Weird pets you didn't know were a thing

Image of a cat and fox cuddling
Mr Tiddles, meet Basil. Boom boom!
"Rumour has it that the so-called 'big cat' sightings in places like Bodmin are actually examples of pet leopards and panthers being let out into the wild"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters - these are all conventional pets.

But for some people, that's not enough.

Indeed, thousands of people keep pets which might cause you to do a double-take.

Let's take a look at some of them…

Monkeys and chimps

Image of a chimp

Yes, you read correctly.

Some people actually keep monkeys as pets in Britain.

Seeing the lovable antics of Ross and his monkey in TV's Friends might have spurred people on.

But the RSPCA reckons that it's not a good idea - especially for the people who keep chimps - and would like to see it outlawed.

Panthers and big cats

Image of a panther

You can't keep big cats in the UK anymore - it was outlawed in the 1970s.

In fact, rumour has it that the so-called 'Big Cat' sightings in places like Bodmin are actually examples of pet leopards and panthers being let out into the wild.

Even the hyper-rich of the United Arab Emirates, who have been spotted taking tigers and leopards on yachts and in supercars, aren't allowed to keep wild animals as pets anymore - keeping cheetahs, lions and tigers as pets was banned in the UAE in January.


Image of a fox

Foxes, if you don't think about it too much, might make good pets.

They sort of like a cross between a cat and a dog, and very elegant looking.

But then you consider the smell. And their general feral nature. And the frightful howling sound they make, and doesn't seem quite a bright idea at all.

That doesn't stop some people though.

Great big massive lizards

Image of a monitor lizard

Imagine having a dinosaur roaming about your house.

That's what these folk essentially do.

That, in case you are wondering, is a monitor lizard. It comes from the same genus as the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon.

They're not to be taken in lightly. They're highly intelligent predators (they can, and probably will, kill other pets living in the house) and have stings in their tail, along with powerful jaws and claws.

Probably best stick to stick with a bearded dragon, yeah?


Image of a capybara

Guinea pigs are ideal starter pets for kids. But how about a 100lb 'super-size' version?

Capybaras are really cute, there's no denying that. The largest rodent in the world is native to South America, but they're not necessarily a wise pet choice.

First of all, they like living in groups.

That means that having a sole capybara would be unkind - imagine their lonely little face!

And just one capybara needs loads of space, access to water to bask in and lots - and we mean lots - of food. Their teeth are really sharp too.

You can actually own one as a pet, but you'll need to apply to your local council first.

Our thoughts? Construct a scale-model village for a guinea pig and you've got your own miniature capybara, with none of the hassle!

Clearly, none of these pets are particularly wise choices, unless you're of a committed zoological persuasion. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

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