Exotic Pets From the United States

Some exotic pets are backyard natives. What's common in the forests around your U.S. home would be an uncommon pet.

Skunks are native to everywhere but Alaska and Hawaii. These striped mammals may resemble weasels or rats, but they're Mephitidae.


Raccoons foraging through trash cans in human areas may imply they've adapted to humans. It's how dogs self-domesticated, therefore raccoons as pets aren't surprising.


North America's lone marsupial, the Virginia opossum, is exceedingly unusual-looking. More people than you'd imagine keep them as pets.


Ringtails are native to Arizona, Kansas, California, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah. Very few breeders produce them as pets, but they are occasionally available.

Ring-Tailed Cat

More states allow these rodents than others. Small squirrels sleep for hours in many owners' pockets. Good first non-traditional pet.

Flying Squirrel

Hand-raised bobcats are affectionate and interactive. This species' assertive nature is more like dogs than shy felines.


Prairie dogs are the most widely available and legal to keep as pets on this list. Despite their popularity, they make difficult pets since they require a lot of enrichment and are aggressive.

Prairie Dog

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