List of Legal Exotic Animals You Can Own

tarantula close up photo

Owning a pet is a rewarding experience that many people enjoy. Pets can give you unconditional love and companionship, but the decision to get a pet is an important one. You should research different breeds and their needs before making your final decision. Several exotic animals are available for adoption in the United States, including some that might surprise you! Whether you want something small and cuddly or large and fierce, here are some legal exotic animals that you can own.

#1 Capybara

This list of legal exotic animals you can own starts with the friendliest one od them all – capybara! The capybara is the world’s largest rodent. It is a highly social animal that can be kept in pairs or groups. They are excellent swimmers who may spend hours swimming, diving, and playing in the water. They also enjoy sunbathing on rocks or grassy banks by the water’s edge.

Capybaras make good escape artists due to their size, strength, and agility. Therefore, an escape-proof enclosure should be used to keep them indoors (a large tank will provide plenty of space).

#2 Fennec Fox

Fennec foxes are the smallest canid in the world. They are native to the Sahara desert, where they live underground in burrows that they dig. They’re nocturnal and very social, with groups of up to 20 individuals living together. Fennecs are endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching for their fur and use as pets (they make excellent pets).

Fennecs have large ears that help regulate body temperature by increasing blood flow when it’s hot outside and decreasing blood flow when it’s cold; they also have thick coats of fur that keep them warm during cool nights while they sleep underground. If you want a fennec as a pet, ask yourself if you can provide a suitable living environment in your home before adopting one!

#3 Patagonian Cavies

Patagonian cavies are small guinea pig-like animals that can be kept as pets. They are very social and love to be around people, so they are excellent animals for children or anyone who likes to interact with their pets. Since they are very easy to care for and have a long lifespan, they can become best friends with their owners!

Patagonian cavies require minimal space and don’t need much attention from their owners. They can also be trained easily since they’re intelligent creatures who enjoy learning new tricks or commands to entertain you during the day. This makes them great companions because, unlike dogs or cats who might forget what you taught them yesterday (or last week), Patagonians will always remember what you’ve taught them no matter how long ago it happened!

These little guys love being clean so much that if there’s food anywhere near where they live, chances are good that it wasn’t left there by accident–it was meant as an offering specifically meant just for them.

#4 Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are marsupials that live in Australia. They are nocturnal, omnivorous, social animals with a life span of up to 10 years. Sugar gliders can be arboreal (tree-dwelling) or terrestrial (ground-dwelling). The sugar glider’s name comes from their affinity for sap and nectar; they are known to lick tree trunks and chew on plants during the daytime hours when they’re not sleeping.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists sugar gliders as endangered.

two sugar gliders
Image by gayleenfroese2 from Pixabay

#5 Kinkajous

A Kinkajou is a nocturnal animal that lives in South America. They are very smart and can learn tricks. Kinkajous are small, opossum-like animals with prehensile tail, large eyes, and long black fur on their backs that helps them blend into the trees. Kinkajous are nocturnal and sleep in tree hollows or nests made out of leaves during the day. 

They are found in groups called colonies but only mate once per year—the male kinkajou will stay with the female until she gives birth nine months later!

The average lifespan of a kinkajou is 15-20 years, but they can live up to 30 years. The oldest known kinkajou lived to be 32 years old.

#6 Hedgehogs

There are several legal exotic animals that you can own, including hedgehogs. In most states, hedgehogs are legal to own and keep as pets. They make great companions for adults and children alike and may be kept in a cage or pen with access outside the cage for exercise. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals who do not require much human interaction but will appreciate being cuddled on occasion!

Because of their small size, hedgehogs make good pets for people who do not have large indoor spaces or cannot take care of large animals like dogs or cats. However, if you have animal fur allergies, they may not be suitable for you since they’re covered in it all over their bodies!

#7 Pot-Bellied Pigs

You can own a pot-bellied pig, but you must ensure that your pet is healthy and has the best possible life. Pot-bellied pigs are very social animals, so you must make time for them in your busy schedule. 

They love getting attention from people and will be so excited when you come home that they might jump up on you! These friendly little critters are naturally clean and make excellent exotic pets because they can learn to use a litter box without problems. They’re also smart enough to learn tricks like sitting or shaking paws (and other fun tricks!) if you spend some time training them with rewards like treats or belly scratches!

Pot-bellied pigs are small enough to live indoors with their humans in most homes—but keep in mind that they need room outside too! You’ll want to give them plenty of space where they can run freely without being stuck inside all day long–they need plenty of fresh air just like people do! 

#8 Servals

Servals are medium-sized African cats. They are native to Africa but can be trained as house pets and kept in enclosures outside the wild. 

Servals have long legs and large ears. They are muscular but not as bulky as other big cats like lions or tigers. Servals eat grasses, mice, birds, and insects. They will also eat carrion if necessary. If a serval is well cared for in captivity, it will live up to 16 years old!

serval in the nature
Image by Raik Thorstad from Pixabay

#9 Finches and Canaries

Canaries and finches are native to the U.S., so you may wonder why are they on the legal exotic animals list. Even though they are not exotic animals, they can be illegal to own in some places due to their small size. They are also often kept in cages instead of being allowed to roam free, so even if you live somewhere where it’s legal to own one of these little birds, you may not be able to take him out on a walk.

#10 Tarantulas

The tarantula is your best bet if you want a spider. These legal exotic animals are not aggressive and easy to care for, but they can be difficult for beginners. These spiders come from all over the world, including Africa, South America, and Asia. The most common North American tarantula is the black Mexican red knee with red stripes on its legs.

To get started with these creatures, purchase an enclosure such as a glass tank or plastic box with holes in it to allow airflow; then place soil at the bottom of your enclosure, so your pet has plenty of room to burrow hide when it wants privacy. Remember that these creatures need a constant water supply, so ensure there’s always some available inside their cage! Finally, don’t forget about food – any variety will do!

#11 Wallabys

Wallabies are small, furry animals that look like rabbits, have long tails, and can weigh up to 20 pounds. They’re native to Africa and live in open grasslands with their social group. Wallabies are not aggressive and can be kept in a cage or outside (though some people recommend keeping them in a fenced-in area).

#12 Chinchillas

Chinchillas are rodents, meaning they have a long tail, and their feet are modified for digging. They are native to the Andes mountains in South America and live year-round in burrows that they dig themselves. Chinchillas are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and forage at night.

Because of their social nature, chinchillas must be kept in pairs or groups of three or more if you want them to thrive—they even have an elaborate mating ritual while cuddling together! If you own one chinchilla, it will likely be lonely and unhappy since chinchillas are incredibly social animals who need plenty of interaction with other chins and humans (yes!).


The list of legal exotic animals you can own is quite long, but there are some things to keep in mind before you begin your search. First and foremost, if it’s not on this list (or any other), don’t buy it! Second, ensure you have the proper space for whatever animal you bring into your home. Lastly, be prepared for the cost. These animals require a lot of care and maintenance, which doesn’t come cheap!