cool pets to have

13 Cool Pets to Have That Will Turn Heads and Hearts

Are you tired of the same old dogs and cats? If you’re looking for cool pets to have, you’re in for a treat! This guide will introduce you to 13 fascinating and often overlooked companions.

Considerations Before Getting an Unusual Pet

Getting an Unusual Pet

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The idea of bringing home an exotic or unusual pet can be incredibly appealing. But it’s essential to be fully prepared for the responsibilities that come with these unique companions. Here are some points to consider:

1. Legal Issues and Permits

Before you even think about purchasing an unusual pet, it’s crucial to check whether owning that animal is legal in your jurisdiction. Some animals require special permits, while others might be entirely banned. Make sure you are familiar with federal, state, and local laws to avoid any legal trouble.

2. Long-Term Commitment

Exotic pets often have lifespans comparable to or even longer than dogs and cats. For instance, some parrots can live for over 50 years. Are you prepared for such a long-term commitment? Consider your life stages, such as moving, career changes, or having children, and how the pet will fit into this.

3. Vet Care Availability

Not all veterinarians are equipped to treat exotic or unusual pets. Check to see if there are specialized veterinarians in your area and consider the potential costs. Some exotic pets require regular health check-ups and specialized medical care that can be both hard to find and expensive.

4. Allergies and Other Health Considerations

Make sure nobody in your household is allergic to the pet you are considering. It’s not just fur that can cause allergies; some birds produce dander that can also be problematic.

5. Suitability for Your Living Conditions

Examine your living environment — is it suited for the pet you’re interested in? Pets like sugar gliders or birds require ample space and are sensitive to temperature and humidity. Do you have enough room for a sufficiently large enclosure, or perhaps a separate room for your new pet? Check if the pet is suited for a household with children or other pets.

6. Costs

The initial purchase or adoption fee for an exotic pet is often just the beginning. Consider the cost of special foods, tanks or cages, heating lamps, and other equipment. Insurance for exotic pets can also be costly and is a good idea to consider for potential health issues down the line.

7. Time and Attention

Exotic pets often need a lot of time and attention to remain healthy and happy. This includes feeding, cleaning, and socialization. Research how much time you will need to dedicate to your pet’s care and if that aligns with your lifestyle.

By taking the time to think through these considerations, you’ll be better prepared to choose a pet that you can care for adequately, making the experience rewarding for both you and your new companion.

Cool Animals to Have as Pets in Your Room

Cool Mammalian Pets

So, you’ve decided you want a mammal that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Great choice! Mammalian pets offer a variety of behaviors and care needs that can make for a truly enriching experience. Let’s delve into some unique options.

1. Sugar Gliders

Sugar Gliders

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Sugar gliders are marsupials native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. They glide through the air like a flying squirrel, thanks to a unique membrane between their limbs. Sugar gliders are social animals that bond deeply with their owners.

Sugar gliders need to be in pairs or groups and enjoy playing with toys and exploring their surroundings. They require a diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, and some proteins like insects, along with constant social interaction for their mental well-being.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: A large, vertical cage to simulate tree-like environments.
  • Diet: Fresh fruit and nectar, along with protein like insects.
  • Social Interaction: They get lonely and depressed without social interaction.

2. Hedgehogs


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These pint-sized creatures are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. With their distinctive spiky appearance, hedgehogs are a unique addition to any home. What makes them especially captivating is their ability to roll up into a tight ball, displaying their quills when they feel threatened or scared. This is not just cute; it’s a built-in self-defense mechanism.

Their pens require weekly cleaning, and they need a mixture of insects like mealworms and specialized hedgehog food for their diet. The more you handle your hedgehog, the more comfortable it will become with human interaction.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: A spacious pen with a flat surface.
  • Diet: Insects, fruits, and specialized hedgehog food.
  • Handling: Gentle handling regularly for socialization.

3. Chinchillas


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Native to the Andes Mountains in South America, Chinchillas are admired for their incredibly soft, dense fur and playful, energetic nature. They are social animals, often seen in pairs or small groups in the wild. In a domestic setting, they form strong bonds with their human caregivers and are known for their inquisitive, playful disposition.

Chinchillas are nocturnal, which means they are most active during the early morning and late evening. They have a long lifespan, often living up to 15 years in captivity, so prospective owners should be prepared for a long-term commitment.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Cool environment with plenty of spaces to hide.
  • Diet: Special chinchilla pellets and occasional treats like dried fruit.
  • Hygiene: Dust baths to keep their fur clean and dense.

Cool Reptilian and Amphibian Pets

Reptiles and amphibians can be awe-inspiring pets for those looking to break the mold of traditional pet ownership. Although these creatures may not be as outwardly affectionate as mammals, they are fascinating in their own right, showcasing unique behaviors and offering intriguing care routines. Below, we’ll explore some popular options.

4. Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons

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Bearded dragons hail from the deserts of Australia and are revered for their relaxed disposition. They’re often recommended for those new to reptile care, as they’re generally tolerant of handling and can become quite social. Bearded dragons need a carefully regulated environment that replicates their natural arid habitat. Regular feeding and cleaning routines are necessary for their well-being.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Equipped with heat lamps and UVB lights.
  • Diet: Varied, including insects and vegetables.
  • Social Interaction: Enjoy handling and can become quite friendly.

5. Axolotls


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Native to lakes surrounding Mexico City, axolotls are one of the most uniquely fascinating amphibians. Unlike most, axolotls never undergo a full metamorphosis, retaining their aquatic larval form throughout their lives. Water quality is paramount for axolotls, requiring frequent testing and filtration to remove toxins. Given their unique physiology, they require specialized veterinary care.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Aquarium with a powerful filter, no small ingestible decorations.
  • Diet: Specialized pellets, earthworms, or insect larvae.

6. Leopard Geckos

Leopard Geckos

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Originating from the deserts of Asia and India, leopard geckos are small, ground-dwelling reptiles. They are renowned for their easy-going nature and come in a plethora of colors and patterns. Their nocturnal lifestyle makes them an interesting pet for those who enjoy observing animal behavior in the evening. Their low maintenance and friendly demeanor make them an excellent choice for first-time reptile owners.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Warm and humid, often requiring heating pads.
  • Diet: Insectivores, primarily eating crickets and mealworms.
  • Handling: Generally comfortable with human interaction.

Cool Avian Pets

Birds offer a unique pet experience, combining colorful appearances with entertaining behaviors and even vocal mimicry in some species. Whether you prefer the majesty of a raptor or the melodic chatter of a parrot, there are plenty of cool avian options to consider.

7. African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots

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African Grey Parrots are among the most intelligent birds and are capable of complex vocal mimicry. Hailing from the rainforests of West and Central Africa, these parrots not only mimic human speech but also understand the context to some extent.

Owning an African Grey Parrot is a long-term commitment, as they can live up to 60 years. They require plenty of interaction and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and associated behavioral problems.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Spacious cage with plenty of toys for mental stimulation.
  • Diet: Balanced diet of pellets, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Social Interaction: Need constant social engagement due to their intelligent nature.

8. Budgerigars (Budgies)


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Budgies are small parrots that come from Australia. They are highly social birds and are easier to care for compared to other parrot species, making them good pets for beginners. Budgies can be taught to mimic human speech and love to engage in play. With proper care, they can live up to 10-15 years, offering years of companionship.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Cage with horizontal bars for climbing, and swings.
  • Diet: Seed mix, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Social Interaction: Enjoy company, either from humans or other budgies.

Cool Pets to Have in a Tank

Aquatic pets can transform an average fish tank into an underwater wonderland. Beyond the standard goldfish or betta fish, there are several cool aquatic creatures that can offer beauty, intrigue, and even a touch of the exotic right in your home.

9. Seahorses


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Seahorses are captivating creatures, bending the norms of what one expects in an aquarium. With their unique shape and slow, deliberate movements, they bring a tranquil beauty to any aquatic setting.

Seahorses require specific water conditions, including a well-filtered and stable environment. It’s crucial to get advice from experts when setting up a seahorse tank to ensure their delicate needs are met.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Tank with moderate current and plenty of places to anchor.
  • Diet: Primarily eat small crustaceans like brine shrimp.

10. Freshwater Shrimp

Freshwater Shrimp

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Freshwater shrimp like the Cherry Shrimp or Crystal Shrimp are excellent additions to a peaceful community tank. They are scavengers that help keep the tank clean by eating algae and debris. Freshwater shrimp are highly sensitive to water conditions and need a stable, well-filtered environment. A peaceful setting without aggressive fish is essential for their well-being.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: A well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots.
  • Diet: Algae, plant matter, and specialized shrimp pellets.

Cool Invertebrate Pets

Invertebrates might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering cool pets, but they offer a different kind of appeal. From intricate web-weaving spiders to color-changing cuttlefish, invertebrates introduce a sense of wonder and complexity into the world of pet ownership.

11. Tarantulas


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Tarantulas are among the most famous pet invertebrates and come in a range of sizes and colors. Native to various parts of the world, including the Americas, Africa, and Asia, these spiders can make fascinating, low-maintenance pets.

Tarantulas molt regularly, especially when young, and require specific humidity and temperature conditions. They can live for several years, and some females can live for over 20 years under proper care.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Glass or plastic enclosure with proper ventilation.
  • Diet: Mostly insectivorous, eating crickets, mealworms, and the like.
  • Handling: Minimal; some species are more tolerant than others but handling is generally discouraged.

12. Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crabs

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Hermit Crabs are a more interactive invertebrate pet, often seen scurrying around and changing shells as they grow. They are social creatures that do best when kept with other hermit crabs. Hermit crabs need access to both fresh and salt water in their habitat. They also require a variety of empty shells to move into as they grow, making them a continually evolving pet to watch.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Aquarium with a mix of sand and coconut fiber substrate.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; enjoy fruits, vegetables, and protein sources like fish flakes.
  • Social Interaction: Thrive when kept in groups.

13. Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp

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Mantis shrimp are marine invertebrates known for their vibrant colors and incredibly powerful claws, used both for hunting and burrowing. These creatures are not shrimp but belong to a different class of crustaceans entirely.

Mantis shrimp are solitary creatures, often best kept in a species-only tank due to their aggressive nature. They require stable water conditions and should only be kept by those experienced with marine aquariums.

Care Requirements:

  • Habitat: Marine aquarium with proper filtration and substrate for burrowing.
  • Diet: Carnivorous, requiring a diet of fresh fish, crabs, and other small marine animals.


The world of pet ownership is more diverse than you may have imagined. From sugar gliders to freshwater shrimp, there are many cool pets to have that fit various lifestyles and preferences.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.