10 Legal Exotic Pets in Montana

Montana is one of the few American States that allow a large number of exotic animals to be kept as pets without a permit or license. And here are the top ten exotic animals that are legal to keep as pets in the US state of Montana.

1. Jungle cats

A sitting Jungle cat

If you are considering a unique pet cat in Montana, then the Jungle cat is for you. Also called a reed cat, the Jungle cat is not nocturnal, meaning it is not active at night, unlike many other wild exotic cats. Typically a solitary animal, the Jungle cat only socializes with others of its species. As such, pet Jungle cats would require privacy in a quiet household. Like all exotic cats, purchasing a Jungle cat can be very costly. The price of exotic cats in the US typically ranges from $1500 to $20,000, depending on how rare the animal is.

2. African Pygmy Hedgehog

An African Pygmy Hedgehog

You may keep an African Pygmy Hedgehog, also known as the four-toed hedgehog, as a pet in the state of Montana. This species of hedgehog is a solitary and nocturnal animal with complex needs when kept as a pet. African pygmy hedgehogs can live for up to ten years in human care and three years in the wild. It will cost you around $100 to $300 to purchase an African pygmy hedgehog in Montana.

3. Serval cats

A Serval cat

The African Serval cat is legal in many states including Montana. If you are considering keeping a serval as an exotic pet, you will need to prepare a big space for it to play and a diet consisting of whole prey. In addition, you must have a large outdoor enclosure built in a location that stays warm year-round to keep your pet serval healthy and happy. In human care, servals live for up to twenty years. But in the wild, they typically live ten to twelve years.

4. Two-toed sloths

A Two-toed sloth hanging on a tree branch

It is legal to keep a two-toed sloth as a pet in Montana. Nevertheless, this slow-moving creature might not be a suitable pet for you. As opposed to the three-toed sloth, which has three toes, the two-toed sloth has two toes and according to USA Today, is more aggressive than the three-toed. According to several sources, pet two-toed sloths require a great deal of specialized care.

5. Wallabies

A tammar wallaby

Montana allows both Tammar wallabies and Bennett's wallabies to be kept as pets. While some sources say Wallabies do not make great pets, others say they make excellent pets for the right owner. The Tammar Wallaby can live for up to 14 years in human care while the Bennett's wallaby lives for up to 15 years. The price of wallabies in the US tends to start from $1000 depending on the species, color, and age.

6. Dwarf boas

An albino Dwarf boa

Dwarf boas are legal as pets for those who want a pet snake in Montana. They are small and much significantly easier to handle, house, and care for. This makes them great pets for beginner pet owners. Dwarf boas can live for up to thirty years in captivity.

7. Chameleons

A pet Veiled Chameleon

You can legally keep a Chameleon as a pet in Montana. According to WEBMD, Chameleons make excellent pets because they are small, colorful, quiet, and easy to care for with some experience. Of over 150 species of chameleons around the world, the following five have proven to make best pets: The Panther Chameleon, Jackson’s Chameleon, Oustalet’s Chameleon, Flap-Necked Chameleon, and Veiled Chameleon.

8. Emu

A pet Emu and his owner

You are permitted to keep the second-tallest living bird as a pet in the state of Montana. Emus make excellent pets for a number of reasons and have a lifespan of thirty years if not more. However, they do require specific needs to keep them happy and healthy. In 2022, an adorable pet Emu went viral on TikTok for constantly interrupting his owner’s videos, the Independent reported.

9. Sugar gliders

A pet Sugar glider

Sugar gliders are allowed as exotic pets in several US states including Montana. These true omnivores are not generally aggressive when kept as pets. However, they may bite if threatened or frightened. Additionally, Sugar gliders thrive on love and attention and need a lot of room to climb. Sugar gliders live for up to twelve years on average.

10. European ferrets

A European ferret

Montanan permits European ferrets to be kept as pets without a permit. They can live for up to 14 years in human care.

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