What Animals Are Exotic Pets? + 10 Popular Exotic Animals!

Exotic pets have become more and more popular over the years. Lots of pet owners have turned to exotic animals as pets over your typical domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.

Some people think of exotic pets as rare animals that are hard to find or very expensive, but in reality, there are a lot of more common pets that are still considered exotic animals, such as common birds like parakeets.

The term exotic animal doesn’t really represent anything special because most animals that are naturally wild are considered exotic animals.

When you have one of these animals as a pet, you are labeled as owning an exotic pet, sometimes just because it isn’t your average household pet.

So, can you have an exotic animal as a pet? That depends on many factors, but let’s get into that discussion now.

Can You Have an Exotic Animal as a Pet?

Yes, you can have an exotic animal as a pet as long as that specific animal is legal to possess in a domestic setting in your state or local region.

It is important to follow local exotic pet laws and policies set forth for exotic animals so you don’t run into any issues with your new exotic pet.

Popular Exotic Pets

Exotic animals have become exotic pets all over the world, but different areas of the world have their own laws and policies on what can be owned as an exotic pet.

Some exotic animals are illegal in certain areas but legal in others.

The only way to know for certain is to check your local state, city, and county exotic animal laws and guidelines on what exotic pets are legal in your local area.

What’s the Most Exotic Animal You Can Have as a Pet?

There are many different exotic animals that can be owned as pets. The most exotic pet depends on what you consider to be “most exotic”.

I will only be discussing which exotic animals can be owned as pets from a legal perspective in this article.

Unfortunately, I won’t be discussing ligers, tigons, zonkeys, etc.

What Exotic Animal Makes the Best Pet?

There is no simple answer to which exotic animal makes the best pet. It depends on many factors including your budget, your time, your tolerance level, and your living situation – among many other facts.

Some of the easier exotic animals to start with would be insects and arachnids such as a tarantula.

You could also start with small birds or rodents, but each animal gives you a different personality, different care, attention, and budget levels.

More Popular Exotic Pets

To determine which animal would make for the best exotic pet for you, you need to think about many factors and do your research on each animal.

Check the animal’s temperament, habitat requirements, diet and nutrition requirements, pet insurance, vet visit quotes, and other determining factors that you may only know.

Factors such as if it’s acceptable to have other pets or small children around your new exotic pet.

What Is the Most Popular Exotic Pet?

There is no one exotic pet that is popular among pet owners. Different pet owners have different requirements and different reasons they decide to go with whichever animal they get as an exotic pet.

Some of the more common exotic pets are birds, reptiles, rodents, and monkeys.

Let’s check out 10 of the more common and popular exotic pets among pet owners.

List of 10 Popular Exotic Pets

Below are 10 popular animals that many people get when looking for an exotic pet.

Ball Python - Exotic Pet

1. Ball Python

Ball pythons are one of the most popular snakes as pets. They are very good for beginner pet owners because they aren’t very active and are easy to take care of.

Their habitat requirements aren’t too strenuous and their diet mainly consists of small rodents and birds.

They can grow to be about five feet in length as an adult, which is smaller than most other pythons and considered medium-sized compared to other pet snakes.

If you have never owned a snake as a pet before, a ball python is your best bet to get acclimated with snake pets since they require much less than other pets.

Bearded Dragon - Exotic Pet

2. Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are considered good pets by most pet owners. They can also be great pets for kids as long as kids are taught how to handle and care for their bearded dragons properly.

Caring for bearded dragons is easy as long as you can handle their need for attention, maintenance, and nutritional requirements.

They are considered one of the easiest reptiles to own and care for.

They enjoy a wide variety of different food and aren’t as hard to handle as other pet reptiles, such as turtles.

Capybara - Exotic Pet

3. Capybara

Capybara is the largest rodent on the planet and can weigh as much as an average human male. While their size can be intimidating, they tend to be pleasant and friendly animals.

They love attention and love to be petted. They love to be petted so much that you can get one to sing, roll over on its belly, and get the hair to raise on its back.

Capybaras make good pets if you can meet their nutrition and diet requirements and can give them the proper habitat and space they need to move around.

Chimpanzee - Exotic Pet

4. Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees made the list but you can debate this one all day long. Some people enjoy having chimps as pets while others swear against it.

Things to know about chimpanzees are that they can live a long time and are not your average loveable, huggable pet.

They tend to become more aggressive when they become adults and can attack their owners.

While they are intelligent creatures and can learn a variety of things, they do not behave in a way that a human child does and are not easily controlled.

Chinchilla - Exotic Pet

5. Chinchilla

Chinchillas are great pets for adults and older children but aren’t the best pet to have when smaller children are in the house.

Chinchillas require daily handling and bonding time. Since they are prey animals, they prefer the comfort of their cage.

They are more active in the evening and sleep throughout most of the day.

Chins can jump up to 6 feet because they have powerful hind limbs made for jumping. They are active, clean, playful, and quiet.

As you can see in the pictures, they have soft, dense fur and grey to dark grey in color.

They can make great pets if you can keep a good routine schedule of feeding and handling.

Flying Squirrel - Exotic Pet

6. Flying Squirrel

The Japanese flying squirrel is one of the more popular flying squirrels that humans have as pets.

As the name suggests, the Japanese flying squirrel is native to Japan and is found in forests, in trees of course.

Flying squirrels have membranes that connect their wrists and ankles, which gives them the ability to glide from tree to tree when they spread.

Yes, they are known as flying squirrels but they actually glide from one tree to the next. Think of it like parasailing or something similar.

Flying squirrels typically feed on fruits and seeds. They are fairly common and are of “least concern” by wildlife officials.

Hedgehog - Exotic Pet

7. Hedgehog

Standard hedgehogs aren’t your typical household pet, nor are they your typical exotic pet.

However, the African pygmy hedgehog, also known as the four-toed hedgehog, is popular among pet owners.

The pygmy hedgehogs are the smallest of the hedgehog species. I mean, who doesn’t like small, cute animals.

Due to its size and cuteness, it is popular among pet owners looking for a pet that is adorable and small.

Pygmy hedgehogs can be found in a variety of colors that include brown, chocolate, cinnamon, grey, salt and pepper, snowflake, and others.

Macaw Parrot - Exotic Pet

8. Macaw Parrot

Macaw parrots are colorful, long-tailed parrots that can mimic speech. You can get them in all kinds of color shades including blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and others.

Macaw parrots are very smart and can be very loving and affectionate with the proper handling and care.

Some of the cons of owning a macaw parrot as a pet include them needing lots of space and being very loud at times.

They can also be stubborn but aren’t usually aggressive toward their owners or other pet birds.

Sugar Glider - Exotic Pet

9. Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders can be great pets for the right pet owners. With any animal, it is always important to determine its needs before having them as a pet.

Sugar gliders are extremely social animals. If you are going to get a sugar glider, then you need to get two of them.

If you only get one, your sugar glider can get depressed and you don’t want that.

Sugar gliders are playful and curious animals that enjoy hanging out with other sugar gliders and humans with which they’ve bonded.

However, to bond with your sugar gliders, you need to give them lots of daily attention and care to help tame them.

Sugar gliders should always be supervised when out of their cage because they get curious and roam a lot if unsupervised.

You don’t want to let your sugar gliders out of your site or you’ll be looking all over the house trying to find out where they went.

Wallaby - Exotic Pet

10. Wallaby

Wallabies are like smaller to mid-sized kangaroos, but not as small as quokkas.

Wallabies are native to Australia and New Guinea with others popping up in smaller populations in areas like New Zealand and the United Kingdom (due to being introduced by humans).

Wallabies have a variety of behaviors and come in different sizes.

The smaller wallabies tend to be more active at night while the bigger wallabies are more active during the day.

Wallabies are herbivores with large (mostly flat) teeth and mainly feed on plants, leaves, and grass.

Similar to quokkas, some wallabies live where fresh water is scarce, so they rely mainly on plants to provide the water they need to survive.


In this article, I discussed what types of exotic animals you can own as a pet.

I briefly touched on exotic pet laws and mentioned how you should find out which exotic pets are legal in your state or region.

I also gave you 10 of the more common exotic pets among pet owners to give you an idea of what types of pets are considered exotic pets.

With that information, you should have a good idea of what an exotic animal is and whether you can own one as a pet.

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