19 Small Pets That Are Unusual Yet Perfect for Children

Cats, gerbils, and rabbits make great pets for children, but there’s nothing overly exotic about them. In this article, you’ll find a list of 19 unusual pets that children will love looking after.


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Supreme Petfoods says that chinchillas make great pets for older children or adults. They have the densest fur of any land mammal, so they’re very soft to touch and cuddly. Chinchillas can be kept in a cage. Since they originate from the Andes Mountains, they like cold environments.


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FOUR PAWS International says that pet mice can live up to four years when well cared for. Because they’re social animals, it’s best to keep them in groups rather than on their own. Mice make good pets for children as they’re low maintenance.


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Canaries are beautiful birds that children love to have as pets. They’re often fascinated by their bright feathers and their endearing nature. The Spruce Pets says that a single canary needs a cage that’s at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Betta Fish

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PetMD says that betta fish are great first-time pets for anyone. They’re calm, slow-moving fish that don’t require a lot of space. This makes them the perfect pick for children who are looking for an exotic pet that’s not high maintenance and is fun to look after.

Painted Turtles

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Painted turtles are beautiful reptiles that are popular pets in the U.S. They can be kept in a tank in the water, but they also need a spot for basking under a UV lamp. Getting their enclosure set up initially requires some work, but after that, the turtles take care of themselves.

Stick Insects

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The Spruce Pets also names stick insects as animals that are low maintenance. They say that they don’t require daily maintenance and can be left alone for a week without any care. This makes stick insects ideal for children to look after because they’ll survive even if the kids forget about them for a few days.

Spiny-Tailed Lizards

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Lizards make great pets for children who like interesting animals. Spiny-tailed lizards are often referred to as uromastyx and are native to North Africa and the Middle East. Setting up the lizard’s enclosure will require the help of an adult, but once that’s done, they’re low maintenance.

Dwarf Hamsters

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According to the Dwarf Hamster Guide, there are four different types of dwarf hamsters, most of which are usually available at your local pet shop. Dwarf hamsters are smaller than regular hamsters and are fascinating, energetic tiny pets that children will love petting and taking care of.

Green Anoles

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Green anoles are small to medium-sized lizards. These lizards are very interesting for children to own, as they change color from green to brown depending on their mood and environment. Many children are drawn to these reptiles as they have brightly colored dewlaps that also change color.

Brown Anoles

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Just like green anoles, brown anoles also make very interesting pets for inquisitive children. They have yellow to orangey-red dewlaps that make them stand out. These reptiles are easy to feed and do not need entertaining. They like their own company and are best housed alone.

Miniature Pigs

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Miniature pigs make fascinating pets for children, as they’re small and adorable. You can house-train miniature pigs, and they like human company. Pigs are intelligent animals, and they love to run around. Since they’re very energetic, they need plenty of space to run.

Sugar Gliders

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Children can learn a lot from observing the playful ways of a sugar glider. These are very educational animals that kids will love to see flying around. Sugar gliders can form bonds with their owners when you handle them regularly, and they can soon become very rewarding pets.


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Parakeets or budgies are awesome pets for children to own, as they love spending time interacting with humans. These birds have big personalities, and they’re very entertaining. Apart from admiring their elegance and beautiful plumage, children will enjoy training these birds to mimic words.


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Ferrets are not your everyday household pet, but they certainly are great animals to keep, and children love looking after them. Ferrets are very playful, and they’re entertaining to watch. When you spend enough time with them, they warm up to you and can form a close bond with their owners.

African Dwarf Frogs

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African dwarf frogs are definitely exotic reptiles that not many people choose as pets. But that’s exactly what makes these reptiles so exciting to own. African dwarf frogs are easy to look after, as they stay in their aquariums all the time and don’t need handling.

Leopard Geckos

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Of all the geckos, leopard geckos are known for being one of the most tame and easiest to look after. This makes them good pets for children. Not only are they low maintenance, but they’re also very interesting to observe, so they’re ideal for children who love learning about reptiles.


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Quail are small birds that are relatively easy to take care of. They are social animals, so it’s best to keep them in small groups or pairs. Children love to see animals lay eggs, so this animal’s egg-laying process will be riveting for them to watch.


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Tortoises are easy pets to look after as they don’t require human contact. They’re great for children to own as they have very long lifespans, meaning your child will be able to keep their pet well into adulthood. They are very docile animals, and there are many species to choose from.


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Axolotls are a type of salamander. These are not your run-of-the-mill pets, but they’re incredibly interesting to observe. They’re aquatic creatures that require housing in an aquarium and don’t need human interaction. Children will like seeing this animal in its larval form.

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