You Want a Hyena as a Pet? Read This Superb Guide First!

So, you want to get a hyena as a pet? Have you never seen The Lion King!? Hyenas are not very nice to Simba!

These wild animals are not your average pup – or – I should say kitten since they are more closely related to cats than dogs.

Hyenas can be found in Africa, Asia, and Siberia – among many other places.

Hyenas can adapt well to most environments and can be found in the wild in forest edges, grasslands, savannas, mountains, and many other habitats.

But can a pet hyena be found in your living room as your new exotic pet? Let’s find out!

Can You Have a Hyena as a Pet?

The simple answer is no, you can’t have a hyena as a pet. Hyenas are considered to be very dangerous animals and are banned as pets in most areas of the world.

The likelihood of you getting approval to bring a pet hyena into your home is slim to none.

Hyena as a Pet

Can You Have a Hyena as a Pet in The United States?

No, it is unlikely that you would be approved to have a pet hyena in the United States because hyenas are considered dangerous animals and are banned as exotic pets in many states.

Most states don’t have specific jargon about not allowing pet hyenas but good luck on getting approval when you fill out the proper paperwork.

The most likely states where you could have a chance of owning a hyena as a pet is Florida or Nevada, maybe even Arkansas or Oklahoma.

But that is a stretch even with most of their loose exotic pet laws.

You can give owning a pet hyena a try if you live in one of those states, but there’s little chance you will get approval there either.

If you are serious, you can inquire with your local wildlife department or officials to determine what you would need to do to purchase and register a hyena as a pet.

Would Hyenas Make Great Pets?

I could just say no, hyenas don’t make great pets, and leave it at that. I am not saying that in the history of the world, a pet hyena hasn’t turned out to be a great pet…but name me at least 3 times.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait!

All kidding aside, I am not here to be biased about pet hyenas. I am just here to provide you with the information you seek.

If you really are looking to get a hyena as a pet, do as much research as possible before you go into that commitment.

I love that you are on our site, but visit 20 sites or 30 sites or however many it takes. Make phone calls to your local wildlife officials and get information from the source.

While I know I can provide valuable information to you about this exotic animal, I can’t call every single city or county official in every state in the United States to list on here.

It would take years to accomplish that! I have some time on my hands, but I don’t have that kind of time.

But I like hypotheticals! So let’s say anyone and their momma were allowed to have a pet hyena.

Would you really still want one? Would your momma?

If you said yes, then check out these 5 reasons hyenas do make good pets and 5 reasons hyenas do not make good pets, assuming you could even own one.

Why Hyenas Make Good Pets

5 Reasons Hyenas Make Good Pets

Below are 5 reasons hyenas make good pets.

1. Hyenas Are Super Dogs (cats)

Forget a pit bull, send out the pet hyena. Not that I can test this theory, but I’d imagine a pet hyena would be a great watchdog or watch cat.

Do you really think anyone is going to attempt to break into your house if you have a hyena standing in the living room? Not unless they have a death wish!

2. Hyenas Have a Cool Laugh

Did you know that hyenas laugh? I’m sure you did if you’ve ever watched any version of The Lion King. Well, it isn’t actually a laugh though.

These are sounds that hyenas make when they get excited, frustrated, or scared. It’s still a pretty cool “laugh” though!

3. Hyena Are Great Hunters

No test data is available, but I imagine that pet hyenas would be great companions to have on a hunting trip if they could be trained.

Can you imagine a hyena having your back out in the woods? I don’t hunt because I don’t kill animals, but I’m not judging.

Do whatever is legal. I’m just saying what if hyenas were like bloodhounds or beagles – I could see many people switching their hunting dogs (cats) to pet hyenas.

4. Hyenas Could Be Great Companions

IF, and that is a big IF you can get your hyena when it is a pup and be very attentive and caring with it, your pet hyena could make a great companion.

This assumes you know what you are doing when it comes to raising and handling such a wild, exotic animal.

5. Hyenas Are Built & Strong

Hyenas can grow to be very large, some getting up to 150 pounds.

They are strong animals that can impose fear on anyone who set out to do you some harm. Like pit bulls, they are your security force.

I really am not trying to be biased but it was so hard to find 5 reasons hyenas would make great pets.

I may have stretched one reason into two, but I’m sure you understand.

Hyenas as Pets

5 Reasons Hyenas DO NOT Make Good Pets

Below are 5 reasons hyenas do not make good pets.

1. Hyenas Are Dangerous

As I said in the opening above, hyenas are wild and dangerous animals. Sure, there are a few handlers that have trained them from a young age and have them as pets.

Most are probably doing it illegally no less.

Since there isn’t much data for domesticating hyenas as pets, I can only rely on their temperament and traits in the wild.

And in the wild…them some dangerous animals right there.

2. Hyenas Aren’t Good House Pets

It’s not only your furniture you’d have to be worried about with a pet hyena. To expand further on the dangerous bit, have you not watched animal channels on TV where the hyenas are always ripping some wild animal’s carcass apart?

They have strong, sharp teeth and claws — all the better to eat you with.

3. Hyenas Cost a Lot of Money

If you could have a hyena as a pet, it would come with a hefty price tag. Hyenas are not naturally found in the United States (assuming you live there), so you are looking at the exotic pet cost on the high end.

Also, did I mention dangerous? Not to beat a dead horse, but can you imagine what kind of insurance you’d need for a pet hyena?

It’s not like you can just let them out the door to go play and not expect some type of lawsuit when things go wrong.

4. Hyenas Have Aggressive Females

If you thought I was going to say dangerous again, then you were wrong. This time, I was going to say that hyenas can be very aggressive, especially the spotted hyena females, which are bigger than the males.

Hyenas are capable of killing adult humans and they’ve been known to attack humans, sometimes when food is scarce and other times possibly for territorial or unknown reasons.

5. Hyenas Are Not Solitary Animals

Since hyenas are social animals, you can’t be sure how your pet hyena would react to not having the social structure these animals have built over many decades and centuries in their natural habitats.

It isn’t a stretch to think that your exotic animal would get depressed or start behaving differently without the hyena’s social structure, which could lead to issues with the health and well-being of your exotic pet.


In this article, I provided you with information about having a hyena as a pet, around the world, and in the United States.

I presented you with the very limited options available for owning a pet hyena.

I also provided 5 reasons that hyenas would make great pets and 5 reasons they wouldn’t make great pets. I gave no biased answers, just facts based on research, statistics, and based on my own experiences.

I am not here to give you an ethical speech about wild animals, what is right and what is wrong. I just provide the details and hope you make an informed decision based on the details.

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