If you’re like most, you’ve never heard of this animal.
Though more closely related to racoons, adult kinkajous (sometimes referred to as honeybears)
look like a cross between a monkey and an (albeit tiny) bear, with dense, wooly fur.
Adults can weigh anywhere from three to ten pounds and tend to be solitary creatures who
take well to bird toys.
They are nocturnal, so most owners typically keep them penned up at night when they’re
If you’re willing to go through the agita of having to build an outdoor enclosure a
Kinkajou might be the right fit for you, particularly if you prefer mild mannered pets to high-octane
puppies or territorial kittens.
Mostly, they’re fruitarians, though some are known to develop strawberry allergies
and most all do best when kept away from citrus of any sort.
Kinkajous are traditionally tree dwellers and possess the rare ability to rotate their
hind ankles, which enables them to run quickly both forward and backward.
Though their piercing cries, screeches and occasional barks have earned them the nickname
la llorona in the rainforests of South America, they’re known to be pretty docile, if messy,
Though these tiny creatures are commonly mistaken as rodents, they’re actually marsupials,
loosely related to the kangaroo and koala bear.
Unlike most rodents, they have an average lifespan similar to dogs in addition to a
similar level of intelligence, which allows them to complete basic tricks and come when
If fed the proper diet they won’t emit any odor– unlike other rodents and ferrets, which
I always thought smelled like urinal cakes, even on their best days.
Adults are nocturnal and weigh roughly six ounces.
Unlike kinkajous, sugar gliders are highly social creatures that tend to live in colonies.
PETA has railed against keeping sugar gliders as housepets, as they tend to be bred in conditions
similar to puppy mills and because of their size, are smuggled across countries in exceedingly
inhumane ways which can include, being stuffed into extremely tiny containers.
As their name implies, sugar gliders can glide between trees resting upwards of 150 feet
away from each other.
Think of them as bug-eyed, white bellied, furry little parachutes, sharp in tooth and
Cousins to kangaroos, Wallabies are marsupial creatures which are best suited to owners
who can provide ample space for them to jump, run and play in.
Because of this, most yards aren’t suited to these animals’ needs.
Would-be owners should take note that they’re notoriously difficult to housetrain, in addition
to house in general, given their size, energy levels, strong hind legs and nocturnal hardwiring.
They differ from kangaroos in that their teeth have flat rows, as opposed to curved rows
and typically feed on leaves, which require less slicing than the grass that most kangaroos
Wallabies are typically two and a half feet tall and weigh roughly thirty pounds, though
some breeds have been known to grow as large as fifty pounds and stand six feet tall.
In different parts of the country, pet owners have noticed that their wallabies make a fine
substitute for lawn mowers, given their insatiable appetite for grass.
Rural areas are the best for these pets.
Hedgehogs are kind of the rolly-pollies of the domestic animal world, as they like to
curl up into tight balls at even the slightest hint of a threat.
If they’re attracted to an object or creature’s scent, they lick and bite it to form a ball
of saliva in their mouths, which they then use to anoint themselves by spitting it over
their spines, as a kind of camouflage.
When happy, they’re known to whistle and purr and if angry, tend to make a huffing
They’re extremely susceptible to temperature changes–some species are known to hibernate
while others are known to aestivate– which is a process through which they cut down on
physical activity as a way of slowing down their metabolic rate to prevent overheating.
It should be noted that pet Hedgehogs are typically kept in stable climates, so if you
notice your pet engaging in either of these behaviors, you should take them to the vet.
Though their spines may say otherwise, most hedgehogs, if given the right affection, are
known to be warm, loving creatures who can live up to eight years in captivity.
The soft, downy fur of Chinchillas which makes
them the ideal cuddlers has unfortunately contributed to their popularity in the fur
industry since the 16th century.
They don’t startle as easily as other animals of their size and are known to be low-maintenance,
yet high strung companions.
Due to their limited geographic habitat, chinchillas should only eat four things: water, hay, special
fortified pellets and rolled oats, for treats.
Chinchilla fur is so dense that if they were to be given a normal bath, they would be unable
to fully dry and shortly after become hypothermic.
In their native Chile, chinchillas use ash, soot and dust to cleanse the oil from their
Owners should be ready to give their pets dust baths at least once a week, if not more.
Unfortunately enough for the females of the species, chinchillas have a remarkably long
gestation periods for rodents which spans roughly one hundred and ten days.
They don’t do well in places with high humidity and/or heat and are crepuscular, meaning their
nocturnal activity typically peaks at dawn and dusk.
If you let your chinchilla on the loose, you do so at the peril of your furniture, as these
guys like to gnaw their way through most things as a way of counteracting the continuous growth
of their teeth.
Like sugar gliders, bush babies (also known as galagos) are capable of leaping up to twenty
These squirrel sized creatures are perfect for those of us who would like to know what
it would be like to hear a newborn baby crying, without all the messy responsibility and self-doubt
that comes with raising an actual human.
Their eyes are disproportionately large for their small frames and are admittedly, somewhat
Their innocent demeanor is also a tad unsettling too, they kind of remind me of Furbies in
Also, their heads can almost fully rotate, so they have the whole Linda Blair eeriness
going for them too.
In addition, their fingers, though tiny, are also creepily human-like.
They mark their territory by urinating in their hands.
So, in short, this animal would be a perfect fit for someone who is curious about kids,
and perhaps a tad commitment-phobic.
Also, any would-be owner would have to come from substantial means in order to be able
to set up the proper living conditions for their bush baby, as the initial investment
in quality breeders, food, and an enclosure can set you back several thousand.
Spotted genets may look like a cats, mixed with splashes of cheetah and bear, but they’re
more genetically similar to mongooses and hyenas and have been kept as pets for a millenium
and a half.
They differ from most others on this list in that they are almost entirely solitary
creatures and don’t play well with others.
They typically live up to eight years in the wild, but this number increased to twenty,
if kept in captivity.
At birth, they weigh three ounces but grow to be anywhere from two to six pounds.
They’re omnivorous and will eat most anything they come across.
Though they can technically be litter trained, they do engage in territorial marking and
if frightened, will emit a noxious, skunk-like odor from their scent glands, which some owners
opt to have removed.
While their claws are semi-retractable, they are also extremely sharp.
Genets are not likely to retract their claws, even if they are engaging in what they believe
to be friendly play.
Fennecs are the smallest foxes in the world and grow to be only four pounds.
As is the case with most animals suited for purses, Fennecs are about as high-maintenance
as you’d expect.
They’re shy, solitary animals who can’t be trained in any traditional sense.
Though they may be able to learn their own name, they won’t respond to it or come when
If a male fennec is happy, he can emit a dinosaur-like screech, other fennec sounds include yipping
If one of these foxes nibbles your knuckles, it means they really like you and are inviting
you to engage in mutual grooming.
They require a lot of attention, play and strict feeding schedules and can take upwards
of a year to warm up to people, though this length of time is rare.
Some Fennecs may dislike people for no discernable reason, much like cats, (who’s instincts
you should always trust FYI.)
They alternate between high bursts of energy and lethargy.
While their yoda-like ears might make them seem adorable, their resting faces let you
know they’re not to be trifled with.
Though fennec foxes are closer to dogs than cats from an evolutionary standpoint, their
behavior tends to be more feline and swings between high bursts of energy and equally
high bouts of lethargy.
To the Wes Anderson fans out there who may be wondering why this fox seems familiar:
wonder no more, because Kristofferson (Mr. Fox’s perfect, enviable nephew in THE FANTASTIC
FOX) happens to be a fennec fox.
Another fun fact, Kristofferson was created specifically for the movie and is nowhere
to be found in the original Roald Dahl book.
The ideal pet for Charlotte’s Web and Muppets
Similar to children, pet pigs are known to push the limits of their owner’s patience
and many have had to resort to childproof locks to stop midnight pantry raids.
They will eat anything, but their compassionate and intelligent nature makes up for it, ten
It should go without saying that they need outdoor time.
They can breed when they are just three months old, so if you have a male and female, keep
them apart, unless you want a third three months’ time.
It’s important to understand that most “mini” “micro” or “teacup” pigs are really
pot-bellied pigs that tend to be smaller than other breeds.
This terminology is more founded in marketing than it is in truth.
In the 80’s the pet pig craze reached its peak and then quickly dwindled once owners
realized that their mini-friends were growing to be over hundred pounds or more.
Pigs are known to be filthy and bathe in mud, but, as with the hedgehog, this practice can
be linked back to self-preservation, in this case, pigs like to coat themselves with mud
to protect themselves from the sun.
Donkeys are known people pleasers who love to cuddle and are extremely affectionate toward
other animals, small children and their owners.
They can grow up to be three feet tall and typically weigh between two hundred and three
hundred fifty pounds.
Training comes more easily with donkies as compared to other pets.
This is due to their wonderful memory, which means, if you show them love, they’ll remember
The phrase “stubborn as a mule,” leaves out the bigger picture.
Owing to their exceptional memory, if donkeys have a bad experience with anything, they’ll
be more reluctant to attempt it again.
Mini donkeys are native to Sicily and Sardinia but were brought to the states in the 1920s.
If you’re willing to buy the stacks and stacks of hay bales that it takes to maintain
their svelte figures, you’ll likely find a wonderful addition to your family in the
pet donkey who is capable of living up to thirty-five years.
If none of what I’ve said can convince you to become a mini-donkey owner, look no further
than Martha Stewart, who is the proud owner of two of these mischievous and loving creatures.