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silver fox

9 Unusual Backyard Pets (Very Uncommon Pets)

Did you know that you can have a pet Silver Fox?  There are also certain part-wildcats you can adopt, like the Savannah or the Bengal. Or maybe you’d like a sweet dove. Just remember that these unique animals have some unique requirements, as well.

Take a look at our top 9 unusual backyard pets, below!

1.The Macaw

The Macaw is a giant, vibrantly colorful parrot, native to the forests of Central and South America. This magnificent bird has been treasured by people for its beauty for centuries, and even kept by the Pueblo Indians, since 1100 A.D.!

These birds are noisy and active, with a penchant for mischief.

To accommodate their extraordinary size, macaws need cages that are no less than 36″ wide, 48” deep, and 60″ tall.

Macaws should eat commercial Macaw food, along with nuts, seeds, and fruits. In the wild, macaws spend their time foraging, so domesticated macaws need plenty of wooden toys to chew.


2.The Savannah Cat

The Savannah Cat is a mix between an African Serval and a domesticated shorthair, which classifies them as a ‘hybrid’ animal. They look much different than domesticated cats, with far longer necks, enormous ears, and long, lanky legs. They are colored tabby, in brown, silver, smokey gray, or black.

Personality-wise, Savannah cats are very wild in that they are feisty and playful. They will want a large trove of toys and should have some scratching posts and things to climb on, as well. They also like to play in kiddie pools of water.

Savannah cats should be fed a diet of meat, frozen, or raw.

These cats should be kept in an outdoor enclosure or indoors-only, as they can otherwise wreak havoc on birds and other local wildlife – a natural-born hunter!


3.The Dove

Doves are generally very peaceful. They appreciate gentleness. Many consider them soothing to interact with, and pleasant to listen to, as well.

Once they trust you, you can train a dove to sit on your hand. They should have access to a big, warm bowl of water for bathing roughly 3 times a week. Doves must keep that pretty white – or blue, gray, cream, or brown- plumage pristine, after all.

Doves should be fed birdseed daily, and dark, leafy greens about twice a week. They require an aviary with at least 10 feet of space, and a flight box.


4.The Squirrel

Squirrels are very energetic, mischievous, and playful. A pet squirrel will need plenty of exercise and must have a cage that is at least 3 feet tall. The cage should have plenty of ladders and ramps and a jumbo exercise wheel.

An outdoor squirrel cage must be shielded from direct sunlight and the elements and should always include a nesting box… and a lock! The cage should also have a hanging bottle of fresh, clean water.

Provide them with 80% rodent blocks (not commercial squirrel food), and some veggies, fruits, and nuts, as well.

Squirrels must have plenty of toys, and wood to chew. They will also cherish a stuffed animal (aww).


5.The Fennec Fox

The Fennec Fox is a tiny desert fox breed. The fox has enormous ears and a big, fluffy tail, giving them an extremely cute look.

Fennec Foxes need lots of exercise, as they are rather hyper. This can make them very entertaining, and they can be quite playful. Fennec Foxes do not generally like to be held and can be quite timid and easily startled, however.

Fennec Foxes may eat a mix of dog food, cat food, and veggies, but canned food is ideal.

You can make your own outdoor enclosure with wood and wire screening for your Fennec Fox. They can also run around your yard, as long as your fence is 5-6 feet tall, and you supervise them, so they don’t try to dig under.


6.The Silver Fox

The Silver Fox is a simply gorgeous animal. As their name implies, their fur is often a mix of white and black that comes off as silver. Depending on their mood, they can be super-friendly, comically ornery, or a bit shy and antisocial. They love to pounce on toys and play.

What is most important in order to keep the Silver Fox as a pet successfully is properly socializing and training them from a young age. Pick your baby fox up to accustom them to touch and introduce them to people. You can also try to litter-train your Silver Fox.

Baby foxes must start out indoors-only, and you’ll need to make sure everything is toddler-proof. Lock lower cupboards, remove any cords they can chew, etc.

Silver Foxes may be fed high-quality dog food, which suits their omnivorous nature. They will need a big outdoor enclosure, with a nesting box and straw. The enclosure should be dig-proof and jump-proof.


7.Chinchilla

You may have seen Chinchillas online – for unique pets, they are quite popular. This is mostly due to their adorable appearance: a round body, big ears, a fluffy short tail, and heaps of plush, luxurious fur.

Most chinchillas are kept indoors; but under very careful circumstances, they can also be outdoors. No matter what, they must have somewhere quiet, private, secure, and cool. These little guys are most active at dawn and dusk. You can observe as they scamper about, play, and burrow. Although they don’t usually like to be held, you can pet their wonderfully soft fur.

The diet of a chinchilla entails endless grass hay (such as Timothy Hay), and pellets (made especially for chinchillas). Chinchillas also appreciate non-toxic twigs (like apple tree twigs) and blocks of wood to chew.


8.Bengal Cat

The Bengal Cat is a mix of a domesticated shorthair, and the Asian Leopard cat! They share their wild ancestor’s spotted and rosetted appearance, and come in brown, snow, gold, and silver. Like their wild ancestor, they are also exceptionally playful. Bengal Cats love toys of all kinds, and they love to climb, too! They will thank you for a cat tree (or three). With a backyard enclosure to keep them (and the local wildlife) safe, a Bengal can be indoor-outdoor.

Bengals usually get along swimmingly with people, dogs, and cats, and they are sociable and brave. Like their wild ancestor, they love water, so feel free to let them play supervised in a (soap-free) bath or freshwater kiddie pool. Just protect your aquarium critters, as your Bengal may decide to go fishing for a snack.

Feed your Bengal formulated, grain-free food, or, ideally, meat that is frozen or raw.


9.Wolf-Dog

A Wolf-Dog is not for just anyone. They will require someone very special. You must have ample time and energy to give them, and lots of patience, as well. Wolf-Dogs are not as eager to please as dogs, or as docile – they can even be outright aggressive.

If they bond with you, however, they will be extremely affectionate and loyal. They will hunt small pets – cats, for example – and are more likely to bite than a dog, and so they are not great around children, either.

A wolf-dog will need a ½ acre, and two will need an entire acre, with a chain-link fence that is 8 feet or taller. The enclosure will also need concrete barriers, with reinforced mesh along the base of the fence, or they will dig under.

Just make sure there are no trees near the fence, or they will climb them and hop over! They will need a roomy doghouse, to retreat from heat and the weather.

Wolf-Dogs must have a diet much like their wolf parent/ancestor, consisting of meat that is frozen or raw. They should have a big water trough, and they love having a pool to cool off in, as well.


Round-Up

So, what do you think? Do any of these 9 unusual backyard pets appeal? Perhaps you’d like a cute, energetic little Fennec Fox. Or maybe a gorgeous, interactive, and long-lived Macaw?

Just remember that, these unusual animals also have some unusual requirements. Meet these, and your new pet can live a long and happy life!

Hutch and Cage.com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase or caring for their pet. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.