Fennec Fox

Fennec Fox

Most little kids dream of having a pet monkey, dolphin or tiger to call their own. Though having one such exotic pet might seem far-fetched or even laughable, there are many animals that are legally allowed to be owned as pets.

The term “exotic pet” loosely defined refers to an animal that may not be indigenous to the area in which he is residing. Though this requirement would encompass anything from an alligator, to a leopard, or a tamarind monkey, there are numerous animals that may live in our native country, but may not be considered common house pets. Not every state in America allows the below pets to be owned privately, and some states have clauses about owning animals within certain time frames. (For example, residents of Florida are not allowed to possess certain wild animals unless they owned them before 1980, and are not allowed to possess certain reptiles unless they had them in possession before 2010.) Before you get your hopes up about a particular species, be sure to research about what kinds of exotic pets are allowed in your home state. Peruse that list below to see which unique creatures you could own, in place of a cat or dog.

  • Wild Cats: Lions, tigers, leopards, bob cats, ocelots, and servals, etc.
  • Wild Dogs: Wolves, coyotes, Artic fox pups, dingoes, Fennec foxes, etc.
  • Reptiles: Boa constrictors, turtles, rare tortoises, lizards, chameleons, iguanas, etc.
    *NOTE: Individuals in Florida, California, and Pennsylvania (and even as far as Russia) have been found attempting to raise alligators in their homes.
  • Arachnids: Spiders, tarantellas, and scorpion species.
  • Monkeys: Chimpanzee, tamarind marmosets, (even lemurs and sugar gliders).
  • Unique Birds: Emus, ostriches, peacocks, owls, eagles, hawks, and parrots.
  • Rodents, Mustelidae, and Insectivores: Ferrets, hedgehogs, hares, chinchillas, exotic mice species, and capybaras (the largest rodent in existence). etc.
  • Exotic Farm Animals: Miniature pigs, pot-bellied pigs, pygmy goats, antelope, alpaca, buffalo, camels, elk, reindeer, etc.
  • Other Bizarre Exotic Pets Include: zebras, honey bears, chacoan mara, and coatimundi (from the raccoon family), etc.

People that live in rural areas far removed from cities and dense population can have a tendency to adopt local wild animals and train them to be house pets. Some of the most popular options in this category that can be found in America are:

  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Skunks
  • Opossums
  • Armadillos
  • Porcupines
  • Chipmunks
  • Deer
  • Wallabies and Wombats (in Australia)