Legal exotic pets you can own in Mississippi

9 Legal Exotic Pets you can own in Mississippi – 2021

Pets keep you happy and boost your mood. They energize the atmosphere around you and believe it or not, they just make everything better.

But, are cats and dogs the only pets you can think of? Well, the United States is full of weird, cute, funny, and adorable pets who are just waiting for you to adopt them. 

However, there are some pets that most owners are waiting to adopt. Be it just to show off your friends or to make such exotic creatures a part of your life and culture, exotic pets are always the star of the room. 

With the illegal breeding and export of exotic pets, the government of the United States had put forth very stringent laws that not only banned their sale but also owning them. These laws differ from state to state, and you should have a look at them before you decide to bring home an exotic pet.

In this article, we would talk about some legal exotic pets you can own in Mississippi,

EXOTIC ANIMALSORIGIN COUNTRYAVERAGE LIFESPANEXPERIENCE REQUIREDPRICE RANGE
Northern Flying SquirrelNorth America10 yearsIntermediate$400-$600
Four Eyed OpossumSouth America4 yearsIntermediate$1000-$1400
Four Toed HedgehogAfrica8 yearsBeginner$75-$300
TayraAmericas18 yearsIntermediate$2000-$3000
AxolotlMexico6 yearsBeginner$25-$75
Fennec foxSahara Desert11 yearsIntermediate$2500-$3300
LeopardSub-Saharan Africa17 yearsExpert$5500-$7000
ZorillaAfrica5 yearsIntermediate$300
TigerChina23 yearsExpert$7500
List of legal exotic pets you can own in Mississippi

1. Northern Flying Squirrel

Flying squirrels are gliding species of mammals that soar up to 100 feet from the ground to avoid their predators on the ground. 

Pet Northern Flying Squirrel
Northern Flying Squirrel

As pets, your northern flying squirrel would be perfect if you have a small kid who keeps leaving his legos all around. They are social animals who would crave your attention and love you just like your cats do.

However, you do need a permit to keep Northern flying squirrels as pets in Mississippi. They are considered inherently dangerous, and you need permission from the government to keep them in your house. 

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

1. Northern Flying squirrels can share their nests with bats.

These small squirrels don’t hibernate in winters but huddle together to keep warm. They become less active in the cold, reduce their metabolic rate, and huddle in their nest from each other’s heat. They even share their nests with other wildfires like bats and owls.

2. Flying squirrels are affectionate pets. 

Flying squirrels are social animals and love a lot of attention from their owners. They create a strong bond with their humans when you play with them daily, talk to them, and feed them by hand. They climb on their owners as if they are a tree.

3. Northern flying squirrels have night vision.

These adorable creatures have large round eyes, which gather more light from the surroundings for a better night vision. They are nocturnal animals, just like lemurs and owls. 

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Omnivore5 ouncesNocturnal6 weeks2-3

Maintenance cost of owning Northern Flying Squirrel in Mississippi

Northern flying squirrels need a cage, fresh food, water, and a few accessories to keep them entertained in your absence. A baby, hand-raised northern flying squirrel can cost you somewhere between $400 and $600.

When it comes to veterinary costs, Northern flying squirrels do not need any vaccinations or routine vet visits. However, they are susceptible to calcium deficiency, so a visit to a vet once in 3 months would be a good idea.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$75$15$50$140
Average maintenance cost of owning Northern Flying Squirrel in Mississippi

2. Four-eyed Opossum

Four-eyed opossums are the only pouched mammals that are found in the United States. They are lazy wild creatures and climb up trees to find burrows of other animals and sleep in them.

Four Eyed Opossum
Four Eyed Opossum

Most pet four-eyed opossums turn out to be chunky and unhealthy in captivity. This is usually because pet opossums need a lot of exercises. If you have a backyard, then opossums could just be an exotic pet for you.

However, you do need a permit to keep a four-eyed opossum as a pet in Mississippi. They are considered inherently dangerous, and you need permission from the government to keep them in your house. 

Three things to know before getting Four-eyed Opossum as a pet

1. Four-eyed opossums’ favorite move is playing dead.

When faced with a surprising danger, opossums would faint and play dead in front of their predator. This is so common that it is now termed as ‘playing possum’. However, this move is involuntarily initiated, and possums have no control over it. 

2. Four-eyed opossums are beginner pets.

Opossums are known for their cleanliness and general good health. They eat a mixed diet and are not that picky. However, their tails and ears do not have any hair and are susceptible to frostbite. You need to care for them, especially during the winter months.

3. Snake poison cannot kill four-eyed opossums.

These exotic creatures are immune to the snake’s poison. One of the most venomous snakes, including rattlesnakes, cannot kill an opossum with their poison.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Omnivore3.3 pounds18 Hours2 weeks4-5

Maintenance cost of owning Four-eyed opossum in Mississippi

Four-eyed opossums need a more natural cage and space to feel like home. They do bond with their humans over time but will escape if given a chance. Four-eyed opossums are exotic pets and can cost you somewhere between $1000 and $1400.

These exotic pets do need a cage big enough for them to roam around, along with proper bedding and hay. Their cases should be escape-proof as well. 

Coming to the veterinary costs, four-eyed opossums do not need a monthly vet visit. However, due to lack of exercise, they can get a little fat and unhealthy, leading to health problems. A vet visits every 3 months would be perfect for your pet.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$50$25$95$170
Average maintenance cost of owning Four-eyed opossum in Mississippi

3. Four-toed hedgehog

The four-toed hedgehog is the smallest member of the hedgehog family. They were famous for digging through the hedges and other undergrowth searching for food, hence the name hedgehogs.

Four Toed Hedgehog
Four Toed Hedgehog

Hedgehogs will be your favorite pet choice if you are concerned about your garden pests. These tiny creatures would quickly solve the problem for you.

These exotic creatures are nocturnal animals, so if you are a college student who pulls off late hours, then a four-toed hedgehog would be your best companion. 

Although hedgehogs do not like to cuddle like a pet dogs, they do form a strong bond with their owners over time. If your pet does not have standing quills when he is around you, that means he likes and trusts his human. 

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

1. Four-toed hedgehogs have 7000 quills.

Whenever a hedgehog is threatened or surprised by danger, he pulls up his quills to protect himself. However, captive-bred hedgehogs have smooth spines on their coat, similar to the bristles of a brush, and would not harm you.

2. Four-toed hedgehogs are low-maintenance pets.

These exotic creatures do not crave human attention and can live happily alone. They do need fresh food and water every day, and your work is pretty much done. However, if you need to build trust with your pet, you do need to spend time with them and handle them to build a strong bond.

3. Scorpio venom cannot kill a four-toed hedgehog.

Four-toed hedgehogs are immune to poisonous animals, including scorpions, frogs, and some small venomous snakes. However, your pet would get poisoned if he eats a viper.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore25 ouncesNocturnal5 weeks2-10

Maintenance cost of owning a Four-toed hedgehog in Mississippi

Hedgehogs are active creatures and need a space big enough to wander and play. They are solitary creatures and do not bond well with other animals or their peers. You would need a separate cage for your pet hedgehog.

Four-toed hedgehogs are not native to the United States and can cost you somewhere between $75 to $300. The rarer the color you choose for your hedgehog, the more expensive it will be.

Pet hedgehogs can get quite chunky and unhealthy due to the lack of exercise, which may create some problems. However, you do not need to visit a veterinary doctor every month for your pet. Clean their eyes every day and their cage as well to avoid skin or respiratory problems.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$100$25$250$375
Average maintenance cost of owning a Four-toed hedgehog in Mississippi

4. Tayra

Tayras are a cute mammal species with wrinkles all over their face. These long slender animals may resemble a weasel. They are lazy animals who prefer to climb up trees and caves to find shelter created by other animals.

Tayra
Tayra

Tayras are one of the exotic animals that love human company. They like to play around you just like a dog, rubbing their head on your legs to grab your attention. 

However, tayras are high-maintenance pets and need a lot of attention and care from their owners. They love their natural, wild habitat. So, if you have a big backyard or live in the countryside, then Tayra might be the perfect exotic pet choice for you.

Three things to know before getting Tayra as a pet

1. Tayras can bark just like a small dog.

Tayras bark, but only when they are frightened. They give a short barking call when they are surprised by danger and usually climb up the nearest tree to keep themselves safe.

2. Tayras love to eat rodents.

Although tayras might be high maintenance due to their wild nature and temperament, they serve best to kill your garden rodents. They usually feed on small mammals or spiny rats, which might be destroying your backyard garden.

3. Tayras can easily climb up a 130 feet tree.

Tayras are fast runners and can easily climb up trees that are 22 times the size of an average human being. Even though they have very poor eyesight, they can easily find their way out in the dark.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Omnivore15 poundsDiurnal10 weeks2-3

Maintenance cost of owning Tayra in Mississippi

Tayras are wild mammal species, and getting one that is bred in captivity would cost you a lot of money. A pet tayra can cost you somewhere around $2000 to $3000 in Mississippi.

Tayras need a large cage to wander around, but it is best if you let them out in your backyard. They do not respond well to captivity. So, the best shot of making friends with your pet tayra is to give as much freedom as you can.

Talking about veterinary costs, your pet tayra would need a regular vet visit. They need proper vaccinations every few months for rabies and other infections. Some people also prefer neutering their exotic pets to decrease the likelihood of illness and other diseases.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$75$40$1,700$1,815
Average maintenance cost of owning Tayra in Mississippi

5. Axolotl

Axolotls are the only salamander species that do not undergo metamorphosis. In simpler words, these exotic creatures do not change from larval to adult form like other salamanders. They remain aquatic species for their whole life. 

Axolotl
Axolotl

Axolotls are great beginner pets, and you do not have to handle them personally. They are an exotic aquatic life species, which will look fascinating in your aquarium. 

These exotic species are delicate to handle, as their whole body is cartilage-based. So you should not handle your pet unless it is essential, like when cleaning their cage.

Three things to know before getting Axolotl as a pet

1. Axolotl’s feathered headdresses are actually their gills.

Axolotls have feathered branches that grow out from their head. These branches are the extended gills of the animal and increase their surface area for the exchange of gas.

2. Axolotls can regenerate their brains and spines.

Axolotls can regenerate everything from limbs to their brains as much as 100 times. They can crush their spinal cord, their limbs, or even their jaws, and it will grow back in no time. Scientists have even transplanted organs from one axolotl to another.

3. Axolotls are great beginner pets.

Axolotls are solitary animals and do not need any attention from their owners. They just need a large fish tank to roam around and daily food to be happy and healthy. They are great for people who are just starting out as exotic pet owners.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore10.5 ouncesDiurnal3 weeks100-450

Maintenance cost of owning Axolotls in Mississippi

Axolotls are freshwater aquatic species found in just one place in the world, the canals and lakes of Xochimilco, Mexico. However, they are now bred in captivity all over the world. Axolotls can cost you somewhere around $25 to $75.

Axolotls need at least a 15-gallon tank, so they have some room to roam around. They are known to be jumpers and would hop out of the tank if given a chance. Hence you should buy a tank with a safe and secured lid at the top.

Axolotls occasionally need a vet visit. Suppose you clean the tank regularly and prevent the buildup of bacteria, fungi, or ammonia in the tank. In that case, there is an excellent chance that your pet would never need a veterinary visit.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$0$40$150$190
Average maintenance cost of owning Axolotls in Mississippi

6. Fennec fox

Fennec foxes are the world’s smallest fox species. Their ears, however, seem to be attached to their much bigger relative, making them look as cute as a beagle.

Fennec fox
Fennec fox

Fennec foxes behave in a similar way to playful little dogs. Fennec foxes are nocturnal animals and are the most active during the night. 

If you are a night owl who loves to sleep in the day and get your work done at night, these exotic creatures are your best pet choice. 

These exotic fox species are a little hard to care for, as they need constant attention and care from their owner. You need to spend time creating a bond and building a trusting relationship with your pet.

Three things to know before getting Fennec fox as a pet

1. Fennec foxes have the most giant ears of all the fox species.

These exotic fox species have ears that can grow up to half the size of their body. These ears help them to listen for prey underground. They also help the fox to dissipate more heat during the day, keeping their bodies cool.

2. Fennec foxes demand attention from their humans.

Fennec foxes are social animals that need company most time during the day. These active and agile pets need a lot of exercise and playing sessions to drain out their energy. Fennec foxes love to cuddle with their owners and show a lot of affection once they build a trusting bond. 

3. Fennec foxes do not drink water for almost their entire life.

These fox species are so acclimated to their life in the desert that they can survive without water very quickly. They make up their entire water intake from their food, including leaves, roots, fruits, grasshoppers, rodents, birds, and their eggs.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Insectivore2.5 poundsNocturnal8 weeks2-5

Maintenance cost of owning Fennec foxes in Mississippi

Fennec foxes are desert mammals and are not native to the United States. These exotic species can cost you a lot more than other foxes. They can cost you somewhere between $2500 and $3300.

These fox species need a big backyard to roam around and play. They need to exercise a lot to drain out their energy. Most people prefer building their own fence for a fennec fox. 

However, you should remember to build their house over a cemented surface, as they are experts in digging. Your fennec fox can easily search as deep as 20 feet and go beneath the fence.

Fennec foxes need a regular veterinary visit, just like dogs do. Make sure you have an exotic vet in your area before you decide to bring home your pet. They need proper vaccinations, preventative care, and a yearly wellness exam. 

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$100$70$50$220
Average maintenance cost of owning Fennec foxes in Mississippi

7. Leopard

Leopards are the smallest of the ‘big cat’ species. They are very closely related to lions and jaguars. Leopards can hear five times more sounds than an average human. They can even hear ultrasonic squeaks.

Leopard
Leopard

Leopards have unpredictable behavior in the wild and can show traits of aggression. However, you might have seen videos of people playing with their pet leopards and cuddling with them.

Such leopard species are bred in captivity and take generations to calm down their behavior. They like to play with humans when they are in a good mood, but their natural tendencies should always be kept in mind.

You should only decide to keep a leopard as a pet if you are a trained individual who knows how to handle big cats or can hire someone full-time. 

You do need a permit to keep a leopard as a pet in Mississippi. They are considered inherently dangerous, and you need permission from the government to keep them in your house. 

Three things to know before getting Leopard as a pet

1. Leopards are the most giant cats that climb trees regularly.

Leopards have powerful legs and can climb trees as high as 50 feet, along with prey in their mouth. While some climb trees to strategize their kill, others do when they are tired and need a place to rest.

2. Leopards can spring up to three times 19 feet forward through the air.

Leopards are one of the fastest cats when it comes to hunting or running away from their predators. They can run at a speed of 36 miles per hour. They can spring up to 19 feet through the hair, which is approximately three times the height of an average human.

3. Leopards communicate with different sounds.

Leopards make a variety of sounds when communicating with each other. They growl when they are angry and make a hoarse sound when they need to make others aware of their presence. Leopards purr when they are happy and relaxed.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Carnivore65 pounds18 Hours14 weeks2-4

Maintenance cost of owning Leopards in Mississippi

Leopards are wild cats that flourish in the forest. However, if you decide to keep one as a pet, make sure that you buy one that has been bred in captivity for at least two generations. A captive-bred leopard can cost somewhere between $5500 to $7000.

Leopards are wild cats and cannot be caged. They will turn pretty aggressive if you confine the animal. They need a minimum of 5 acres of land to roam around. 

Before owning a big cat, make sure you have a special veterinarian around you who is ready to treat your leopard and give annual rabies shots. 

Leopards are very high-maintenance pets and need a lot of care from their owner. Owning as well as maintaining the cat is not only expensive but requires a skillset as well.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$1,000$830$20,000$21,830
Average maintenance cost of owning Leopards in Mississippi

8. Zorilla (Striped Polecat)

Zorillas, just like other members of their family, are known for their mighty, hard-to-remove, and basically horrible-smelling scent. These lazy creatures find burrows of other animals to live in or even abandoned apartment buildings.

Zorilla
Zorilla (Striped Polecat)

Zorillas, also known as striped polecats, can be very friendly and intelligent pets when bred in captivity. They are adventurous and mischievous creatures who love to take up all the trouble on themselves. 

Zorillas do demand attention from their owners. They are affectionate pets who love to cuddle around your legs and sometimes crawl up to your laps as well to sleep peacefully. 

You do need a little expertise to care for this exotic pet.

Three things to know before getting Zorilla as a pet

1. A zorilla can spray their scent up to 10 feet.

The deadly sulfur-containing scent of these species has a gag-inducing power and is enough to make you unconscious. They can spray their scent as far as 10 feet to distract their predators.

2. Zorillas are adventurous pets.

These exotic creatures are active and curious pets who love to interact with their owners and other humans. They can even learn to open up drawers and cabinets and can get anywhere in your home.

3. Snake venom cannot kill a zorilla.

Zorillas are immune to snake poison. One of the most venomous snakes, including rattlesnakes, cannot kill a skunk with their poison. 

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Carnivore2 poundsNocturnal5 weeks3-7

Maintenance cost of owning Zorillas in Mississippi

Zorillas are wild skunks and need to be bred in captivity for them to make good exotic pets. Captive-bred skunks are friendly and used to human nature and touch. These affectionate pets can cost you somewhere around $300.

Zorillas do not like to be caged at all times. A cage is necessary for them to sleep and rest, but they would love to roam around the house the rest of the time. These exotic pets are mischievous and would escape at every chance they get. So, you need to make your house or your yard escape-proof.

Zorillas do need a special veterinary doctor who understands their health problems and needs. They need to be neutered when they are small to keep them safe from illness and infections. 

Some pet owners also remove their scent glands, but this is totally optional. An annual visit to the vet would be enough for your pet zorilla. 

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$10$40$95$145
Average maintenance cost of owning Zorillas in Mississippi

9. Tiger

Tigers are the most giant wild cat in the world. They can grow as big as 10 feet. These gigantic creatures love to stay in and around water, and swimming is one of their favorite pastimes.

Tiger
Tiger

Tigers have unpredictable behavior and are dangerous cats. They are very territorial and prefer staying alone. A one-year-old tiger cub has enough power to push down an adult human to the ground. So wrestling with your exotic pet is a big no.

These exotic pets are high-maintenance, and their owners need not only money but also a specific skill set to take care of them. 

You do need a permit to keep a tiger as a pet in Mississippi. They are considered inherently dangerous, and you need permission from the government to keep them in your house. 

Three things to know before getting Tiger as a pet

1. Tiger cubs are born blind.

Newborn cubs are born completely blind and depend on their mother for their survival. They open their eyes once they are 2 weeks old. They take a few more weeks to have a complete vision.

2. A tigers’ punch can kill you.

Tigers have strong paws which are powerful enough to push you to the ground and kill you. They can exert a momentum of 9900 pounds per second.

3. Tigers do not consider humans as their prey.

Tigers will only attack humans when they are starving or feel threatened by your presence. There is a scarce chance that your pet tiger would kill you intentionally. However, there is a good chance of you getting hurt while playing or petting the tiger.

DIET INTAKEBODY WEIGHTSLEEP ROUTINEGESTATION PERIODLITTER SIZE
Carnivore400 pounds18 Hours8 weeks3-7

Maintenance cost of owning Tigers in Mississippi

Tigers are powerful and dangerous cats whose natural instinct is to hunt every day for their food. Breeding these cats as a pet is a challenge. It needs generations of captive breeding to subside their instinct.

A captive-bred tiger can cost you around $7,500.

Tigers need big enclosures that are secure enough to not let your pet escape. They have a tendency to run and would jump, swim, or climb their way out of the enclosure. However, you do need a giant steel cage for your pet.

Before owning a big cat, you should make sure you have a special veterinarian around you who knows how to care for your tiger. It is also necessary to get your pet cub regular injections against rabies and other infections. 

Owning a pet tiger cub is not only a lot of work but is also very expensive. You would either need a unique skill set of your own or hire a full-time trainer who would take care of your exotic pet.

GROOMINGVETERINARYFOOD COSTCAGE & ACCESSORIESTOTAL COST
$0$1,000$830$20,000$21,830
Average maintenance cost of owning Tigers in Mississippi

Owning an exotic pet has become a trend in the past few decades. Everyone wants to own a pet that no one has seen or heard of. While such a desire is welcomed whole-heartedly by the pet community, you should always make sure that you are well-equipped to care for the pet.

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

If you are thinking of buying or adopting an exotic pet species, make sure you read about them thoroughly – their needs, care, the cost of maintaining them, and whether they are legal in your state. Only then will you be able to provide for them 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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