11 Baffling Pets That Are Actually Legal to Own in Texas

Texas is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive states in the union. Indeed, Business Insider placed in the top 20 craziest states a few years ago! There are numerous explanations for this, but among the most intriguing is the fact that owning animals is permitted there. As long as their owners are capable of handling them, Texans are welcome to own pets such as sloths, lemurs, capybaras, and even tigers! Let’s look at 11 strange creatures that are shockingly allowed to be owned in Texas.

Exotic Animals in The State of Texas: A Brief Overview

The passion Texans have for animals is well known. One of life’s most exquisite experiences is the relationship a person can have with their pet. Keeping dogs, cats, and birds may have made people happy for years, but what happens when the excitement fades? For some, their next destination may be to look for unusual and hard-to-find animals. This is the reason why some people end up being the proud owners of animals like huge cats or primates that most people would consider insane.

Fortunately, not everyone has easy access to an exotic pet. Legislators in Texas have actually implemented laws governing the buying and selling of these creatures. A certificate of registration may be required, depending on the animal you wish to own. Before taking one of these creatures home, a few conditions must be satisfied, such as giving them a sufficient amount of space in their surroundings, sturdy fence, enrichment materials, and appropriate resting spots.

1. Capybaras

In recent years, a lot of people on social media have grown incredibly fond of the cute capybara. Actually, this big rodent has a laid-back attitude and a very nice nature in addition to its adorable appearance. Capybaras may exhibit dog-like traits if they are well-socialized from a young age and form strong bonds with their humans. Some people have also observed that these characteristics make them ideal home pets. In any region of the state, Texans are allowed to own capybaras as pets if they can obtain one.

2. Sloths

Look no further if you’re the kind of person who’s a little too couch potato to get a dog.Sloths are incredibly laid-back, content animals who will gladly spend the entire day curled up next to you. Given that they may sleep for up to 75% of the day, sloths are considered to be extremely low-maintenance. If you do end up getting one, though, make sure you maintain their habitat in perfect condition. These drowsy animals are extremely susceptible to illness; even a small amount of neglect when it comes to hygiene might result in major disease.

3. Chimpanzees

Before you may bring a chimpanzee into your house, there are a lot of requirements that must be met. Texas law stipulates that the environment and food of primates must meet specific requirements since they are complex creatures with special needs. It is critical that their psychological needs be satisfied in addition to their bodily ones. Owners could also have to sign up for liability insurance. It is crucial that you determine whether you live in one of the few counties that permit the possession of “dangerous wild animals.” To learn more about Texas’ laws governing the ownership of great apes, see this link for an overview from Michigan State University.

4. Snakes

While most states permit the ownership of specific snake species as pets, Texas goes one step farther. For some species of dangerous snakes, the law necessitates further documentation. But a wider range will be available to those who are prepared to apply for a Controlled Exotic Snake Permit. Among these species are the following constrictors: African rock python (Python sebae), Asiatic rock python (Python molurus), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), reticulated python (Python reticulates), and southern African python (Python natalensis). (All non-indigenous (species not native to Texas) venomous snakes).

5. Kangaroos

Yes, you read correctly. Strangely enough, Texans have no problem keeping kangaroos as pets. That being said, it won’t be simple to complete. Even if owning a kangaroo is legal, taking care of them is not very easy. These creatures have strong emotional and physical demands, and neglecting to provide for them may be detrimental to your kangaroo. Because they are sensitive creatures, they might have diseases linked to stress. These creatures have complex emotional demands in addition to their delicate physical needs. Make sure you feed them multiple times a day and give them plenty of space to wander on your property.

6. Lemurs

Texas allows for the possession of any species of lemur, so there are several to pick from. Brown lemurs, red-ruffled lemurs, and ring-tailed lemurs are a few of the most prevalent species. Since lemurs are considered endangered, it is illegal to remove them from the state. It’s crucial that, before deciding to adopt one, you have a long-term plan to remain in Texas. Lemurs can live up to 30 years in captivity on average. Nevertheless, this is not a choice that should be made hastily.

7. Squirrels

Have you ever considered having a pet squirrel? It’s not as weird as you may imagine, and taking care of these cute animals is simple and requires little effort. Like other small rodents, squirrels need a large cage, toys, things to gnaw on, and a nutritious diet. Some of their favorite foods include nuts, fruits, and seeds, so make sure you always have them available. There is no law prohibiting people from keeping wild squirrels as pets, even if it is not advised to remove them from their natural habitat.

8. Bears

It may surprise you to learn that, under certain situations, bears are acceptable to keep as pets. Similar to other “wild” or “dangerous wild animals,” obtaining one legally requires a lot of documentation. According to Texas law, unless an individual has a certificate of registration, they are not allowed to keep one as a pet. Additionally, liability insurance for these animals is mandated by Texas law. Furthermore, owners have a duty to give them a suitable enclosure. It takes a lot of labor to be a bear owner, both emotionally and financially.

9. Hedgehogs

Even though they have a cute appearance, hedgehogs are nonetheless considered exotic animals. Compared to some of the other items on this list, they might be more accessible. Nevertheless, compared to other little animals, taking care of them still requires more work. They might be expensive if health problems develop and require specialized veterinary care. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, are calm, peaceful creatures. They follow a nocturnal pattern and take pleasure in their alone. An excellent pet for someone with a regular day job would be a hedgehog.

10. Ocelots

Another animal in Texas that needs a bit more work to obtain is the ocelot. Since they are classified as “dangerous wild animals,” possession will require a permit. To be at their healthiest, they also have unique dietary requirements and need a lot of calcium and protein. Because they are active, they require a large space to play and explore.Since ocelots are not indoor animals, they need an appropriate habitat and safe confinement. It is strongly advised against big cat ownership for those who are not well-trained.

11. Tigers

Big cats are pets of status symbols owned by eccentric rich and celebrities for many years. However, if they’re prepared to work hard, regular people can also own one. This may come as a shock, but Texas law permits people to own tigers as pets in specific situations. However, try not to become too enthused. It won’t be simple to take care of them, even though some people may have been motivated to look into the legality due to Tiger King’s recent rise in popularity. Because owning a tiger as a pet entails a significant deal of responsibility, it is advised that only professionals pursue this option. Since tigers are considered “dangerous wild animals” in Texas, you must obtain a certificate of registration before you can own one.

How to Care for Exotic Animals

Before bringing one of these unusual animals home, there are a few things to think about if you’re considering about adding one to your family. To begin with, veterinarian care for exotic animals differs greatly from that of domestic pets such as dogs and cats. In the unlikely event that their health is in danger, they will require specialist medical attention, therefore it’s critical to take them in for regular examinations as well. Before deciding to adopt one of these unusual pets, be sure to get in touch with a qualified veterinarian. It would be better to postpone adopting a pet if you live more than an hour away from a veterinarian who can treat them.

These animals will also have a very specialized diet. Consult experts on the best ways to care for your pet, and make sure you budget appropriately to feed them the healthiest food possible. Their diets will be customized, just like their specialist medical treatment. (After all, you can’t just stroll into the grocery store and purchase food for lemurs!) Getting any of these exotic animals will involve different amounts of paperwork and preparation depending on the species, so be prepared to put in a lot of work. It’s crucial to take into account the risk that owning these animals may pose to your safety. They should only be sought for by those who are well-trained, as poor treatment can cause harm or even death.

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Final Reflections

While not all Texans are permitted to own pets, this list includes 11 of the most fascinating creatures. You can also own bobcats, foxes, Asian leopard cats, and alligators in addition to these entries. Keeping an exotic pet requires significant emotional, mental, and financial investment. It is crucial that you have faith in your ability to give kids an excellent standard of living. Although it’s simple to become enamored with exotic animal ownership, bringing one into your home needs much preparation and specialized care. It is crucial to thoroughly consider your ability before making the decision to get one.

Animal Level of Specialized Care
Capybara High-maintenance
Sloth High-maintenance
Chimpanzee Extremely high-maintenance
Snakes (Exotic) High-maintenance
Kangaroo Extremely high-maintenance
Lemurs High-maintenance
Squirrel Relatively low-maintenance
Bear Extremely high-maintenance
Hedgehog Relatively low-maintenance
Ocelot Extremely high-maintenance
Tiger Extremely high-maintenance

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