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67 Cool Animals You Can Own as Pets (A to Z List & Pictures)

boa constrictor

Examples of animals that you can have as pets include Bearded Dragons, Budgies, Asian Palm Civet, Chacoan Maras, and Garden Eels.

Whether you want to own an exotic animal or something more common, there are more pets available than ever before.

Many of these pets require special permits or specific training, so depending on where you are in the world, you might want to do a little more research!

Exotic Animals That Are Legal To Own As Pets In The USA

These animals are legal to own in some states. Several of them require additional certifications and training to actually be able to keep. Check your latest federal, state, and county updates to investigate further.

anteater

Anteater

Keeping anteaters is largely unregulated on a federal level, but state and local laws need to be taken into consideration.

Hog-Nosed Skunks

Skunk

Skunks can be owned as pets in only a few states, and most of them require you to get a permit.

tiger

Tiger

While big cats are banned in most states, the hit show Tiger King proves that keeping tigers as pets is possible for the determined exotic pet owner!

Porcupine

Porcupine

Porcupines as pets are unregulated in several states.

red fox

Fox

You can own a fox in only a few states. In fact, even states like Nevada that allow ownership of animals like elephants, for some reason, heavily regulate foxes as pets.

boa constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictors are an unregulated pet in several states. Snakes are a common pet, so there’s a lot of good infrastructure for keeping and caring for snake pets.

tarantula spider

Tarantula

Tarantulas are some of the most common exotic pets in the USA.

cougar

Cougar

Cougars, like tigers, are highly regulated in most jurisdictions. Some states, however, do allow you to own them with permits.

alligator

Alligator

As of the date of writing, alligators could be owned in a few states, such as Utah. Check the most up-to-date rules.

Sloth

Two-Toed Sloth

Two-toed sloths can be owned in many states. Permits and health certificates may be required.

kangaroo

Kangaroo

Most states ban kangaroo ownership, but some allow it with a permit.

black bear

Bear

Bears used to be owned as pets by a range of colleges who used them as live mascots. Today, you usually need a permit.

Llama

Llama

Llamas and alpacas are popular pets on hobby farms.

Capuchin Monkey

Monkey

Monkeys are regulated in most states, but capuchin monkeys can also be kept as support animals in some situations.

More Examples of Animals that You Can Have as Pets

African Jungle Cat

African Jungle Cat
Scientific NameFelis chaus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

The African Jungle Cat is a medium-sized cat that lives in the grasslands, woodland, and savannah of Africa.

It’s been reported that some owners have managed to train their African Jungle Cats as pets very successfully.

However, they are known for being nervous by nature so you need to be patient with them. This means it may not make the best pet for children, but they are very affectionate and friendly towards humans.

Agouti

Agouti
Scientific NameDasyprocta
Type of AnimalRodent
RangeTropical rainforests
DietHerbivore

The agouti is a large rodent native to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Agoutis are often kept as pets due to their laid-back nature and easy care requirements.

Asian Palm Civet

Civet
Scientific NameParadoxurus hermaphroditus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan
DietOmnivore

One of the most popular pets to own in recent years is an Asian Palm Civet. With their unique appearance, they are very easy to care for and can live up to 15 or 20 years.

They require little space but should be kept indoors where it’s safe from outside dangers like large birds of prey which might kill them if allowed outside.

Asian Palm Civets can be fed a basic diet of fruits and vegetables, but they also love dining on insects.

This makes it even easier for you to care for them as all that’s required is a little bit of fruit or vegetable once in a while with plenty of live crickets, mealworms, and wax worms available at the pet store.

Bat-Eared Fox

Bat-Eared Fox
Scientific NameOtocyon megalotis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangearid grasslands and savannas
DietCarnivore

This adorable creature is actually a member of the canine family. They are also known as ‘Foxes on Fleek’ and make great pets.

With their big ears, they can hear very well and will let you know if there’s any danger nearby. Their name comes from their large ears which stand straight up when they’re excited or curious. They’re very friendly animals and will love you unconditionally.

Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragons
Scientific NamePogona
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeAustralia
DietOmnivore

Bearded dragons originate from the dry, rocky, and hot areas of Australia. They can grow between 16 to 24 inches in length so they require a large tank as pets.

They are omnivores, so they need to be fed vegetables and fruit. Pet owners must keep them warm too with the right temperature of between 75-85°F (24-29°C).

Bettong

Scientific NameBettongia
Type of AnimalMarsupial
RangeAustralia
DietOmnivore

The bettong is a small marsupial native to Australia. It’s also known as the boodie and it looks like a cross between a rat and chipmunk, with some squirrel thrown in for good measure.

These animals are very social creatures which makes them great pets, they love being around other members of their species.

They are very intelligent creatures and learn quickly, so they can be trained. They also have a natural curiosity which means that bettongs love to explore!

Binturong

Binturong
Scientific NameArctictis binturong
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesoutheast Asia
DietHerbivore

The binturong, also known as bearcat or “bearcat”, is a viverrid native to South and Southeast Asia. The body of the binturong is long and heavy, and they have short legs. They are primarily arboreal (tree-dwelling) but will descend to the ground occasionally.

“I want one!” said no one ever. I’m sorry to tell you this, but binturongs are not found in houses or apartments.

Instead, they need a large enclosed space with trees and places to climb. They may be able to adapt if there is enough enrichment for them though.

Budgie

Budgies
Scientific NameMelopsittacus undulatus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

A budgie is a small parrot that can be found in the wild. They are great pets, but they do need to be handled regularly or they will become aggressive and fearful.

If you would like a pet bird then a budgerigar may well be for you. It is important to know about their requirements before you bring one into your home though.

Caecilian

Scientific NameApoda
Type of AnimalAmphibian
RangeTropical regions
DietCarnivore

The caecilian is a limbless, burrowing amphibian. They are often mistaken for snakes or eels because of their snake-like appearance and undulating swimming motion.

Caecilians are predators which eat earthworms, insects, and slugs. They can sometimes be kept as pets but they need a large terrarium with a deep substrate to burrow in – otherwise, they will not live very long!

Capybara

Capybara
Scientific NameHydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangenorthern and central South America
DietHerbivore

This is the world’s largest rodent, but they are also one of the most gentle creatures that you can have as a pet.

In South America, where these little guys come from, people keep them as farm animals to munch on grass all day long. If you have a large backyard or farm, this might be the pet for you.

Chacoan Mara

Chacoan Mara
Scientific NameDolichotis salinicola
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouth American
DietHerbivore

This animal is a relative of the guinea pig and it’s native to South America. It has chunky legs, small ears which are hidden in its fur, large eyes with nocturnal tendencies, and looks like a stuffed toy.

Coatimundi

Scientific NameNasua nasua
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeArizona to South America
DietOmnivore

Possessing a coatimundi as your pet is going to be quite the adventure. They are very active and intelligent animals, but they can also be mischievous at times.

For example, if you leave something out on the floor it will probably get chewed up!

Crab-Eating Raccoon

Crab-Eating Raccoon
Scientific NameProcyon cancrivorus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietOmnivore

The crab-eating raccoon is not typically kept as a pet, but it can make an excellent option.

This animal feeds mainly on crabs and other aquatic animals in the wild so you will need to provide some fish for them to feed off of.

Cusimanse

Scientific NameCrossarchus obscurus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeGuinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia
DietOmnivore

The cusimanse is a small mammal that can be found in Western Africa. It belongs to the same family as mongooses and meerkats, which means it’s not too far off from being related to your beloved cat or dog.

They are very sociable animals who enjoy playing with their owners but they also have quite an independent streak. They are very skilled hunters and will often return to their owners with mementos of their hunting efforts.

Degu

Degu
Scientific NameOctodon degus
Type of AnimalRodent
Rangecentral Chile
DietHerbivore

These little guys are related to chinchillas and look a lot like gerbils. They’re very curious animals who love exploring new things.

Degus can live in groups but they will need plenty of toys to keep them busy throughout the day. They also like to burrow and need a deep layer of bedding in their cage.

Dik Dik

Dik-dik
Scientific NameMadoqua
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern Africa
DietHerbivore

Dik-diks are small antelope that can be found in the savannas and woodlands of Eastern Africa. Dik-diks stand at only 70 centimeters tall, but they also weigh as little as 13 pounds.

They live on their own or in pairs, where there is a dominant male that guards his group against predators.

Four-Eyed Opossum

Virginia Opossum
Scientific NamePhilander
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietOmnivore

This is an animal which you can have as a pet. It has opposable digits on its feet and toes, allowing it to grab objects with ease. They make excellent pets for people who like exotic animals.

Gambian-Pouched Rat

Scientific NameCricetomys gambianus
Type of AnimalRodent
Rangesub-Saharan Africa
DietOmnivore

Another good choice of pet would be the African pouched rat. It is not as popular as some other animals, but it can become a great pet for those who are willing to take care of them properly.

They do have their specific needs and requirements so you should definitely check them before buying one.

Garden Eel

Garden Eel
Scientific NameHeteroconger hassi
Type of AnimalFish
RangeIndo-Pacific and northwestern Australia
DietCarnivore

There are about 800 species of eel and this is one of them. They can be found in the shallow waters surrounding Florida, where they eat small fish and invertebrates such as crabs and clams which you could feed your pet with.

It should be kept alone as it doesn’t play nice with other exotic pets. They live for 35 – 40 years and grow to an average of 60 cm in length.

Geoffroy’s Cat

Scientific NameLeopardus geoffroyi
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay
DietCarnivore

The Geoffroy’s cat is one of the most common cats in South America. They are also relatively easy to train and can even be leash trained. If you want an active fit pet, this might just be your new best friend.

Goldfish

goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius auratus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Fish are a great first pet as they can be kept in fish tanks and don’t require much work. Goldfish make good pets as you only need to feed them once or twice per day, but any other fish may need more food depending on how big it is.

Fish aren’t cuddly like cats and dogs though.

Greater Galago

Galago
Scientific NameOtolemur crassicaudatus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAngola, Tanzania, southern Kenya
DietOmnivore

This animal is also known as a thick-tailed bushbaby, which originates from Africa. It is nocturnal and lives in the trees most of the time.

They eat insects like grasshoppers or crickets, but can chew on fruits if they need to! If you are interested in owning one of these animals then be careful, as they are known for their ability to jump.

They are capable of jumping straight upward as high as 2 meters, or 6.6 feet.

Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig
Scientific NameCavia porcellus
Type of AnimalRodent
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Guinea pigs are one of the most popular pets. They come in a variety of colors and enjoy being around humans, therefore make great companions if you have children.

They are very social animals and live well with other pets, so if you plan on having more than one they will be great company.

Hedgehog

hedgehog
Scientific NameErinaceinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEurope, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand
DietOmnivore

A popular choice for many people is a hedgehog. They are friendly and easy to look after, with the only downside being that they do not like being handled too much.

Hedgehogs can live up to five years which means you will have plenty of time with them.

However, some might find it difficult to get on well with a pet that is not very cuddly.

Hyrax

Hyrax
Scientific NameHyracoidea
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and in Lebanon, Israel
DietHerbivore

Hyraxes, or dassies, are a family of smallish mammals that look like rodents. They have rat-like tails and rounded ears on their short heads.

These animals have been domesticated as pets, but they seem to be mostly owned for their appearance rather than companionship.

Additional Pet Animal Ideas

JerboaRing-Tailed Cat
KinkajouSea Apple
Marbled PolecatSnake-Necked Turtle
New Guinea Singing DogSpotted Genet
PacaSpringhaas
Palawan PorcupineStick Insect
Patagonian MaraTamandua
Pom Pom Anemone CrabTayra
Prehensile-Tailed PorcupineTenrec
Prevost SquirrelWhip Scorpion
Raccoon DogZorilla
Red River HogAnts
DogCat
CowGoat

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