If you are looking for a pet that is more unusual than the normal cats and dogs, but aren’t sure what to get, or if you live in an apartment and want a pet that doesn’t require much by way of space, then look no further. Here is a list of uncommon, unusual, and unique pets that are great no matter what your situation is.
Many people are thoroughly disgusted by the thought of a rat in their home, and will use any technique they can think of to rid themselves of the rodent. However, rats can make an amazing pet. Contrary to popular believe, rats are not filthy creatures and they can be incredibly tame. They are quite intelligent, being just as smart, if not smarter than, dogs. You can train your rat to use a litter box for going potty, to come when you call his/her name, along with a ton of other tricks. Unlike dogs, rats only need to practice a new trick just a handful of times before they get it down, and you teach them tricks just like you would teach a dog. You don’t need a lot of space for a rat, which makes them great for people who live in apartments. Although they won’t need the amount of time or space for exercise like a dog will, they do still require an hour or so outside their cage to play around. As long as you clean the cage once a week, you won’t notice any odors. Note: If you are going to get a pet rat, they do better in pairs, and do yourself a favor and start saving your bread ties. Your rat will watch how you open their cage door, and will learn how to open it to let himself out. Use your bread ties to secure the cage door.
Ferrets are one of the most entertaining pets to own. These little guys do not go “wild” or “feral” as many people think. They have no inherent fear of humans, and if introduced properly, can get along great with cats and dogs. These guys are good for homes where everyone is gone during the day, as they tend to sleep 16 to 18 hours a day, being most active at dawn and dusk. These means they are awake and ready to play when your family is around. If your schedule runs differently than this, that’s okay, as your pet will adjust the hours they sleep around you. Ferrets are notorious for stealing things like keys, wallets, rattles from babies, and the cat’s toys. If you find you can’t find something, odds are your ferret has stashed it in their home. Ferrets can also be litter box trained, and with a once a week cage cleaning, are easy to maintain. Note: Ferrets love to tunnel so you must be careful with any furniture that folds, jumping onto any beds that have blankets a ferret can tunnel under, and especially with loading dirty laundry into the washer.
You will have to check with your state laws on this one, as not every state allows people to keep a hedgehog as a pet. If your state does allow it, these cute little guys are yet another low-maintenance pet. Hedgehogs are very docile and friendly. They are often mistaken as a member of a porcupine’s family, but really they aren’t. Hedgehogs are good pets for people who tend to be up late at night, as they tend to sleep most of the day, and play most of the night. Note: It is best to get a hedgehog when it is relatively young, so that it gets used to being handled by humans, and be prepared to handle it often with some one on one time.
Owning a sugar glider is becoming a rising trend. These cute little guys easy to maintain, and do often become very bonded with their human. If you are going to get a sugar glider, your should consider getting two as they are social animals, and do best when they have a little buddy to pair up with. Their ability to “glide” can be quite entertaining to watch. They are nocturnal, and spend all day sleeping. In order to bond with your glider, you may need to adjust your own schedule, because these guys aren’t like ferrets that will adjust to you! Note: Gliders aren’t recommended for households with small children, as they have sharp nails and teeth that can hurt little fingers that aren’t used to handling them.
When people think of a guinea pig, they relate them to hamsters. Boring, dull, and not something you can do anything with. But this truly isn’t the case. Guinea pigs require very little room, and only an hour or so outside of their cage a day for exercise. This makes them perfect for busy families, or as a starter pet for a child. Guinea pigs are naturally curious little individuals and can be quite loving with their owners. And yes, they can recognize and bond with their owner, even going so far as to squeak and squeal when their owner approaches their cage! Note: This is another pet that does better in pairs. Unless you want a surprise litter, keep same sex pairs!
If you are looking for an animal that will be really unusual and will shock your friends and family, why not get a skunk? Your skunk’s scent glands will be removed (by the pet shop or the local SPCA), so you don’t have to worry about the smell. Skunks are rather curious and intelligent, and can be litter box trained. Just like hedgehogs and sugar gliders, you want to start handling your pet at a young age so that it will be used to you and grow up tame. Before you get a skunk, you will want to check with your state laws, because not many states allow you to keep a skunk as a pet. Note: Be sure that you really want one. A skunk lives about 10 years, and once a skunk has been a pet, it can never be released into the wild since it no longer has its defense of the scent glands.
So there you have it. A few unusual pets if you are looking for something out of the ordinary. And all of these pets can do well if you are living in a home with a limited amount of space!
Be Prepared for Your Pet Before You Adopt!
Shaddie from Washington state on October 25, 2012:
Skunks are excellent pets!! Thank you for including them.