small spaces. but the humidity and temperature levels in its habitat must be appropriate for it to be healthy.

One downside to owning a scorpion is that you’ll never be able to cuddle with it. You won’t even be able to touch it and even getting close enough can be dangerous. They sting and their venom can be deadly to humans. If the idea of an animal without fur, feathers, or scales doesn’t deter you, and if you are interested in having something unique as well as easy-to-care-for, then maybe consider getting yourself one.

2. Chinchillas

ChinchillaChinchillas are a very unusual type of rodent. They’re not as widespread and popular as other pocket pets, but they can be found in general stores if you know where to look. These furry little critters need an adequate cage size with no drafts or any cold areas for their warm home, a proper diet that includes chow pellets, and regular dust baths. Chinchillas aren’t necessarily affectionate animals since they tend to be pretty shy. They are nocturnal, meaning that they will want attention during the evenings mainly.

3. Hyacinth Macaws

Hyacinth MacawThe hyacinth macaw is an intelligent bird that can live up to 60 years in the right environment. These birds need a large enclosure and daily attention from their owners, but they also give back by being very affectionate with them as well. For the most part, these birds are legal to own all across the US. The Endangered Species Act only requires special permits for these beautiful creatures when it comes to transporting/trading them across state lines. They are very gorgeous parrots and owning them will bring a lot of satisfaction.

Known for their large size and affectionate personalities, hyacinth macaws are not the best choice for a bird pet if you’re inexperienced. They require time to bond with humans and space to fly around in order to stay happy – so be sure that you are ready for all of this before taking on such an enormous responsibility.

4. Ball Pythons

Ball PythonMost Americans think that keeping a snake as a pet is unusual, even though for some, it might not seem all that “exotic”. One reason for this could be the feeding schedule – ball pythons are fed with mice and rats, which can take some getting used to if you’re not accustomed to having these in your home. They make great beginner snakes because they have an easy temperament and require less space than other species of reptiles.

You might expect that a python would be an animal to avoid, but this is not the case with ball pythons. They are generally easy to handle and pretty docile, although they can get picky about their food from time to time. Their cage requirements also tend to make them difficult pets for some people because of how strict they need their environment to be in order to survive properly – such as having the right heating and basking area or proper humidity

But if you do take on one of these amazing creatures as your pet (and don’t mind meeting those needs), then owning a ball python will provide benefits like being inexpensive (unless you covet one of many morphs available which could cost thousands upon thousands of dollars).

5. Hermit Crabs

Hermit CrabHermit crabs are a classic choice for those looking to own an exotic pet. They live on dry land, which means their habitat can be recreated simply and they don’t require large tanks or constant care like other pets might. Hermit crabs may not interact with you as much because of being nocturnal animals but they’re easy enough that many people choose them over more high-maintenance pets. They are also pretty social so you can place more than one in the same tank. They hardly ever pinch.

6. Hedgehogs

HedgehogHedgehogs are known for being small, spiny animals that have a furry underside. They can roll up into balls when they feel threatened but with time and patience, these creatures will accept gentle handling from their owner. Most hedgehogs won’t reach more than eight inches in size. These pets are illegal in states like California, Hawaii, Georgia, Washington D.C, Pennsylvania, and New York City, so make sure you check your state laws to make sure you can own one where you live.

Hedgehogs are often a great choice for first-time pet owners because they’re generally easy and low maintenance. They don’t need much interaction or grooming, but be warned: these little guys might turn out to be more active at night when humans want to rest. Hedgehog enclosures should usually house just one hedgehog, as they don’t play nice with others inside the same cage. If you want to get two or more, you should get a cage for each of them. These pets also carry and can transmit ringworm or salmonella.

7. Tarantulas


Tarantulas are not for everyone, but they can be fascinating pets. They don’t require much other than feeding and cleaning their cages, making them a low-maintenance pet to take care of.

8. Millipedes

MillipedeMillipedes may not seem like the most popular exotic pet, but they’re actually a great choice for anyone looking for something easy to care for. The African giant millipede is usually among the most sold millipedes as pets and can grow up to 10 inches long. They also require minimal space in an aquarium. These small arthropods are really no different from other more common house pets: just be sure that you have their habitat set up correctly with appropriate substrates, lighting, and heating elements so that it stays at the right temperature, or else these creatures might get sick or die off altogether.

The millipede is a fascinating creature to have in your home. They are herbivorous and can eat fresh fruits, and vegetables, as well as a calcium supplement for healthy growth. While they may not be cuddly like other pets such as dogs or cats; the millipedes won’t bite you either – but it’s best to wear gloves since their bodies produce an irritating substance that could make your skin sensitive if touched without protection.

9. The Sugar Glider

Sugar GliderSugar gliders are adorable little marsupial tree-dwellers. They can take off from a higher point to glide to another location. They can do this with the help of the membranes of skin situated on both sides of their bodies. This particular type of pet is illegal in many states including Alaska, California, Hawaii Massachusetts, and New Mexico, so make sure to check your state regulations before deciding to adopt one.

Sugar gliders are small, furry creatures that thrive on companionship. They’re very affectionate and may even want to cuddle with you. In spite of their size, sugar gliders also have a few drawbacks: they can’t be house trained so expect some messes around the home; four scent glands allow these little guys to mark territory as well as giving off an unpleasant smell when frightened (so pet them only after settling in); if they feel threatened, they might bite. You should try to get two of them because they will enjoy the company of another sugar glider around them.

10. The Cockroach

CockroachThe cockroach is one of the most well-known pests in America, but surprisingly enough it’s also a great pet. If you’re looking for an exotic animal to keep as your pet, then this just might be what you are looking for. There are many different types of roaches, but the ones that make the best pets are Madagascar hissing cockroaches and death’s head roaches. They’re not something you want cuddling up with any time soon but they can be handled easily enough. You’ll usually need some sort of permit from your state’s department of agriculture to own these bugs as they are very invasive. Also, transporting them over state lines is regulated.

At first glance, cockroaches are unappealing creatures to have in your home. However, they’re actually quite social and can live up to five years with minimal upkeep. These bugs grow between one to three inches long making them perfect for a small terrarium or aquarium. One important aspect to remember is the locking lid on top of the aquarium because these pesky creatures like climbing out of their habitat. They feed primarily off veggies and fruits so you’ll want to include some leafy greens as well if possible. Other favorite food items are wood chips, cat kibble/fish pellets & flakes.

11. The Degu

DeguThe degu is a small, furry animal with the appearance of a cross between a Guinea pig and a hamster. They are very social animals who need to be kept in pairs for happiness; males will fight if housed together, which usually means that you should try to house them in pairs of two of separate genders. Degus can use many of the same accessories you would get for rats or ferrets, such as mazes, tunnels, or toys. Even the cage can be similar to the one you would get for a ferret. They are also very similar to chinchillas and require dust baths from time to time.

Degus are not nocturnal and can be active during the day, making them a more attractive option for those who want to interact with their pets on an evening or weekend. Degus may nip if they’re scared or unaccustomed to handling; however, this is something that should change when you handle your degu often enough as it gets used to people. In certain states such as Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, and Utah owning these cute little animals might prove difficult – so talk about whether regulations in place where you live could affect the possibility of owning such a pet.

12. The Axolotl

AxolotlThis Mexican salamander is an odd-looking, but popular pet. In fact, they are one of the most sought-after pets from Mexico because of their unique look. They can be found at any store that deals with fish and reptiles as they themselves thrive underwater.

Axolotls are the perfect pet for beginners because they’re low maintenance and don’t require much space. They can live in freshwater, but need a strong filter to keep it clean as axolotls enjoy being messy. Axolotl’s diet is also very easy; all you have to do is feed them frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, shrimp, or ground beef occasionally. Besides this, their tank needs water changes and cleaning regularly which won’t be difficult due to how small an axolotl’s habitat will be – just 10 gallons in size should be enough.

13. The Fennec Fox

Fennec FoxIf you’re looking for a cute and cuddly pet that’s exotic, check out the fennec fox. These furry little guys are about as big as Chihuahuas when fully grown. They used to be hard to get because they were pretty expensive, but as they start to become more popular, more and more people start to breed them for profit, making them easier to find and overall cheaper.

They are extremely social animals that need a lot of attention and do well if you have more than one, so they have company all the time. While they may be “dog-like,” it’s not advisable to take them off-leash at the park since their instincts lead them to chase things or run away. They can also learn how to use a litter box like cats. Even though most owners keep these creatures in large cages for safety reasons, some people let them roam free inside their homes. These pets still require time out of the cage as part of routine care.

14. Quaker Parakeets

Quaker ParakeetThe quaker parakeet, or monk parakeet, is a very rare, very invasive species that can be a great pet if you are able to get your hands on one. In many states, it’s illegal for people to keep these birds as pets and they require permits in others. However, this doesn’t mean the smaller bird with its distinctively bright orange feathers isn’t worth considering.

They get their name from an odd head-bobbing behavior as well as body shaking which is natural in the wild but not always present for domesticated birds; it does not mean they’re ill or unhappy though. Quaker’s social nature means you’ll find them chatting with other pets around your home and outside too. They are not only surrounded by legality issues in some states but also pretty rare and hard to find in pet shops.

Quaker parakeets are a species of bird that is intelligent, engaging with human company, and require another bird companion if they cannot be given constant attention. These birds learn to talk from an early age and are great for clicker training. If you spend a lot of time working on their behavior they can learn a bunch of cool tricks.

15. Leopard Geckos

Leopard GeckoGeckos are one of the most popular exotic lizards. Leopard geckos in particular have a striking spotted pattern and friendly disposition that make them an ideal pet for small spaces like apartments or dorm rooms. The habitat of a Gecko should be created in a tank that is 10-20 gallons in size at least, although they can live happily in bigger tanks as well. The habitat has to be heated to their liking. Leopard Geckos don’t require UVB lamps like most of the other reptiles.

Not only are these clever little lizards hardy and easily cared for, but they also seem to enjoy interacting with people more than other lizard species. They are very easily fed and you will usually find insects to feed them at any pet store. You should know that there is a chance that the leopard gecko may transmit salmonella bacteria through its skin-to-skin contact, so you should always clean properly after handling one.

16. Ferrets

FerretFerrets are the latest craze in small pets, and they’re much easier to find than other pets. However, there’s still a lot of controversy over whether or not ferrets should be allowed. Currently illegal in California as well as some cities and counties in states where they are legal, you’ll need to check your local laws if you want one for yourself. Ferret care doesn’t mean large amounts of work – they don’t need a lot of time outside of the cage, but the cage itself should be big enough to offer it enough space to roam and stretch. They can be fed pre-prepared food that can be found at pet stores. They are very intelligent animals who just love cuddles.

Ferrets are playful and interactive animals that can be quite a challenge for first-time owners. They require minimal grooming but may have a musky odor if they haven’t been bathed in some time, which is why many people like to bathe them more than needed. Ferrets also need to live with at least one other ferret so you’ll have to put aside double the money for buying the pets themselves and to keep them as well.

17. Halloween Moon Crabs

Halloween Moon CrabIf you’re bored with the hermit crab but love crustaceans, be sure to check out these Halloween moon crabs. These colorful little guys are related to your typical hermit and sometimes called a “Halloween Hermit Crab” because of their brightly painted bodies in purples, reds, oranges, and yellows – they look like they were drawn by numbers. They’ll cost around $10-$20 depending on where you buy them from, which makes them pretty inexpensive.

The Halloween moon crab is a fascinating creature that you’ll want to keep in your home. They’re social, but should be kept separated as they may fight if put together for too long; which means you will need at least two tanks set up with sand substrate and plenty of places to climb on and around. The crabs don’t require much water – just fresh or saltwater pools cleaned and changed daily. You can feed the crabs vegetables, fruit, cooked meat- even insects like crickets.

18. Bearded Dragons

Bearded DragonBearded dragons are friendly, docile creatures that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Unlike their larger counterparts, they don’t require a huge habitat to thrive in and can easily live alongside humans without disrupting the household too much. They’re also legal for ownership across most states with Hawaii being one of the few exceptions.

The bearded dragon is a unique lizard that requires some special care. You could end up with salmonella if you don’t practice good hand washing habits after handling them. One thing they do need is plenty of fresh vegetables and live insects to eat.

Getting One of the Easiest Exotic Pets

There’s a certain allure to owning an exotic pet. The idea of having something unusual piques the interest of many people, but you should do proper research before deciding to get one, because there are plenty of dangers that come with owning one of these types of animals as well. Despite their cuddly appearance, some animals are even more difficult to maintain than other common pets. All of their needs, including their habitat, grooming, and diets need to be taken into consideration before bringing them home. You should also check with your landlord or homeowner’s association because you may not legally be allowed to own one in certain areas.

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