The concept of an “exotic pet” is poorly developed. Originally, it referred to species that were considered wild animals and were not usually kept as domestic pets. However, there is now a legal basis for what is considered an exotic pet.
Although it is often subject to local jurisdiction, these animals are described as exotic pets those from a foreign country or of foreign origin or character, which are not native to the country where you live or were introduced from abroad, except wild animals. When these pets need medical care, you will need to seek care from a veterinarian that has medical knowledge about exotic animals.
There is no such thing as the perfect exotic species for everyone. Even dogs and cats, the most popular and frequently kept domestic animals, can need more complicated care than most people.
For example, because most cats are essentially self-domesticated, they have a lot in common with the so-called wild animals. They may suffer from behavioral, psychological, and physical problems when they do not receive adequate enrichment in the home. They need what almost all animals need, whether they live in a zoo or an apartment.
Frogs that can be considered exotic pets include African clawed frogs, African dwarf frogs, fire-bellied toads (also called Bombina), and leopard frogs.
Amphibians have thin, fragile skin that can dry quickly and easily deteriorate if they are handled too hard. They also absorb toxins and germs through the skin, so they need to be handled as little as possible, and when you do, they should only be touched with wet gloves and not with bare hands.
In general, amphibians such as frogs, salamanders, and tritons are usually harder to care for than most reptiles, so most amphibians are not ideal for families with children. However, Pacman frogs can make great pets when properly maintained.
Finches and parrots are common when it comes to pet birds, but a number of people take care of exotic birds as pets. Here we can include parrots like African Grays, an incredibly smart mid-sized parrot, or the Amazon parrot.
Other exotic birds include the “White-winged parakeet”, Cockatoos, brightly colored Loriinis, and toucans. Before buying an exotic bird, make sure you have a cage large enough to accommodate it.
Madagascar beetles, praying mantises, and phasmids are more interesting than ants, especially the latter two, one for its position of prayer and the other for its ability to camouflage in its surroundings.
Some people prefer to keep scorpions, which are docile but can sting. Although the venom of some scorpions can be deadly, the most common pet scorpion is an imperial scorpion, which has the venom power of a bee sting.
As for arachnids, tarantulas are an option. Keeping a tarantula is a big responsibility, as they have a lifespan of 3 to 10 years. But they are also easy to care for, need little attention, and eat just once or twice a week.
The reptile category includes some of the oldest species on Earth. In general, reptiles require less daily care and exercise than other pets. However, they require special skills to care for them properly and may suffer serious health consequences due to improper diets, handling, or habitats. Regardless of species, all reptiles, and amphibians, too. can carry Salmonella bacteria, so these pets are not intended for very young children who could manipulate them and then put their hands in their mouths. Potentially exotic reptiles include the Anolis, the Bearded Dragon, the Burmese python, the turtle, and the Chinese water Dragon.
There are a lot of pets that are considered rodents, like chinchillas, mice, gerbils, prairie dogs, and rats. Some things to consider when thinking about buying a rodent as a pet are whether they are nocturnal creatures that sleep during the day or if they keep a schedule more like you and are awake when the sun is up. Other rodents that are popular as pets include degu squirrels, Syrian hamsters, Chinese hamsters, and Capybaras.
No matter what type of animal you decide to keep as an exotic pet, do your research before purchasing one so you can properly care for it. The following pets do not fall into a particular category, but sometimes they are also kept as pets:
Asian palm civets are viverrid that are about the size of a house cat. They are famous for the strange use of their stools in the expensive coffee called Kopi Luwak. They are often incorrectly described as a cat. In a Dutch study of some exotic pets, they were declared to be one of the best pets along with Sitka deer, wallabies, and lamas.
These animals are slightly larger than domestic cats, but they look very much like them. They are often hybridized with ordinary cats, and the resulting animals are simply called “jungle cats”. Like many other exotic cats and hybrids of exotic cats, they are known to be “like dogs” when it comes to their behavior.
Degus are not rare in the pet trade by any means, but most people have never heard of them. They look like gerbils, but they’re more like chinchillas. They are inexpensive and can be cared for with typical lower requirements for pets. Unlike many small pet rodents, they are diurnal, which is a plus.
All pets require essentially the same care. Domestic animals are not free of instincts, nor do they require the same attention and enrichment as many so-called wild animals in captivity.
Some of the animals on this list are hard to care for even with the highest standards, but especially these days on the internet, any dedicated person can learn how to manage an exotic animal.
Most people have never heard of every animal on this list before, so if you want an exotic pet, you need to know more about these animals. Not all are normally kept as pets, many are very rare on private property. I have listed species that I have seen for sale or owned by private owners in the United States and the UK.