The Most Popular Exotic Pet: Ranking the Top Choice for Pet Enthusiasts

Choose the exotic pet you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 06:04
Step into the fascinating world of unconventional companions and cast your vote in our latest ranking – "What is the most popular exotic pet?" At StrawPoll, we're diving into the realm of the extraordinary, where the cuddly meets the wild, and the captivating dwell alongside the unconventional. From slithering snakes to awe-inspiring arachnids, we've gathered a diverse array of exotic pets that will surely pique your curiosity. So, whether you're an aspiring exotic pet owner or simply an intrigued animal lover, join thousands of others as we embark on this thrilling adventure to uncover the ultimate fan-favorite! Don't see your preferred exotic pet on the list? Fear not – you can contribute by suggesting a missing option. What are you waiting for? Unleash your inner zoologist and explore the enchanting realm of exotic pets with us at StrawPoll today!

What Is the Most Popular Exotic Pet?

  1. 1
    These small and easy to care for lizards have become a popular choice for first-time reptile owners. They are docile, don't require a large enclosure, and have a lifespan of up to 20 years.
    The Leopard gecko is a small, terrestrial reptile that belongs to the Eublepharidae family. It is known for its striking appearance and docile temperament, making it a popular choice as an exotic pet. Leopard geckos are native to the arid regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India.
    • Size: 6-10 inches in length
    • Lifespan: 10-20 years
    • Habitat: Terrestrial, prefers dry environments
    • Diet: Insects, such as crickets and mealworms
    • Temperature Range: 75-88°F (24-31°C)
  2. 2
    These spiky little creatures have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years due to their cute appearance and low-maintenance care requirements. They are nocturnal and can live up to 7 years.
    The hedgehog is a small and unique exotic pet that belongs to the Erinaceidae family. It is known for its distinctive spiky coat, which provides excellent protection from predators. Hedgehogs are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia and have been domesticated as pets for several decades.
    • Size: Hedgehogs typically measure 5 to 8 inches in length and weigh between 1 to 2 pounds.
    • Lifespan: In captivity, hedgehogs can live up to 6-8 years with proper care and nutrition.
    • Activity: Mainly nocturnal, hedgehogs are active during the night and sleep throughout the day.
    • Diet: Hedgehogs are insectivores and primarily feed on a diet consisting of insects, worms, and some fruits.
    • Housing: They require a well-ventilated cage with plenty of space, hiding spots, and a solid bottom to prevent injuries to their feet.
  3. 3
    Bearded dragon
    Toni Segers · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Another popular reptile, bearded dragons are known for their sociable nature and ease of care. They require a larger enclosure than leopard geckos but can live up to 15 years.
    The Bearded dragon is a type of lizard that belongs to the genus Pogona. It is one of the most popular exotic pets due to its unique appearance and manageable size. The name 'Bearded dragon' refers to the extendable throat pouch they have, which they display by puffing it out when threatened or during mating rituals.
    • Scientific Name: Pogona
    • Native to: Australia
    • Size: Adults typically grow between 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm)
    • Life Span: Around 8 to 12 years in captivity
    • Appearance: Has a flattened body, rough-textured skin, and a triangular head
  4. 4
    These small marsupials are often kept as pets due to their cute appearance and social behavior. They require a specialized diet and can live up to 15 years in captivity.
    The sugar glider is a small, nocturnal marsupial native to Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. The scientific name for sugar glider is Petaurus breviceps. These unique creatures are known for their gliding ability, as they can soar through the air using a membrane stretched between their wrists and ankles. Despite their adorable appearance, sugar gliders are not easy pets to care for due to their specific needs and requirements.
    • Size: Approximately 5 - 7 inches
    • Weight: About 3 - 6 ounces
    • Lifespan: 10 - 15 years in captivity
    • Diet: Requires a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, nectar, and a source of protein like insects
    • Housing: Requires a large and secure enclosure with climbing branches and plenty of room for gliding
    Sugar glider in other rankings
  5. 5
    These fluffy little creatures are popular due to their soft fur and playful personalities. They require a dust bath to keep their fur clean and can live up to 20 years.
    The Chinchilla is a small-sized, soft-furred rodent native to the Andes mountains in South America. Known for its adorable appearance and playful personality, it has become a popular choice as an exotic pet.
    • Size: Approximately 9-15 inches long
    • Weight: Around 1-1.5 pounds
    • Lifespan: 10-20 years
    • Coat: Velvety, dense fur with various color variations (gray, beige, white, black, etc.)
    • Nocturnal or Diurnal: Primarily nocturnal
  6. 6
    Another popular reptile, ball pythons are known for their docile nature and ease of care. They can live up to 30 years and require a specialized diet.
    The Ball python, also known as the Royal python, is a popular exotic pet choice among reptile enthusiasts. It is a non-venomous python species that is native to West and Central Africa. The name 'Ball python' comes from their tendency to curl into a ball when they feel threatened or stressed. They are highly valued for their docile nature, manageable size, and striking patterns, making them ideal pets for beginner reptile keepers.
    • Scientific Name: Python regius
    • Average Size: 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters)
    • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
    • Temperament: Docile and calm
    • Color Variations: Numerous morphs with different colors and patterns
  7. 7
    Despite their intimidating appearance, tarantulas are popular among exotic pet owners due to their low-maintenance care requirements and unique appearance. They can live up to 20 years.
    The Tarantula is a large species of spider that is often kept as an exotic pet. Known for its intriguing appearance and unique behaviors, it has gained popularity among arachnid enthusiasts. These spiders are native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
    • Size: Varies (ranging from 1 to 12 inches)
    • Lifespan: Up to 30 years (depending on species)
    • Venomous: Most species possess venom, but only a few are medically significant to humans
    • Habitat: Terrestrial, found in burrows or natural crevices
    • Behavior: Generally docile, but can display defensive behavior if provoked
  8. 8
    These playful and curious animals have become a popular choice for pet owners due to their social nature and playful personalities. They require a lot of attention and can live up to 10 years.
  9. 9
    These unique aquatic creatures are popular due to their ability to regenerate body parts and their interesting appearance. They require a specialized diet and can live up to 15 years.
    The Axolotl is a unique aquatic salamander, often referred to as a Mexican walking fish, although it is not a fish. It belongs to the family Ambystomatidae and is endemic to the Xochimilco and Chalco lakes in Mexico City. Axolotls are popular among pet owners due to their fascinating features and regenerative abilities.
    • Size: Adult axolotls generally range from 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) long
    • Lifespan: Axolotls typically live 10 to 15 years, but some individuals have been known to live up to 20 years
    • Habitat: Axolotls are fully aquatic and dwell in freshwater lakes and canals
    • Gills: They have feathery external gills that protrude from the back of their heads, allowing them to extract oxygen from the water
    • Regeneration: Axolotls have incredible regenerative abilities and can regrow lost limbs, organs, spinal cord, and even parts of their heart and brain
  10. 10
    Green iguana
    Rjcastillo · CC BY-SA 3.0
    These large and colorful reptiles are popular among experienced exotic pet owners due to their unique appearance and complex care requirements. They can live up to 20 years and require a large enclosure.
    The Green iguana is a large reptile native to Central and South America. It gained popularity as an exotic pet due to its striking appearance and docile behavior. This species is known for its vibrant green coloration, long tail, and muscular build. It has a prominent crest of spines that runs along its back and tail, which helps to regulate body temperature. Green iguanas are arboreal creatures, spending most of their time in trees. They have a unique adaptation called a dewlap, a loose fold of skin beneath the chin, which they extend to communicate and regulate body temperature.
    • Scientific Name: Iguana iguana
    • Average Size: 5 to 6 feet long
    • Weight: 10 to 20 pounds
    • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years (in captivity)
    • Habitat: Tropical rainforests and coastal areas

Missing your favorite exotic pet?


Ranking factors for popular exotic pet

  1. Legality
    Ensure that owning the exotic pet is legal in your country, state, or region, as many exotic animals are subject to strict regulations or outright bans due to environmental or public safety concerns.
  2. Availability
    Some exotic pets are easier to acquire than others, depending on factors such as breeding, importation restrictions, or endangered species status. This can affect their popularity.
  3. Affordability
    The cost of purchasing and maintaining an exotic pet can play a major role in its popularity. This includes not only the initial price of the animal but also ongoing expenses for food, housing, and veterinary care.
  4. Care Requirements
    The amount of time, effort, and expertise required to properly care for an exotic pet can influence its popularity. Some species have more demanding care needs than others, including specific dietary, habitat, or social requirements.
  5. Lifespan
    The longevity of an exotic pet may factor into its popularity. Some exotic animals have long lifespans, which can be a more significant commitment for a potential owner.
  6. Size
    The size of the exotic pet can be a significant factor in its popularity, as larger animals may require more space and resources to properly care for, making them less suitable for many households.
  7. Temperament
    The natural behavior and temperament of the exotic pet should be considered, as some species may be more docile and easy to handle, while others may be more aggressive or unpredictable.
  8. Rarity
    The rarity and uniqueness of an exotic pet can contribute to its popularity, as owning a rare or unusual species can be viewed as a status symbol or a novelty.
  9. Allergies and Health Risks
    Some exotic pets can cause allergies or pose health risks to their owners, which can affect their popularity. For example, reptiles can carry Salmonella, and exotic birds can carry dangerous zoonotic diseases.
  10. Public Perception
    The public's perception of a specific exotic pet species can influence its popularity. Species that are considered dangerous, invasive, or controversial may be less popular than those with more positive reputations.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular exotic pet. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or exotic pet is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 218 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each exotic pet once every 24 hours. The rank of each exotic pet is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular exotic pet

Exotic pets have become increasingly popular over the past few decades, with people looking for unique and interesting animals to keep as companions. These pets come in all shapes and sizes, from snakes and lizards to birds and monkeys. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which exotic pet is the most popular. That's where StrawPoll comes in. We've conducted thousands of polls and rankings on various topics, including exotic pets, to help you find the answer to this question. So let's dive in and discover the most popular exotic pet according to our users!

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