People like to keep pets. That explains it in the simplest terms. We like to have animals around to play with, and give us some interaction. This has been the practice as far back as history goes, and people have always loved to share their living spaces with animals of different kinds, so there is no need to wonder why we are interested in the list of exotic pets legal to own in Texas.
But it seems that somewhere along with the line people got tired of keeping parrots, dogs, and cats, and started to turn their attention to more exotic -more uncommon-animals that stood out, showed their status, and attracted attention to them.
However, when a thing becomes popular it tends to go overboard. Obviously, if laws are not put in place, every household will have a pet tiger, and people will continue to purchase endangered species on a regular basis from legal and illegal sources. To prevent this, there are a few regulations stipulating some exotic animals that can be owned as pets in Texas. This article highlights some of them. Read below to find out some of the exotic animals you can own in Texas.
List Of Exotic Pets Legal To Own In Texas
- Natural habitat: Madagascar
- Size: Lemurs can range from 1.1 oz to 20 lbs depending on the species.
- Diet: They mainly eat plant material, including leaves and fruit.
- Lifespan: Some can live from 15 to 20 years, while Larger species can live over 30 years.
When you mention the Lemur people immediately imagine the Ring-tailed Lemur which is the most common species of this animal, which was made famous by the film Madagascar. These animals actually do quite well in captivity. In zoos, they are reported to be one of the easiest mammals to handle, they socialize well, interact with humans, and are not feisty. The later is an important factor, considering the fact that they possess biting capabilities. Still, all primates are considered demanding pets and are therefore not suitable for people who are not willing to devote the needed time and attention. All lemurs are considered endangered species. Because of this, they cannot be sold across state lines.
- Natural habitat: South and Central America.
- Size: Sloths range in size from 7.9 to 17 lbs, depending on the particular species.
- Diet: Sloths eat mostly leaves, but they also eat fruit and insects.
- Lifespan: Sloths usually live for about 20 years in the wild, they are recorded to have lived for up to 30 years in captivity.
Sloths are quite popular animals in Texas, as are their cousins the tamanduas. Sloths are known to be extremely sensitive to stress (meaning you should leave them alone) and they also require stringent attention to their environment. A little dirtiness could result in a big sickness. Luckily, they are not readily available, and when you can find them, the pricing for babies usually starts around $6000.
- Natural habitat: Kinkajous can be found in the Americas, stretching from Sierra Madres in Mexico southeastern Brazil.
- Diet: Kinkajous mostly eats fruit, figs in particular.
- Size: these small animals range between 16-24 inches in length, and usually weigh between 3-10 pounds.
- Lifespan: They live for up to 23 years in captivity.
They look like monkeys but are more closely related to raccoons. The most remarkable feature of these animals is their long tongue with which they can reach for sweets and fruits. In the natural world, the kinkajou is a nocturnal animal. Perhaps that contributes to this animal’s reputation for having aggressive tendencies that are unpredictable. Therefore, a large space is needed for them to play around in, especially when they are not feeling particularly friendly. However, they are said to be quite friendly with their owners.
- Natural habitat: Forests of South America, typically near water.
- Size: Capybaras are quite big: they can range between 3.48-4.40 feet in length, and measure 20-24 inches in height from their feet to their heads. They can weigh between 77 to 146 pounds in weight.
- Diet: They mainly eat grass, and have a fondness for aquatic plants.
- Lifespan: Capybaras can live for between 8-10 years in captivity.
The capybara is a giant rodent- the biggest in the family that includes rats, guinea pigs, and grasscutters of Africa. They have webbed feet, further proving that adaptation for water. These dog-sized animals love to swim and need a deep and wide water source to satisfy this need. Capybaras love their owners, and well-socialized individuals can let their owners show them off, even walking on a leash like dogs.
Asian Leopard Cat
- Natural habitat: Can be found throughout South, Southeast, and East Asia.
- Size: These are roughly the same size as domestic cats.
- Diet: Mostly eats small prey like rodents and small lizards.
- Lifespan: They typically live for up to 13 years in captivity.
Asian Leopard Cats are a wild species of cats that are found naturally in Southern and Southeast Asia. They are mostly recognized by their spots which make them look like small leopards. These cats small but mighty- they are challenging animals to own and can be wary of human interaction. There are, of course, more friendly with their owners.
- Natural habitat: Plains of Australia.
- Size: Kangaroos can grow to be as tall as 6’7″, and can weigh up to 200 pounds.
- Diet: Kangaroos are herbivores. They commonly graze on grass and succulent plants.
- Lifespan: Kangaroos can live over 20 years in captivity.
Kangaroos are social animals. They are Marsaupials-animals that are closely related to rodents. They eat strictly plant matter and are giants which should not be caged or house trained, but rather, given a large area to roam about, especially with other animals of their own kind. Another factor is that they require adequate fencing to keep them contained. They can jump over four feet high and leap 15 feet in distance. They can, however, be friendly, and good to show off to friends and visitors.
- Natural habitat: South America.
- Size: The largest species of this animal can grow to be over nine inches and weigh up to 14 oz.
- Diet: They have a varied diet, including insects, fruit, and sap.
- Lifespan: They can live from 10-20 years in captivity.
Callitrichids are small monkeys that are endemic to the Americas. Members of this family include marmosets and tamarins. Due to their small size, there are virtually no restrictions from the authorities preventing or regulating ownership of these animals. Due to their small size, these animals are among the most popular primate species to keep. Unfortunately, these monkeys are quite messy and have a strong smell, making them a poor choice as indoor pets.
- Natural habitat: Native to Africa, north of the Sahara and also Southern Africa. They can also be found in Southwestern Europe.
- Size: They usually range between 17-22 inches in length, and can weigh up to 4.4 pounds.
- Diet: Has a varied diet of insects, birds, fruit, and small mammals.
- Lifespan: Up to 13 years in captivity.
Spotted Genets are uniquely patterned: they have the shape of a mongoose, the spotted patterns of a leopard, and the ringed tail of a lemur. They are similar in appearance to the Southwestern ring-tailed cat, which is illegal to own. They love to climb trees but also come down to search the ground for small animals for food. They are not pets that like be handled, or to cuddle; they can be feisty.
- Natural habitat: The Americas: from Southwestern US to northern Uruguay.
- Size: They typically range from 13-27 inches in length, and can stand 12 inches tall at the shoulder. They can also range between 4.4 and 17.6 pounds in weight.
- Diet: small invertebrates, and fruit.
- Lifespan: They can live for up to 16 years in captivity.
These are medium-sized animals that are part of a large family including the mountain coati, white-nosed, and South American red coati. They are roughly the size of a big house cat. They need large spaces to play around in. They available in pet stores, but it will require some paperwork to have them because they are protected by the state.
- Natural habitat: Forests of Africa.
- Size: These are small animals, typically around 12 inches in length on average and between 2.6 and 3.3 pounds in weight.
- Diet: They eat a wide range of things, including Insects, fruit, and tree sap.
- Lifespan: They can live for up to 12 to 16 years in captivity.
Bushbabies, also known as galagos, are normally and naturally nocturnal primates. However, they are not monkeys; they are more closely related to the lemurs of Madagascar. In their native Africa, very few have actually seen them, and there are many mysterious folk tales about them. They have the habit of rubbing themselves with their own urine, which produces a strong smell which makes them unlikely candidates for house pets.
- Natural Habitat: Russia, China, India, Malaysia, Sumatra
- Size: Tigers can vary in size according to species, but some species of Tiger can grow to be 12 feet (3.9 meters ) in length, and weigh around 330 Pounds.
- Tigers eat Meat. The diet can be narrowed down to Poultry or any other kind of domestic bird. To remove the predatory instinct however, they should not be fed with live animals.
- Tigers can live for up to 20 years in captivity.
Tigers are probably the biggest of the Big Cats. Surprisingly, however, they are quite tameable. Tigers have a long history of association with humans, having participated in the games in the colosseum, and other ancient theaters. In the present day Tigers continue to thrill crowds in circus shows around the world. In zoos, they are reported to be quite cooperative with handlers, especially those with whom they have become accustomed due to long association. In Texas, there are quite a number of tigers kept in people’s backyards. However, by law there a few stipulations: one of which is that you must prove that you have adequate funds to provide for your Tiger, including housing and feeding.
Other Exotic animals that you can keep as pets in Texas are:
- Finger Monkeys
(native species of poisonous species) can be kept as pets, but species such as the reticulated python, African rock python, Asiatic rock python, Green anacondas, and the South African python require a lot of paperwork to be owned in Texas.