6 Weirdest Pets That You Can Legally Own

  • From just unusual to plain disgusting, here are some pets that will definitely get your guests talking about them.

Most of us are happy with a dog or a cat for a pet. But not everyone is satisfied with a regular furry goofball.

For those of you who like more exotic pets – or maybe you just want to see what kinds of animals some weirdoes keep in their homes – here are six weird animals that you can actually legally own.


Hedgehog

On the not-so-weird-but-still-kind-of-weird end of the scale, we have hedgehogs. These spiny little critters are cute and make for surprisingly great pets.

They’re not particularly cuddly or attention-hungry, which is probably for the better. But they’re gentle and quiet, and with frequent handling they’ll learn to like being picked up and running around on your chest.

They’re low-maintenance pets that can be fed on cat kibble. They also like going to town on mealworms, crickets, caterpillars, and fresh bananas and green beans.

Getting your own hedgehog will send you back $75-$250 dollars, depending on what kind of a hedgehog you want. They’re legal to own in most of the U.S., apart from Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

Buffalo Leech

 

We already covered these things in an earlier story, but this is bizarre enough that it warrants another mention. Yes, people actually keep gigantic leeches as pets.

Buffalo leeches – also known as Asian leeches – are pretty monstrously sized for leeches. They can grow up five and half inches long, and when they flatten themselves, they can be around three inches wide.

If you need a better reference, it’s a bit smaller than your palm.

They are kept in a shallow water tank, which must be kept at a constant 78 degrees. They cost about $300 per leech, but outside of that, they’re fairly cheap and low-maintenance – they only need to be fed every two months.

And you can feed them for free. Just slap the leech on your arm and let it suck your sweet crimson juices.

No, we’re not kidding.

Alligator

Want a bit of a thrill in your life? Get an alligator.

What, you thought those urban legends about pet alligators being released into sewers came from nothing? Alligators are perfectly legal to own in many states, though you might need a permit.

Just understand that these thing get big. That cute little reptile that you brought home will eventually grow into an 11-foot-long, 1,000-pound beast.

Alligators are a long-time investment, since they can live up to 50 years. That means that it might easily outlive you.

That’s particularly true if you’re not careful around mealtime. Alligators are unscrupulous carnivores that will eat any meat they can get – including yours.

Alligators will not become tame, either. They will snap at your fingers as soon as they hatch, and you’ll never be more than a meal-in-waiting to them. Don’t expect cuddles.

But if having an insatiably flesh-hungry reptilian monster in your home sounds like a good idea, you can get one for around $3,000.

Anteater

On the list of bizarre things that Salvador Dali did in his lifetime, having an anteater as a pet doesn’t rank anywhere near the top. But if you’d like to be just like the famous surrealist painter, good news – you can.

There are many kinds of anteaters out there, but the southern tamandua is particularly popular as a pet. Native to South America, these long-furred critters are surprisingly affectionate and like to cuddle up with you for a nap.

They can grow to be around for feet long (including their prehensile tale) and weigh about the same as a small dog. Their mouths are toothless, since they feed with their long, sticky tongue.

To feed that tongue, you don’t necessarily need ants, though the tamandua will happily eat any house pests as an added bonus. You can feed with a ground up mixture of cat food and bean meal, or blend ground beef with various fruits and vegetables.

Otherwise, a tamandua doesn’t require much more maintenance than a regular housecat. They’re expensive, though – your very own anteater can cost up to $8,000.

Kangaroo

While the largest kangaroos are much too big for most houses, there are smaller options. Wallabies grow up to be around three feet tall and weigh roughly 50-60 pounds.

That’s still not exactly a house pet size, but they can be kept outside in a 50 feet by 50 feet enclosure. If the temperature outside drops under 50 degrees, they will need a heated small house to live in.

Wallabies require large amounts of hay and grass for feeding, and the diet should be supplemented with fresh green veggies.

While keeping kangaroos – including wallabies – as pets is controversial, they are legal in some U.S. states. You should be careful, though, since they can be temperamental and those strong back legs can deliver a nasty kick.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Are you one of those people whose first instinct upon seeing a cockroach isn’t “oh god, kill it with fire”? If so, here’s a perfect pet just for you.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of the largest cockroach species in the world. As adults, they can be three inches long, and can live up to five years.

As their name suggests, these things aren’t quiet like most insects. They produce their unique hissing noise by forcing air out of their breathing tubes.

You can house your lovely roaches in a 10-gallon fish tank in a dimly lit room. Unlike most roaches that will flock to rotting and spoiled food, the hissing cockroaches actually avoid that stuff – they prefer to eat fresh vegetables and fruit.

Hissing cockroaches are cheap, going for about $2-$10 per insect, so they’re very cheap to keep. Just make sure you get only females or males, unless you really want to have a roach-plosion in your home.

Some pet experts say hissing cockroaches are great pets for children that can help them get over a fear of bugs. Hissing cockroaches are slow and don’t skitter all over place like their verminous relatives.

Personally, we still think we’ll give this one a pass.

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