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Unusual Pets by Priyanka ,  Jul 13, 2013
If you are looking for a new family pet, forget the dogs and cats and consider something a little out of the ordinary. These pets are a bit unusual but generally easy to care for and good with families.

sugar gliderSugar gliders

These pocket-sized marsupials are oh so cute. They are very friendly, but they can't be toilet trained, so you'll have to keep them in a roomy cage. They are nocturnal so a good time to bring them out of the cage to play is in the evening. Be sure that your sugar gliders are neutered because they breed like rabbits. You must be able to deal with a mess because they suck the nutrients out of their food and then spit it out.

Guinea pigsGuinea pigs

If you have little kids, then a guinea pig might be the perfect pet. Guinea pigs aren't as small and delicate as gerbils and hamsters, but they are still furry and fun. Of course, you still need to keep close supervision on toddlers and preschoolers when around any pets.


For kids with allergies, get a reptile. Geckos aren't as scary to young children as snakes might be. Choose a leopard gecko because it can't climb walls — so you won't have to worry about it getting out of the tank.


If you like birds but don't want to deal with a squawking parrot, pick a small, quiet bird like the finch instead. Though they aren't completely silent, finches are much quieter than parakeets, cockatiels and other pet birds. Be sure to buy at least two — they need friends.


If you live in a cool climate, consider a chinchilla. These nocturnal animals have soft fur and a bushy tail. They can't be in temperatures higher than 75 degrees, so you need to keep your chinchilla cool. They'll need a large cage with plenty of room to move around.

Pot bellied pigsPotbellied pigs

If you have the space, consider a potbellied pig. Though the potbellied pig craze has eased off a little bit in recent years, they still make fabulous family pets.

Hermit crabsHermit crabs

Perfect for apartment dwellers and those looking for a low maintenance pet, hermit crabs are fantastic choice. You just need an old fish tank, gravel, extra shells in various sizes (they change homes as they grow), food and water. The more that you play with the crabs, the less likely they will pinch.


For lizard lovers, the iguana is a wonderful choice. They require warm temperatures and a cage big enough for them to grow. Green iguanas can grow to up to 6 feet long. One disadvantage of iguanas is they require special lighting — both UVA and UVB lights in their cage.

Ant farmsAnt farms

If your child is interested in science and you don't really have any space (or time) for a pet, consider making an ant farm. Just be sure not to leave the feeding port open, or you'll have ants all over your home.



Are you ready for a something a bit exotic? Try a monkey. As a child, I had a pet cottontop tamarin. It was very small, cute and easy to train. Before buying a monkey, be sure to research thoroughly — some types of monkeys can be extremely aggressive.

Other unusual pets to consider include hedgehogs, pygmy goats and tarantulas. Be sure to check about the legal restrictions for owning monkeys and exotic pets. In some counties and states, owning primates is prohibited.

Not everyone wants a cat or a dog. Of course we love them a lot, but sometimes people want a little something different, unusual and a bit exotic!

1. The Smartest Pets


What comes to your mind at first – dogs? No, these are pigs! Potbellied pigs are easily trained and have an alert curiosity and affectionate nature. They're smarter than the smartest dogs, and just as appreciative of a good belly-scratch. They're quick to house-train, are quite clean and odor-free animals, they don't bark, don't chew and shed very little. Their eyesight is poor but they have a keenly developed sense of smell. But be careful - cute piglets can grow to be quite large pigs. 

2. The Most Talkative Pets


Parrots provide excellent companionship because of their ability to learn how to speak. It is quite amusing to the owner to hear pet parrots repeat the words they have been taught. The time spent talking with the bird in order to get it to learn new words is a bonding experience that many owners and their parrots enjoy. Parrots also have a long life expectancy. If properly cared for, many species of parrots can live for around fifty years. This is more than twice as long as the life expectancy for dogs and cats, which are the most common household pet. So You will have someone to talk to for long-long years

3. The Most Illegal Pets:)


What do you think? These are racoons! Before even considering a raccoon though, be aware that they are illegal in many areas. Check with local and state/provincial regulatory bodies before pursuing the idea of having a raccoon as a pet. If raccoons are legal where you are, then the search is on. It is best to obtain them from a breeder, although one may be difficult to find. Some have raised orphan raccoons as pets. In any case, it is best if the raccoons are very used to being handled, a lot and from an early age.

4. The Most Unwanted Pets


Nobody would fancy a cockroach for a pet. The very name sends chills down the spine for many. But there are people who are fascinated by a special species of cockroach called the Madagascar hissing cockroach. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is no ordinary roach. For one thing, it can grow to up to 3 inches long and over an inch wide – not something you would swat with a rolled-up magazine! They are hardy creatures that do not bite, and in fact make great exotic pets for children. The habits of the cockroach and the spirit with which it defends it territories have impelled the people to keep it as a pet.

5. The Most Dangerous Pets


If you are fond of fishes, then you can consider having a Piranha at home. True to their depiction in cartoons like Tom & Jerry, they are violent creatures who can chew off the hand that feeds it. Mostly, only experienced aquarists take on the piranha.

6. The Most Springy Pets

The wallaby is a miniature version of the kangaroo. Wallabies belong to a group of animals called macropods – Latin for "Big Foot." They are affectionate, playful and mischievous pets.

Native to Australia, wallabies can make great pets if you raise them properly and "wallaby-proof" your home. But be ready, they need a rather large play area – 50 by 50 feet of hopping room, surrounded by a large, sturdy fence. Wallabies can be trained to live indoors, but beware: these affectionate, playful creatures have the ability to open cupboards, jump on counters and other high places. They are known to enjoy taking a bath with human owners and may turn the bedroom into his or her sleeping quarters, if not properly trained.

7. The Most "Stinky" Pets


Nowadays, skunks (a Latin name that translated into “stinks, stinks,”) are quickly becoming one of the more common pets! If bred by a reputable breeder, a de-scented skunk can make an excellent companion. Skunks have extraordinary intelligence, memory and problem-solving ability. You cannot train or correct a skunk like any other animal. It takes patience and love. Skunks show a lot of human traits – they can be warm, funny and affectionate at times, as well as demanding, obstinate and aloof. But do not forget to de-scent your skunk, cause your pet may become really stinky. 

8. The Most Useful Pets


How about a fluffy chicken or one that lays blue eggs? You may not have considered the possibility of keeping a chicken as a pet, but they can make wonderful additions to your family. Chickens can live for many years, although often slaughtered young when egg production declines, you should plan on a pet chicken living for ten years. One of the advantages to owning chickens as pets is that every day or two they will provide you with an egg. If you have never had chickens before you will be amazed at how personable they really are. You can not walk by without them softly clucking, calling you over to give them some dandelions. So, are you interested? Good luck!

9. The Most Rolling Pets


As well as being able to roll into a tight spiny ball when frightened, African Pygmy Hedgehogs, are also bundles of personality, loyalty, and activity. They can be trained to use a litter box, are virtually odor free, and will happily spend the day riding around in your breast pocket. Hedgehogs make a very quiet, small friend and are not aggressive as long as you hold them regularly, making them a great choice for adults and older children. They virtually fit in the palm of your hand! Most people have no allergic reactions to hedgehogs. They have virtually no odor, are clean, and can be litter box trained. If you want a small pet but with a longer life span than say, a hamster, a hedgehog is definitely the pet for you!

10. The Longest Tail Pets


Asian Long Tailed Lizards have a total snout to vent length of 6cm, total sizes including its extremely long tail 30cm. These are a lovely active species from South-East Asia. Owning a long tail lizard can be a very rewarding experience if the animal is cared for properly. Long tailed lizards can live for 5 years if properly cared for. You can handle these animals if you hold them gently. Their tales can break off easily so make sure you don’t grab them by their tail.

Lynne (and 7 others): the Rothschild giraffes who share a family dinner table

Lynne (and 7 others): the Rothschild giraffes who share a family dinner table 
In many ways, the setting is just a typical family breakfast. Young children and their mother enjoy croissants and orange juice while sitting around a table together. But things become a little different when you notice a giraffe poking its head through the window to join them for a drink and a bite to eat. In fact, the Carr-Hartley family has the unusual distinction of sharing their home with eight Rothschild giraffes, some of the rarest on the planet. Talk about weird pets. In the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's tallest animals are free to roam their 140-acre estate and are regular visitors at their English-style manor built in the colonial era. Every day shortly before 9am, the mammal beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats. Owners Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley literally share their dining table with them. They know all of the giraffes by name: 13-year-old Lynne is the leader of the herd and can be very persistent about getting treats.

Nils Olav: the knighted penguin

Nils Olav: the knighted penguin 
Penguin Nils Olav has been an honorary member and mascot of the Norwegian King's Guard since 1972. After over 35 years of ‘duty' he was knighted at Edinburgh Zoo. During the ceremony, Nils had a sword dubbed on each side of his head, where his shoulders should be, to confirm his regimental knighthood. A citation from King Harald of Norway was read out, which described Nils as a penguin 'in every way qualified to receive the honor and dignity of knighthood.' 

Nick Boing: the lamb who couldn't adapt with other sheep

Nick Boing: the lamb who couldn't adapt with other sheep 
What happens when an animal can't get along with his own kind? Well, he moves in with some kind humans and becomes one of those strange pets. At least that's what happened to this little lamb - Nick Boing, an unusual pet with an unusual name. Nick's story began about three years ago when his owner David Palmer and his family were visiting the Goldcliff Nature Reserve in Newport, Wales. They stumbled upon a newborn lamb bleating in the reserve's tall grass. They picked it up and tried to leave it at a nearby farm - However, the lamb refused to go and kept following the Palmer family around until they decided to take him home. After that, there was no going back! Though the Palmers tried to take the lamb back to a farm twice, he refused to settle down with the other sheep. They finally gave up and decided to just keep him.Now Nick Boing spends his days sitting near the front door, watching the world go by, and nights on the family sofa watching television. He has his own 'mansion' complete with carpet and windows in the yard, but only goes there reluctantly when pushed out at night and that too after a special treat. 

Fantik: the llama who lives in an apartment

Fantik: the llama who lives in an apartment 
Russian bear trainer Dimitry Nikolau keeps an unusual pet in his Moscow apartment. Fantik has been his pet for over 10 years. Dimitry decided to give up beat training after he became a father. He then adopted a llama who was shot by thieves at his garden. He got another llama who was been living with him ever since. He is now looking for a kangaroo to expand the family.

Tommy Tucker: the fashion modelling squirrel

Tommy Tucker: the fashion modelling squirrel 
Tommy Tucker was a squirrel adopted by a woman in Washington DC in the early 1940s after she found the critter orphaned in a tree. He soon became part of the family, as it were -- accompanying the lady of the house on shopping trips, for instance. She also, it turned out, enjoyed dressing him up in specially made outfits. Tommy became immortalized after posing for fashion photography by Nina Leen/Time & Life Pictures. 

The nameless two-headed turtle

The nameless two-headed turtle 
A two-headed turtle found in Florida was residing at Sean Casey's Animal Rescue in Kensington, a Brooklyn pet store -. The rare reptile had became the store's mascot. Casey got the two-headed turtle from a man in Florida who rescued a bunch of eggs after an adult female was killed by a car. When the turtle started to deteriorate the man turned to Sean Casey Animal Rescue (www.scarnyc .org), a nonprofit in Kensington specializing in exotic creatures. Casey nursed it back to health at home, and then brought the tank to his pet store, Hamilton Dog House on E. Third St... Usually, such severely deformed turtles die soon after birth, but Casey says this animal could live for many years - if not to the average age of 75 to 100, but it takes special precautions to keep the oddity safe like feeding each head by hand, because otherwise they fight over the little pellets. Unfortunately the popular pet was stolen from the pet store

Lance Corporal William Windsor, alias Billy: the parade Royal goat

Lance Corporal William Windsor, alias Billy: the parade Royal goat 
From his gleaming headplate to his immaculately groomed whiskers, Lance Corporal William Windsor, the former Royal Welsh Regiment mascot, looked every inch the proud old soldier as he left camp for the last time. Cheering comrades lined the route from his pen to the trailer waiting to take him to the zoo, where the Army veteran informally known as Billy the Goat will spend his retirement. His send-off came with full military pomp and ceremony – befitting-his lifetime's service with the 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh. He has travelled overseas, met royalty and led every battalion parade. For the most part Billy, aged nine, has served as unbleatingly as a goat can – although he did once butt heads with top brass when he was temporarily demoted for not marching in time. 

Caplin Rous: the needy capybara

Caplin Rous: the needy capybara 
Capybara owner Melanie Typaldos is very happy with her giant hamster pet. Her mascot is named Caplin Rous as in Rodents Of Unusual Size from the Princess Bride. She describes him as needy. He always wants to be with her and follows her around the house and the yard. He also knows when it's time for his owner to come back from work and waits for her. A truly caring mascot. 

Jessica: the ¾ ton hippopotamus

Jessica: the ¾ ton hippopotamus 
Want a pet that drinks 10 liters of coffee a day, weighs 3/4 of a ton, and destroys your bed when it jumps on it? Then you should meet Jessica, the hippo. When a newborn baby hippo was washed up by a flood onto the lawn of his riverside home, the game ranger who found the dying animal lovingly nursed her back to health.


Yes, people keep cobras as pets! These extremely deadly animals measure up to 19-feet in length, with some species capable of spraying their venom up to 6-feet away with remarkable accuracy. It can take mere minutes to die from a cobra bite, yet this hasn’t dissuaded some from taking cobras as pets. In 2007 a Toronto man was sentenced to one year in jail and fined $17,000 when his pet cobra escaped, forcing the other tenants in the building to evacuate their homes for five months. In 2009 a German teen was fined $134,000 when his cobra escaped and authorities had to tear apart his apartment’s walls and floorboards. By now you’re probably wondering just what kind of a person would own a pet cobra: Well, actor Nicolas Cage was rumoured to have owned not one, but two!


If the thought of owning a hairy tarantula sends chills down your spine, you aren’t alone. Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) consistently ranks as one of the most common fears among both women and men. Yet contrary to popular belief tarantulas can make quite pleasant pets, says Amanda Gollaway, owner and operator of Tarantula Canada. “There are some species that are very gentle,” Gollaway says. “The Mexican Red Knee, the Pink Toed Tarantula, those are well known for being pretty docile, so if somebody did want to take them in their hands they could.” Gollaway, who compares owning a tarantula to keeping pet fish, adds that they only require periodic feeding, can survive in a very modest terrarium and leave very little mess to clean up.

So, which species is among the most popular? Nicknamed the “bird-eating” spider, the Goliath, with its 8 to 10-inch leg-span and one-inch fangs, is a popular pick for arachnid lovers. “They can be a little defensive. It’s not a species I would recommend for handling,” she says. “Even though the venom is not medically significant, that would be one heck of a puncture wound.”


While most Canadians would consider these birds the avian equivalent of a flying trash bag, many love pigeons for their remarkable talents. Capable of flying upwards of 80 kilometres per hour, pigeons are often bred for their racing abilities. Surprisingly enough, pigeons are also incredibly intelligent birds. If well fed, pigeons will quickly learn to return to their masters and develop an affectionate bond with humans. Many pigeon-lovers will raise the birds from birth, sometimes feeding them by hand.


The main types of crocodiles kept as pets are the Dwarf Caiman and the African Dwarf crocodile. Keeping a crocodile requires a large space for them to grow, swim and bask. It also requires some upfront money in the region of $500 plus ongoing costs for care and food. Only experienced and skilled handlers should keep crocodiles as pets. Remember that crocodiles grow quickly and live a long time. Always make sure you can commit to the proper care of a pet crocodile.

Tigers and Other Wild Animals

While these wild animals are not really suitable to be kept as pets, there are an estimated 6,000 tigers being kept as pets in the United States. Besides presenting risks to health and safety, these animals fail to thrive in captivity because they are better suited to roaming large territories and eating a varied diet.


Zebras are in the same family as horses and require the same enclosure and diet. A large paddock of suitable grass, supplemental feed and lots of water are needed. Since wild zebras travel in herds, they also need a companion.

Before choosing to own an exotic pet, always check the laws in your state. Many exotics require a permit. Be sure you have the space, resources and knowledge to look after your pet properly and safely.