An exotic pet, by definition, is a rare or unusual animal kept as a pet, or an animal not commonly thought of as a pet animal. Even a scorpion or a tarantula, fairly common household pets, are considered exotic pets. Learn the top 10 exotic animals people keep as pets in the United States, and while I would never recommend owing one, it’s still pretty interesting to see the weird animals people keep as pets.
Number 10 is a fairly common exotic- the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. These large buggers are entertaining in their hissing abilities, and oddly cute. They bear live offspring, which I did not know, whereas other cockroaches lay eggs. Manly hissers are most attractive to females, and females rarely hiss. Male Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are distinguished by their horns, and are more aggressive than females. This weird pet can live up to 4 years with proper care.
Number 9 are scorpions, which makes me shudder just to think of it. They do have a toxic sting, but it’s rarely fatal to people. Scorpions can survive up to one year on just a single meal (interesting) and can live in captivity up to 8 years. That’s a creepy critter to have for such a long time. I think I’ll definitely pass.
Number 8 is the alligator. Who the hell wants an alligator, I don’t know, but they make the cut. They can run in short spurts up to 30 miles per hour, and are less aggressive than crocodiles (not reassuring). They are territorial though, and CAN eat people, and are common pests in areas where alligators are prevalent and people feed them (like in Florida), and can prey on small animals and children. They can live up to 10 years with proper care.
Number 7 is the Tarantula. Obviously, this common household pet made the list. They have 8 eyes, so they can see you behind them and in front of them, and when threatened they rub their fangs together to “hiss” and release their itchy, creepy hairs into your skin. Their bite is painful, but rarely fatal, and they don’t spin webs. This creepy spider can live up to 20 years if it’s a female, and males live far less. However, if I had one of these buggers in my house, it would be a toilet treat in no time.
Number 6 is a far cuter creature- the Wallaroo. It’s a marsupial, native to Australia, and is between the kangaroo and wallaby in size. This furry critter is an escape artist, and is naturally friendly and curious about everything, so it needs to be in a foolproof enclosure, or bye bye wallaroo! They measure about 40 inches long and can live up to 20 years.
Number 5- the Chimpanzee. They are reputed to have intelligence and problem-solving skills second only to humans. Native to central Africa, this animal expresses anger via throwing feces at its owner and other chimps, and throws tantrums and screams like a human does. They have been known to attack humans (particularly through puberty) even though they are reputed to be docile. Female chimps typically can gain resentment toward female owners, while male chimps can become territorial with male owners. It’s like having a stupid teenager in the house- I would personally never own a chimpanzee unless I wanted to get my face torn off. They communicate via hand gestures and sound and facial expressions like humans, and can live up to 50 years! Yikes!
Number 4 is the Bearded Dragon, a medium-sized lizard native to Australia. This lizard is actually pretty docile, and only a few breeds of this species are poisonous when they bite. They puff out their necks like a beard when mating or threatened, and are reputed to be handled easily without trying to escape human touch. These lizards can live up to 10 years cared for properly.
Number 3 is the Fennec Fox. This is the only member of the fox family that has been successfully domesticated. This large-eared, slender faced fox is native to North Africa, and they are favored in their playful and hyper demeanors and have less of a stench than other foxes. These cute little buggers can live up to 16 years, and need constant supervision as they are curious and can easily escape out of anything.
Number 2 is the Burmese Python. I knew this huge beast would make the list somewhere. These non-venomous (thank goodness) snakes are native to Northeast Asia and can grow to 20 feet long in captivity, depending on the size of their enclosure. They prefer humidity, and have huge appetites for rabbits and other rodents. In captivity, these large snakes can live as long as 35 years!
And finally number 1- the Hybrid cat. This is no ordinary house cat, but rather interbreeding between 2 large cats, such as a tiger and a lion, or the breeding of an Asian leopard cat and an ordinary house cat (poor house cat). Breeding is typically done via artificial insemination, and the males are infertile, while female offspring is able to be bred. The bred animals tend to be more susceptible to illness than their purebred parents, and it can take 5 generations to breed the wild look out of the animal hybrid. Breeders do their best to produce a hybrid cat that has both wild looks and domestic features. Depending on the natural health of the animal and its care, these hybrid cats lifespans vary depending on the breeds of their parents. Can you imagine how huge of a litter box these cats would need? Ha, I think I’ll pass.