The Strangest Pets You Can Own In The UK

Most of us are huge animal lovers, with 59% of all UK households owning a pet of some sort. Most people’s minds go to a dog, cat, rabbit or maybe a hamster when they hear the word pet, but did you know that there are some extremely unusual pets that you can legally own here in the UK? Here at Paper Pawtraits, we’ve made a list of 10 of the strangest pets you can legally own in the UK – some of these will certainly be a conversation starter.

African Pygmy Hedgehog

The African Pygmy Hedgehog is beginning to gain popularity within UK households but is still relatively unknown. This hybrid hedgehog is actually the most popular species of domesticated hedgehog in the world, and with their small size and adorable face, we aren’t surprised! These prickly friends are very delicate and shouldn’t be given as pets for small children but do make an excellent little friend for those who love animals – especially the exotic kind! Even better, here at Paper Pawtraits, we can create stunning paper portraits of your hedgehog, so you can proudly display your precious pet, get yours here.


Axolotls are becoming increasingly popular due to social media platforms such as TikTok, and we aren’t surprised. Axolotls are simply adorable, looking like a cross between a fish and a lizard, but requiring an entirely underwater habitat! They have some adorable characteristics that make them even more appealing, such as the ability to regenerate their tails and scales, they heal very easily if injured and can even regrow limbs if wounded! These adorable creatures require a knowledgeable owner and plenty of space but make great pets in the right conditions!

Bengal Cat 

Bengal cats are one of the closest breeds of cat that you will get to having a wild big cat. These stunning cats look like miniature leopards with their exquisite coats. Not only are they beautiful, but they also form strong bonds with their humans and are usually extremely affectionate creatures, remaining playful right into their golden years. These cats thrive on human company, making them a popular choice when it comes to picking out a new pet! Do you own one of these stunning cats? Here at Paper Pawtraits, we can create a stunning paper portrait of your Bengal cat for you to keep forever, get yours here!


A more unusual pet, the capybara isn’t actually illegal to own in the UK, but you must have a licence to own one. This ensures that you have a suitable home and garden for a capybara to live in. These adorable animals look a lot like a large guinea pig and are definitely adorable, but definitely not cheap to buy or own, costing thousands throughout their life. These factors make these beautiful animals much better left as a wild animal.


Chinchillas are an increasingly popular rodent in the UK, with super soft coats, large ears and adorable, big eyes. Their sales increase every year, with more and more households deciding to take one on as a pet. Owning a pet chinchilla can be a fun and rewarding journey, but they do require a proper cage setup. You must also have a good understanding of their diet and nutrition. These fluffy animals have a lifespan of 12-20 years, so if you’re looking for a pet for your children who may lose interest, just remember that your chinchilla will likely live until your little ones are teens or even adults!

Fennec Fox

The fennec fox is one of the smallest species of fox in the world, weighing just 3.5lb at most. These adorable little foxes have thick, soft coats with large ears and adorable eyes, making them one of the cutest creatures in the animal kingdom! Most people would assume that these little foxes are illegal to keep, but they are actually completely legal. However, even though these adorable creatures CAN be owned, for most people, this isn’t a good idea. Fennec Foxes need a lot of space and are high energy and are overall a very high maintenance pet.

Giant African Land Snail

For most people, snails may not be a first choice of pet. But the Giant African Land Snail is actually a great choice for people looking for a low maintenance, unusual pet. They make a great first pet for children as they can be observed without the need for regular handling. They have a relatively easy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables. Though they’re a relatively low maintenance pet, they do need regular care from their owner.


If you’re looking for an unusual, exotic pet to add to your aquarium, an octopus is definitely a good choice. Octopus are legal to keep in the UK and the smaller species can live happily within a domestic aquarium. These exotic animals can even be tamed thanks to their unique personalities and high intelligence. To keep an octopus, you’ll need to have knowledge of their care requirements to ensure they live a long and happy life.

Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are small marsupials. A little-known fact about these small creatures is that they’re a type of gliding possum. The sugar glider is becoming more popular as a household pet due to its endearing appearance and small size. Sugar gliders are curious, playful and affectionate which can make these little creatures great pets. With a life expectancy of 12-14 years, sugar gliders need a dedicated owner who is prepared to provide proper care for their entire lives.


Tarantulas are a less popular pet due to the fact that many people have a fear of spiders. But these eight-legged friends are actually quite low maintenance when compared to the majority of other pets. They don’t require any interaction and are fairly easy to feed and keep clean. However, they do have their own care requirements, so if you are thinking about owning a tarantula, it is important to do your research.

So, which of these 10 unique, exotic pets would you want to own the most? Or do you already own one? If you have one of the pets listed above we’d love to see photos or even make you your very own Paper Pawtrait!



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