Facts About Exotic Pets

Some people are a bit adventurous when it comes to owning pets. In addition to owning the usual dogs and cats, they also own exotic pets such as a sugar glider or even a strange-looking cockroach.

Fennec fox

Fennec foxes have the dog’s energy and playfulness but have the cat’s size and independent personality. In the wild, they use their large ears for listening for their prey’s movements, such as a rodent burrowing into the ground. They look adorable but they are challenging and time-consuming in taking care of them as a pet, so don’t expect them to be tamed like your domesticated dogs and cats.


Hedgehogs are also popular exotic pets. These spiny little cuties are relatively easy to care for and are also hypoallergenic so good news to those with sensitivities who wish to own an exotic pet. They are quiet but curious and usually active during the evening.

hyacinth macaw

The hyacinth macaw is a prized exotic pet due to its brilliant color and size — it is the world’s largest macaw/parrot! Unfortunately, their numbers are decimating due to hunting and destruction of their natural habitat.


Kinkajous have an adorable appearance and even an adorable disposition — they are docile and get along well with their human owners. A member of the raccoon family, kinkajous are native to the rainforests of South and Central America. In some areas there domesticated kinkajous are often called micole.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Those who have a passion for collecting exotic insects as pets would also like to own the Madagascar hissing cockroach. As the name implies, this cockroach is native to Madagascar and has become popular due to its appearance and its “hissing” sound, which is produced by exhaling through breathing holes. Plus they are low-maintenance animals and they do not fly or bite. You may also want to breed them but be careful because these insects are prolific — they are known to bear as many as 60 nymphs or even more.

Serval in Tanzania

Servals are also popular exotic pets. They are considered one of the fastest animals in the world and are also the most successful hunters — they average about one kill per two attempts, while other big cats would usually go through about six attempts before landing a kill. A few pet owners have owned and domesticated servals since they were cubs.


Skunks are also surprisingly popular as exotic pets, that is if their foul-smelling glands are removed. Owning skunks as pets is quite rare because of the restrictive laws in many regions of the world, although they are known to be doing well indoors.

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel monkeys are adorable. Like many primates, they are intelligent, sociable animals. Knowing that, you should devote most of your attention and care to these animals — bond with them, play with them, teach them some tricks. Lack of attention may lead to destructive behavior.

Sugar gliders

Sugar gliders are little marsupials but have the appearance of rodents. They are relatively easy to take care of as they are low-maintenance animals. They are social creatures so time and commitment are considerable factors when owning these animals. Sugar gliders are also affectionate and playful.


Among the small exotic pets department, the tarantula is probably the most popular. Although it has a demeaning appearance worthy to be included in a horror movie, thankfully the tarantula rarely bites people. This arachnid has a lifespan of 10-25 years and varies in sizes. It is also easy to take care of.


Compared to its close relative kangaroo, the wallaby is much smaller. It loves the outdoors and needs wide space to run and to graze, so keep in mind that a small backyard won’t be sufficient for this little jumper. You will need at least a 6×6 backyard for them to move around, and fencing that is at least five feet high. Wallabies are known for their fast movements and high jumping ability. They are extremely social animals and there are most instances that they bond quite well with humans, especially if reared by owners since young.

Bearded dragons

Bearded dragons are native to Australia. Because of their calm and docile disposition, these reptiles make popular exotic pets. Chances are you can find bearded dragons at most pet stores in the US and elsewhere.


Capybaras look like big mice — no wonder, they are the world’s largest rodent! They have an average weight of 150 pounds and an average length of 4 feet… they can grow even bigger than that! They are native to South America, and the word “capybara” means “water pig” as they are also semi-aquatic rodents.

That’s why when considering to own a capybara it’s important to have a nice pond or pool in your backyard. Capybaras love the water and would spend hours wallowing themselves in it. They are also social animals, so if you can’t be home often it’s good to have two capybaras together.


Chimpanzees are probably the most popular primates kept as pets. Many pet owners love them because they have a lot of traits which are similar to those of a human being. But as with many primates, chimps need a lot of attention as they are extremely intelligent and social. Teaching tricks will also keep them stimulated. Although they are considered endangered, chimps are still considered legal to own in the US.

Emperor Scorpions

Despite the fact that they have a venomous sting, most scorpions are rarely fatal to humans. There are many species of scorpions to be kept as exotic pets but the emperor scorpion is deemed the most popular. Despite their shiny black appearance, scary claws, and not to mention the poisonous sting, emperor scorpions are known to be docile and their sting is only relatively mild.