Best Pets to Have Besides Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs as pets translate to a serious commitment which not every family is ready for. Also there are thousands of pets being abandoned so please realise the challenge ahead of you if you do decide to get a pet and consider adopting from a shelter. That does not mean that you have to give up on your love of animals because we have plenty of other options which your family can easily adopt. Other than the “commitment issues,” some people don’t like to play commonly. Additionally if you have children learn here how to introduce a pet to your child and vice versa. Cats and dogs are the most common pets all over the world, and some people like to opt for more exotic pets. This list is going to be an adventurous ride for animal lovers since we have summed up the best pet options besides cats and dogs.


1- Rabbits


Weight: 2.2-5.5 pounds


Life span: 5-10 years


Who does not fantasize about bugs bunny as a pet? Rabbits have long been characterized as playful and fluffy cute animals. Rabbits are a symbol of life in many cultures. The association of bunny with Easter is clear since rabbits have traditionally symbolized fertility.


Rabbits are loved by kids, too, because of their iconic floppy ears. The super-soft fur of rabbits makes it very hard to resist cuddling with these fluffy fellows. Rabbits can learn things too and come when called. They are known to form strong bonds with their owners also.


For those who are looking for an escape from parent responsibilities, rabbits might not be a perfect choice because they require special care, large space, and good quality food.


2- Ferrets


Weight: 1.5-4.4 pounds


Life span: 5-10 years


Ferrets are the domesticated version of the polecat and are the genetic cousins of weasels. Ferrets are small, energetic creatures that love to explore. These little fellas are always ready to play around and “get into things.” These small mammals are very intelligent and have a curious nature. This feature makes them fun companions. Many people might find it hard to believe, but ferrets have been domesticated for over 2,000 years.


Some people mistake ferrets for rodents; in reality, ferrets are obligate carnivores, just like cats. Ferrets can be kept in wire cages or outdoor pens. However, ferrets have an active lifestyle and require exercise, so they cannot be caged for 24 hours. These mammals are social creatures, so owners must take measures to keep them in groups.


3- Guinea Pigs


Weight: 1.5-2.6 pounds


Life span: 4-8 years


If your child has a craving for a small fluffy pet, a Guinea pig is just the right option for you. Guinea pigs are the most social of the group of rodent pets. The homeland of Guinea Pigs is South America, but their fame has taken them overseas. They love human company and are the perfect fit for the first pet of your child.


Taking care of this animal is also not that hard. Guinea pigs can be caged in an open-topped cage with a small covered sleeping area. They can be fed a variety of fruits, including fruits and vegetables. They are also generally easy to take care of and tame.


4- Hamsters


Weight: 0.04-0.09 pounds


Life span: 2-3 years


Hamsters are popular small pets. More than one hamster species is known to be kept as pets, but the most common one is the Golder hamster or Syrian Hamsters. If you are looking for a pet for your kid, a hamster will make a great choice. The most important thing about hamsters is that they are low maintenance and are generally easy to feed and house.


Hamsters are rodents, and their favorite foods include fresh fruits and vegetables. Hamsters are super-interactive with their environment. They are fun to play with. One thing you need to take into account is their nocturnal lifestyle – meaning that they are more active at night and won’t like being disturbed while sleeping during the day. Hamsters want to be alone in their cages, so you will only have to buy one.


5- Hedgehogs


Weight: 0.8-2.6 pounds

Life span: 2-5 years

These spiny animals have taken over the internet with their cuteness. Hedgehogs are solitary beings and probably will be the quietest pet you will ever own. Originally, they are native to Western Europe and have been around for millions of years. However, their fame as pets is recent.

The spines of the hedgehog are relatively smooth, but the owners have to be careful because they might hurt you. Hedgehogs are omnivores and can eat anything from fruits and vegetables to crickets and worms. They are also nocturnal animals, so you will have to feed them in the evenings.

It is illegal to keep a hedgehog pet in some jurisdictions in North America, and you will require a license to keep and breed them.


6- Sugar gliders


Weight: 0.22-0.35 pounds


Life span: 10-12 years


Sugar gliders are like the marsupial version of the flying squirrels. Yes, sugar gliders are marsupials, and just like kangaroos, they also have pouches in which the females raise their young. Sugar gliders are amazing creatures as they can fly too – although their flight is actually a glide through the air.


Sugar gliders bear their name because of their fondness for sugary foods. They are omnivores and eat other foods too. Sugar gliders, too, have a nocturnal lifestyle. Another great thing about sugar gliders is that they keep themselves clean, and the owner does not have to worry about bathing them regularly. Their original homeland is Australia, and they have been kept as pets in America for 15 years.


7- Bearded Dragons


Weight: 0.6-1.1 pounds


Life span: 10-15 years


There are six species of Bearded Dragons from the genus Pogona which are kept as pets. These lizards are native to Australia. Beardies are generally docile in captivity and do not show aggressive behaviors.


These lizards are active during the day. Housing Bearded Dragons is not a difficult job. They can be kept in a 55–75-gallon tank, but the owner will have to make sure their exposure to UV light. Bearded Dragons are omnivores. They should be kept on a mixed diet, including leaves, vegetables, and insects. The Beardies like to perch on the shoulders of their owners, and this forms a bond with them in this way.


8- Chinchillas


Weight: 1.1-1.8 pounds

Life span: 10-20 years


Chinchilla is a crepuscular rodent, which means it is most active during the twilight period. In other words, they are early risers, so the owners have to keep this in mind and schedule their feeding. They are slightly larger than ground squirrels in size. Chinchillas are skittish animals which means they don’t fancy much touching. They are very agile, and an amazing about chinchillas is that they can jump up to 5 feet in the air.


In nature, Chinchillas live in herds, so the owners must buy them in at least pairs to keep them happy. A normal herbivore diet is perfect for them. They are a little shy and might be better suited for older children.


9- Chipmunks


Weight: 1-5 ounces


Life span: 6-10 years


These small striped rodents have gained worldwide fame after the movie “Alvin and the

Chipmunks.” They are a little bit smaller and cuter than squirrels. Chipmunks are naturally found in North America. The most adorable feature of Chipmunks is their cheek pouches, in which they stuff seeds and cherries to transport and burrow them for later use. A good Chipmunk diet includes seeds, berries, and tender plants.


Just like their fame, their status as a pet is also newly born. They still have wild instincts and hate to be restrained. In many countries, it is even illegal to keep a Chipmunk as a pet.


10- Betta fish


Life span: 3-5 years


Did your kid recently watched finding Nemo and is now obsessed with owning a little “Nemo” for himself? Well, aquatic pets can be very appealing to children, but keeping them can be a complicated task. If you are just starting with aquatic pets and looking for your first buy, we advise you to start with something simple. A Betta Fish can be a great option. These fish are magnificent creatures with vibrant colors. Plus, they are resilient beings, which means you will not be running to a pet care every weekend. And all you will have to do with these pets is arrange an aquarium with all the basic equipment.


11- Gerbils


Weight: 1.7-3.2 ounces


Life span: 3-5 years


Gerbil is another pet option from the rodent family. They are close relatives of the rats and are also known as “sand rats.” Gerbils are sociable creatures and like petting or sitting in the hand of their owners. Gerbils make great pets for owners of every age. Another plus point for having Gerbil pet is that they are inexpensive.


A 24 inches by 12 inches aquarium can make a good cage for Gerbils. Since Gerbils are burrowing rodents, a deep layer of bedding in their cage is preferred. Do not forget to furnish their cage with climbing material like thick pieces of wood. Gerbil diets are commercially available, which usually consist of seed mixtures.


12- Turtles


Life span: 10-80 years


Turtles are a symbol of wisdom and knowledge around the world. In some traditions, they even symbolize longevity. These slowpokes make exciting pets and can be peaceful to observe. They can be kept in an aquarium or a pond. These peaceful buddies won’t disturb you with any kind of noise.


There can be some peculiarities with keeping a turtle. They carry salmonella, so they are not recommended for children under 8. Owners must have to observe good sanitary practices. Above that, turtles may ask for some grooming too. Their shell has to be scrubbed sometimes. They need sufficient exposure to UV light to stay healthy.


13- Tarantulas


Weight: 1-3 ounces


Life span: 15-25 years


If you were here looking for a truly unique and exotic pet option, Tarantula is for you. Tarantulas are large and hairy spiders. Nope, they are not creepy. Tarantulas can be a fascinating hobby. They are easy to take care of, do not take a lot of space, and are fascinating to watch.

Tarantulas are not sociable and are kept alone in a cage. However, their cage must be enclosed with a lid to prevent their escape. A diet of crickets supplemented with a few other insects will be enough to keep your Tarantula in a good mood. Tarantulas have venomous bites, so extra care has to be taken while handling them if you are adamant about handling them.


14- Parakeets


Weight: 1.1-1.4 ounces


Life span: 5-15 years


Parakeets make excellent pets for children. Their personalities are just as colorful as their feathers. These small-sized parrots are social and outgoing birds and are often considered the “beginner birds.” The selling feature of these birds is that they are easy to tame. They will love to sit on your shoulder and spend time with you. With a little bit of extra training, Parakeets can learn a number of tricks too, and you will be able to show off your pet’s skills in front of your friends.


Parakeets will require variety in their diet, including seeds, vegetables, and fruits.


15- Cockatiels


Weight: 2.4-4.2 ounces


Life span: 10-14 years


Also known as quarrion or as weirdo birds, cockatiels belong to the family of cockatoo birds. These birds are endemic to Australia. Cockatiels are known to have expressive faces. They are very vocal animals and can be taught to speak a few words of your language too. Cockatiels are far less demanding and do not like to be man-handled too often. The most interesting thing about these birds is that they are fond of imitating songs with their whistles. One thing that cockatiel owners complain about is their screaming calls.

For a list of all animals and their facts please see this table


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