legal exotic pets you can own in Arkansas

9 legal exotic pets you can own in Arkansas – 2021

Pets light up your life and keep you entertained at all times. These fantastic companions may shower their love on you or just sit in the corner minding their own business, and you would still love them from the bottom of your heart.

Today, dogs and cats have become traditional pets that almost everybody owns. But, what about a fox and a squirrel as a pet?

People have always loved adopting and buying exotic animals. They intrigue their owners with their unique way of living and treating them.

Owning an exotic animal is a dream for many. However, with the rise in illegal breeding and trade of these animals, the US government has strict regulations and rules. There are states which allow you to pet a leopard, and some won’t even allow you to own a ring-tailed cat.

We have collected a list of some legal exotic pets you can own in Arkansas. 

Exotic AnimalsOrigin CountryLife ExpectancyExperience RequiredPrice Range
Ring Tailed Cat  North America 10 years Beginner $850-$1100
TarantulaMediterranean Europe 8 years Beginner$20-$800
Golden Tortoise Beetle North America 3 monthsBeginner
SphynxCanada 11 years Beginner$1500-$3000
Axolotl Mexico 6 years Beginner$25-$75
Black Palm CockatooAustralia50 yearsExpert$15000-$19000
Fennec FoxSahara Desert 11 years Intermediate$2500-$3300
Northern Flying Squirrel North America 10 years Intermediate$400-$600
Four-toed Hedgehog Africa 8 years Beginner$75-$300
List of legal exotic pets you can own in Arkansas

1. Ring-Tailed Cat 

Ring-tailed cat, also known as the miner’s cat, is one of the best mouse hunters that you might have come across. The ringtail resembles a small fox, cat, or raccoon but is cuter than all the three combined.

Ring-tailed Cat
Ring-tailed Cat

Ringtail cats love to climb and are incredibly skilled at it. They can even manage to climb vertical cliffs by rotating their hind legs to 180 degrees.

These cute and exotic creatures are a little shy and cautious of humans in the wild. Their large round eyes, striped tails, and pointy ears make them look like a small fox in the wild.

When bred in captivity, ring-tailed cats become accustomed to humans. These exotic and cute creatures can be easily tamed by their owners. They are affectionate pets who would love to sit on your lap and eat from your hand. 

However, you do need a permit to keep a Ring-tailed cat as a pet in Arkansas. They are considered inherently dangerous, and you need permission from the government to keep them in your house. 

Three things to know before getting a Ring-tailed cat as a pet 

1. Ring-tailed cats produce an obnoxious scent.

Whenever ring-tailed cats are surprised by danger, they produce a horrible smell from their anal glands. This smell is powerful enough to keep the predators away from them.

2. Ring-tailed cats are affectionate pets.

These cute exotic pets are not at all dangerous. A ring-tailed cat might be skittish at first, but eventually, you can tame it easily. They would bond quickly with your other pets as well.

3. Ring-tailed cat’s loud scream can shatter your ears.

When ring-tailed cats feel threatened, they let out a loud scream, which is blaring enough to shatter your ears, or at least keep them humming for a few minutes. This trait helps protect them from their predators in the wild.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Omnivore2 pounds Nocturnal 8 weeks 2-4

Maintenance cost of owning a Ring-Tailed cat in Arkansas 

Wild ring-tailed cats can be a little aggressive and cautious towards humans. They consider us a threat to their life. However, when bred in captivity, these creatures become accustomed to the human lifestyle.

A captive-bred ring-tailed cat would cost you somewhere around $850 and $1100 in Arkansas.

These pets show their affection by licking your hand while you are feeding them. They also love to play with their humans, just like your cat does.

Ring-tailed cats are pretty small in size, so you won’t need a giant cage. Even though they would be roaming around your house for most parts of the day, getting a cage comfortable enough for them to sleep in would be a good idea.

Your ring-tailed cat would need a regular visit with a vet. They are easy to keep as pets and do not fall sick very often. However, you do need to vaccinate them regularly for rabies and other infections.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$100$40$100$240
Average maintenance cost of owning a Ring-Tailed cat in Arkansas 

2. Tarantula

Tarantulas are the most enormous spiders found on the planet. They are also one of the most popular exotic pets in the United States. They are docile creatures and pose absolutely no harm to humans.

Tarantula
Tarantula

There are around 1000 species of tarantula, and only a few of them are a little dangerous to humans. 

Tarantulas are low-maintenance pets, which can sit on your table-top without the need for any affection or extra care. However, if you love cuddles, then tarantulas might not be the best pet choice for you.

This exotic and unique animal is fun to watch and relatively straightforward to maintain. They are easy to feed, as an adult tarantula need food only once a week. Some species would fast for a month or two as well.

Three things to know before getting Tarantula as a pet 

1. Tarantulas venom is weaker than a bee’s venom.

Most people are scared of these venomous spiders and even think they can die from their diet. However, the spiders’ venom is much weaker than a bee and would just cause a painful, stinging sensation.

2. Tarantulas are low-maintenance pets.

Tarantulas do not require much attention and care. They are a good choice for people who need a quiet pet. They are easy to house, feed, and care for.

3. Tarantulas are hunted by wasps called ‘Tarantula Hawks’

These scary-looking spiders are commonly eaten by a wasp. Their sting paralyses the tarantula, and then they lay an egg on their body. The wasps’ seel these spiders in a burrow, which would be eaten by their offspring, once the egg hatches.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore3 ouncesNocturnal6 weeks500-1000

Maintenance cost of owning a Tarantula in Arkansas 

There are almost a thousand species of tarantulas in the world. Each differs in their colour, size, and the amount of venom they contain. You can buy a common tarantula for just $20. However, the more rare ones would cost you somewhere around $800.

Tarantulas need a glass tank that is big enough for them to roam around and find their prey. A 5-gallon tank is sufficient for most of the species of the spider.

However, just like other spiders, tarantulas have a tendency to escape. So, make sure that you buy a cage with a secure lid that is escape-proof. 

Although most of the tarantula species are not venomous enough to kill a human being, they still can cause a painful stinging sensation, redness, and swelling. You should not handle your pet unless and until it is essential.

Tarantulas will not need a vet visit if you take proper care of their needs. Dehydration can cause your spider to get lethargic. Make sure their enclosure is humid enough, and they always have fresh water to drink.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$0$14$50$64
Average maintenance cost of owning a Tarantula in Arkansas 

3. Golden Tortoise Beetle 

Golden tortoise beetles, also known as gold bugs, have a dome-shaped body and look like walking jewels on the ground. 

Golden Tortoise Beetle
Golden Tortoise Beetle

These beetles change their color throughout their life. They may appear shiny gold in color in the starting stage but slowly turn bronze with red spots. Golden tortoise beetle loses their golden color when they die.

To keep golden tortoise beetles as pets, you should make sure that their enclosure is somewhat similar to their natural habitat. Buying these beetles in pairs is the best option.

Beetles are low-maintenance pets as they do not require any special maintenance, care, or attention from their owner. If you love invertebrates and are a new pet parent, starting with a golden tortoise beetle would be a good plan.

Three things to know before getting Golden Tortoise Beetle as a pet 

1. The golden tortoise beetle looks like a mini tortoise.

When these beetles are disturbed, they press themselves close to the leaf’s surface and tuck themselves under their shell. They, thus, resemble a tortoise in its miniature form.

2. Golden tortoise beetles are low-maintenance pets.

Golden tortoise beetles need no special care and attention from their owners. They will be happy playing in their jar with their partner without disturbing you.

3. Golden tortoise beetles and house plants are not a good combination.

Even though these exotic beetles are not considered a pest, there is a good chance that they will leave holes in the leaves of your house plant. So make sure that their enclosure has a secure lid.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Herbivore0.001 ounce 1 week20

Maintenance cost of owning a Golden Tortoise Beetle in Arkansas 

Golden tortoise beetles are common in North America and can be found in your backyard. However, if you want to keep them as pets, make sure that you buy from a verified breeder. 

It is not advised to pick up beetles from the wild and keep them as your pets. They won’t survive for long. However, when you buy them from a breeder, these beetles are accustomed to living in a special enclosure that imitates their natural habitat.

Buying a pair of captive-bred Golden tortoise beetles is a good option.

Beetles are low maintenance pets and do not demand any attention or care from their owner. You just have to feed them regularly and clean their cage once in two weeks, and your beetles would stay happy.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$0$10$15$25
Average maintenance cost of owning a Golden Tortoise Beetle in Arkansas

4. Sphynx

Sphynx cats are known for donning their no fur look. The lack of fur on their body is a result of natural mutation between short-haired domestic cats. The breeders have continued this process ever since.

Sphynx
Sphynx

Sphynx cats are more house pets and love to stay indoors with their owners. Since the very starting, they have been bred in captivity and have bonded well with humans over time.

These exotic pets are one of the most affectionate cat species. They would greet you at the door every time you come home and prefer sleeping in your blanket.

Sphynx cats are high-maintenance pets and need proper care and attention from their owner. They need to be groomed every day. Unlike domestic cats, who do not like to bathe, sphynx cats need to be bathed once a week.

These exotic cat species love to play around with other pets and have a strong attachment with you and your pets. They will bond with other domestic cats and your dogs as well.

Three things to know before getting a Sphynx as a pet 

1. Sphynx cats can get sunburned.

These hairless cat species need to be protected from direct sunlight. With the lack of fur on their body, these pets are prone to sunburn, and UV rays can affect their skin.

2. Sphynx cats are highly social. 

Sphynx cats are affectionate and social pets. They have a high level of curiosity, energy, and intelligence. They bond with their owners and other animals around them, showering them with their love and compassion.

3. Sphynx cats are not actually bald.

Sphynx cats might look hairless, but they do have a fine layer of fur on their body. 

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Omnivore10 poundsDiurnal10 weeks 3-5

Maintenance cost of owning a Sphynx in Arkansas 

Sphynx cats have been bred in captivity from the very starting. Due to this, they have grown a liking towards humans and are more affectionate than domestic cats.

A captive-bred sphynx kitten can cost you somewhere around $1500 and $3000. However, if you want a purebred quality with some rare coat colors, then you can expect to pay somewhere around $6000.

Sphynx are high-maintenance cats. They need a lot of attention and care from their owner. They always need you around and get quite sad when they have to be alone.

Additionally, they need to be groomed every day and bathed once a week at least. Due to their lack of fur, these cats lose body heat much faster than other pets. So, you need a heater or some similar setup to keep them warm.

Coming to veterinary costs, these pets need a regular vet visit. They need to be vaccinated for rabies and other infections as well. Before buying your kitten, make sure you get a proper health certificate from your breeder.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$15$50$100$30$195
Average Maintenance cost of owning a Sphynx in Arkansas

5. Axolotl

Axolotls, also known as Mexican Walking fish, are a unique species of salamanders. They do not undergo metamorphosis. In simpler words, it means that they stay the same from their larval to the adult stage. Axolotls remain an aquatic species for their entire lives.

Axolotl
Axolotl

Axolotls are low-maintenance pets and do not need any special care and attention from their owners. You do not have to handle these pets personally. 

These exotic pets are solitary creatures who love to stay alone in their tank. They do not form a good bond with other pet fishes, salamanders, or other axolotls. 

Three things to know before getting an Axolotl as a pet 

1. Axolotls can regenerate their spines and brains.

Axolotls can regenerate almost all of their body parts, including their brains and spines. They can continue this process more than 100 times. Due to this unique property, scientists have now started to research and transfer this property to other aquatic species.

2. Axolotls make great beginner pets.

If you are a person who is busy most times of the day, and cannot care for a pet, then axolotls are your perfect choice. They are great beginner pets, which require minimum care and attention from their owners.

3. Axolotls love their privacy.

Axolotls are solitary creatures who love to live and wander alone. They don’t bond well with other freshwater species and might get aggressive with other axolotls.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore 10.5 ouncesDiurnal 3 weeks 100-450

Maintenance cost of owning an Axolotl in Arkansas 

Axolotls are freshwater, aquatic species found in one place in the wild – the canals and lakes of Xochimilco, Mexico. However, they are now bred in captivity in most parts of the United States. 

Axolotls can cost you somewhere around $25 to $75. The rarer the colour, the more expensive the axolotl is. 

Axolotls are low maintenance pets and need minimum care from their owners. An adult axolotl needs a 15-gallon tank to roam around freely.

These exotic species would escape at every chance they find. So, make sure you buy a tank that has a secure lid and is escape-proof to keep your pet safe from falling down the tabletop.

Axolotls need a regular supply of food and a weekly change of their water in the tank. With just these two pointers, you can keep your pet healthy, and they would not need a vet. With proper care, your pet can live up to 7 years.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$0$40$150$190
Average maintenance cost of owning an Axolotl in Arkansas 

6. Black Palm Cockatoo

Black palm cockatoos, also known as Goliath cockatoos, are the largest cockatoo species. These birds are some of the rarest exotic pet birds.

legal exotic pets you can own in Arkansas
Black Palm Cockatoo

Black palm cockatoos are not affectionate birds in the wild. However, they can be tamed by their owners. But they do need exceptional and consistent practice and interaction with their humans.

These exotic pet species are high-maintenance birds. They need regular and proper attention from their owners. They are not as affectionate as parrots, but they will build up a strong bond with you with time.

Three things to know before getting Black Palm Cockatoo as a pet 

1. Black palm cockatoos are the only species that use tools to make their own music.

Black palm cockatoos have been seen using sticks to bang on trunks, making their own rhythmic beat. This is usually done by a male cockatoo to impress the female.

2. Black palm cockatoos are long-term pets.

These exotic pet species are long-commitment pets. With good care and a healthy diet, black palm cockatoos can live for almost 50 years.

3. Black palm cockatoos are one of the loudest parrot species.

Black palm cockatoos make very distinct and loud whistling calls. They are also one of the best talking cockatoos and can learn your tricks with proper training. 

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Herbivore 2 pounds Diurnal 5 weeks 1

Maintenance cost of owning a Black Palm Cockatoo in Arkansas 

Black palm cockatoos are rare, wild birds that are found in a group of 6 birds. These birds are so rare that they are usually seen in zoos and bird shows. 

A black palm cockatoo would cost you somewhere between $15,000 and $19,000.

These exotic pet species are high-maintenance birds and need a cage big enough for them to fly around. You need a cage that is at least 10 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 6 feet high. The cage should be escape-proof, as it is not safe for these birds to fly in the open.

Black palm cockatoos need regular interaction with their owners. You should not leave your bird alone for more than eight hours. They love to bathe, and playing with water with your bird would be one of their favorite activities. 

Black palm cockatoos do not need a regular vet visit if you can provide well for the bird. The big cage enables them to exercise well, thus keeping them away from obesity. Regular interaction with their owners keeps them happy and provides sufficient mental stimulation.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$20$0$40$1300$1360
Average maintenance cost of owning a Palm Cockatoo in Arkansas 

7. Fennec Fox

Fennec foxes are the smallest species of fox on this planet. These cute exotic creatures have ears that are big enough, making them look adorable.

Legal exotic pets you can own in Mississippi
Fennec fox

Fennec foxes need a lot of attention from their owners. These cute pets would love to play around with you, follow you wherever you go, and sleep on your laps. They are just small dogs in the body of a fox.

These exotic pets are the most active during the night and would crave to play with you. So if you are a college student and get most of your work done at night, these pets are the best choice for you.

Three things to know before getting a Fennec Fox as a pet 

1. Fennec foxes can live without water.

Fennec foxes are desert species and have adapted very well to the ‘no water life’. They can stay without water for almost their entire lives. They make up their whole water intake from their food, including fruits, leaves, birds, and eggs.

2. Fennec foxes are affectionate pets.

These exotic pet species cannot hide their love for their humans. They are affectionate pets and demand attention and love from their owners. Fennec foxes need a lot of exercise and playtime to drain out their energy.

3. Fennec foxes have the most oversized ears among all foxes. 

Fennec foxes’ ears can grow up to half the size of their body. These large ears help them to dissipate more heat from their body, keeping their bodies cool. They also help them to listen for their prey underground.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore 2.5 pounds Nocturnal 8 weeks 2-5 

Maintenance cost of owning a Fennec Fox in Arkansas 

Fennec foxes belong to the Sahar desert and are not native to the United States. These cute and exotic pets are captive-bred to make them more accustomed to humans.

A captive-bred fennec fox would cost you somewhere around $2500 and $3300.

Fennec foxes are little high-maintenance pets and need a lot of attention from their owners. They need their company constantly to build a strong bond with their humans.

These exotic species need a large yard to play around and do their exercise. They have a lot of energy build-up, and it is necessary to drain all of that out. 

Most pet owners prefer building their own fences for their foxes. However, do remember to make their house on a cemented surface and not on the ground. They are excellent diggers and would take no time to dig their way around. 

Coming to veterinary costs, fennec foxes need the same care as a dog. They need a regular vet visit to get their rabies shots and vaccination for other infections.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$100$70$50$220
Average maintenance cost of owning a Fennec Fox in Arkansas

8. Northern Flying Squirrel 

Northern flying squirrels are one of the two species that are native to North America. These gliding squirrels can soar up to 100 feet from the ground to avoid their predators. 

Pet Northern Flying Squirrel

Northern flying squirrels are cautious and shy from humans in the wild. They consider humans as one of their predators. 

However, when they are bred in captivity, they get accustomed to humans and their lifestyles. Northern flying squirrels are affectionate pets and crave human attention.

These exotic pets love to be around their humans. They create a unique and strong bond with their owners and like to hang around with them. Some owners also prefer feeding their squirrels with hand to show their affection.

Three things to know before getting Northern Flying Squirrel as a pet 

1. Northern flying squirrels have night vision.

These exotic pets are nocturnal animals with big round eyes. These eyes gather more light from the surroundings, giving them a better night vision.

2. Flying squirrels do not actually fly.

Flying squirrels glide from one tree branch to another and do not actually fly. The fold between their wrists and ankles stretches when gliding, allowing them to fly.

3. Northern flying squirrels are high-maintenance pets.

Northern flying squirrels need a lot of attention and care from their owners. They do not like to stay alone and become depressed if they are left alone for longer durations.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Omnivore 5 ounces Nocturnal 6 weeks 2-3 

Maintenance cost of owning a Northern Flying Squirrel in Arkansas 

Northern flying squirrels are a little cautious, aggressive, and shy in the wild. However, when bred in captivity, these exotic creatures become accustomed to human touch.

A captive-bred northern flying squirrel would cost you somewhere between $400 and $600.

Northern flying squirrels need a reasonably large cage to roam and glide around. However, most pet owners prefer not to keep them in a cage for most of the day. They only sleep and rest in their cage.

While buying a cage for your pet, make sure that there is a very narrow space between the bars in the mesh. Northern flying squirrels have a tendency to escape and would do anything to get out of the cage. Most pets get hurt while trying to escape.

Northern flying squirrels do not need a regular visit to the vet. They do not need any vaccinations as well. However, these exotic species are prone to calcium deficiency. So, a vet visit every three months would be perfect for your pet.

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$75$15$50$140
Average Maintenance cost of owning a Northern Flying Squirrel in Arkansas 

9. Four-toed Hedgehog

The four-toed hedgehog, also called the African pygmy hedgehog, is the smallest member of the hedgehog family. They are known as hedgehogs because they are famous for digging through the hedges and undergrowth in search of food.

Four Toed Hedgehog
Four-toed Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are not affectionate pets and do not like to cuddle with their owners. However, they do form a strong bond with humans over time. 

If you interact with your hedgehog daily and play with them, then they will start recognising you as their human. If your hedgehog does not have standing quills around you, then it means that your pet trusts you.

Four-toed hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and are the most active during the night. So if you are a college student, who loves pulling off late hours, these exotic creatures are your best choice.

Three things to know before getting a Four-toed Hedgehog as a pet 

1. Four-toed hedgehogs are immune to Scorpio venom.

Scorpio venom cannot kill a four-toed hedgehog. They are also immune to venomous frogs and small poisonous snakes. However, a viper can kill your pet.

2. Four-toed hedgehogs are good beginner pets.

These exotic creatures are low-maintenance pets and do not need much attention from their owners. They need fresh food and water every day, and that’s it. You can equip their cage with accessories to keep your pet entertained.

3. Four-toed hedgehogs have smooth quills that do not hurt you.

A four-toed hedgehog has around 7000 quills on its back. He pulls it up whenever they feel unsafe or are surprised by danger. However, these spikes are as smooth as the bristles of a brush and would not harm you.

DIETBODYWEIGHTSLEEP TIMEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore 25 ounces Nocturnal 5 weeks 2-10

Maintenance cost of owning a Four-toed Hedgehog in Arkansas 

Hedgehogs are pretty shy and cautious of humans in the wild. However, when they are bred in captivity, they become accustomed to our lifestyle.

Four-toed hedgehogs are not native to the United States. A captive-bred hedgehog would cost you somewhere between $75 and $300. The rarer the color you choose for your pet, the more costly it would be.

Hedgehogs are not affectionate pets and do not need much attention and care from their owners. They are solitary pets and do not bond well with other animals. You need a separate enclosure for them, which is big enough for them to roam around.

Pet hedgehogs might get a little chunky due to lack of exercise. Ensure you add enough accessories in their cage, which would help them drain out their energy and stay healthy.

Your pet hedgehogs do not need a regular visit to the vet. Just clean their cage once a week to avoid any fungal skin infections, as well as respiratory issues. 

Grooming Veterinary Food Cost Cage & Accessories Total Cost 
$0$0$25$250$275
Average maintenance cost of owning a Four-toed Hedgehog in Arkansas

Owning an exotic pet has become a trend in the past few decades. People want to adopt and buy animals that no one else has seen or heard about. Well, getting an exotic pet and caring for them is good. But, you should make sure that you are well-equipped to handle your pet.

19.6 million households in the United States own an exotic pet. More than 30 percent of these households gave up their pet in the first year of adoption.

If you are thinking about bringing an exotic pet to your home, make sure you read about them thoroughly. You should be well aware of what they like, their behavior, care, cost of maintaining them, and whether they are legal in your state. Only then you will be able to provide for your pet and keep them happy.

So, which animal fascinated you the most from our list? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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