10 Animals That Should Never Be Kept as Pets

Close up view of a woman holding a fox
Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

With the variety of animals available to potential pet owners, one may have a hard time deciding which kind is best for them. There are a number of animals that can be a great addition to your household, but plenty of others that should only be kept as pets under special circumstances, if at all. There are plenty of other kinds of animals that would make much better pets and be far less dangerous to care for. Consider the following a list of ten bad pets.

  • 01 of 10
    Ring-tailed lemur with baby, Lemur catta, Berenty Reserve, Madagascar
    Ring-tailed lemur with a baby. Mint Images - Frans Lanting/Mint Images/Getty Images

    Lemurs, capuchins, chimpanzees, and baboons all fall into this primate category. They are cute and “child like” but are not a substitute for human babies. Sure they are treated like babies with their owners putting them in diapers and strollers, but they also act like babies - permanently. If they get angry they scream and throw a tantrum. But the biggest problem with pet monkeys is that they may go on a rampage without warning since they have no moral conscience, or bite their owners. This is...MORE especially scary given the fact that they can transmit diseases like Hepatitis A and HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS.

  • 02 of 10
    Male African lion
    Male lion resting on a rock. Getty Images/Saibal

    Cougars, lions, tigers, and leopards make up the majority of large cats kept as pets. They are strong and dangerous, to say the least. Think you can just de-claw them like you did your little house cat, Fluffy? Think again. De-clawing removes the entire last bone in each toe. If you remove the tips of the toes of a large cat, they are unable to properly walk because of their size and become paralyzed when the procedure is done incorrectly (and it shouldn't be done to house cats either)....MORE Plus, large cats like tigers kill their prey by biting their throats, not by clawing them to death so they are still dangerous even without claws. And if the teeth don’t kill you, their crushing jaw pressure will.

  • 03 of 10
    Cobra snake
    Cobra standing up. Kamalnv and Wikipedia

    These snakes could kill you with a single bite and there is most likely no anti-venom close enough to help you. Some cobras can also cause immense pain and blindness just by spitting their venom into your eyes! There are plenty of pet snakes available that do not produce venom but are still intriguing, so stick with the safer species. Extreme safety measures must be taken if these snakes are kept in a home, and if they do escape, you are endangering the lives of not only your family but your...MORE neighbors, too.

  • 04 of 10

    Pet Bears

    Bear cubs
    W. Drew Senter, Longleaf Photography/Getty Images

    Despite the fact that bears can weigh over 1500 pounds full grown, people still feel they are like cute and cuddly teddy bears. Bear cubs are appealing for many reasons, but they don’t stay small for long. They will tower over you when they stand on their hind legs and can knock you over, or even kill you, with a swift blow of their paw. Are they trainable? Perhaps. Trustworthy, I think not.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Coati
    Jessica Peterson/Getty Images

    The coati (pronounced ko-wot-ee and sometimes referred to as coatimundi) is a member of the raccoon family. Originally from South America, these omnivores require a very large enclosure to roam about. They are extremely active and difficult to train. They have 38-40 sharp teeth, forage for their food, and require a lot of mental stimulation. Needless to say, even though they are kept as pets, they are still very much wild animals that deliver a pretty nasty bite.

  • 06 of 10

    Pet Bats

    Hanging bat
    annick vanderschelden photography/Getty Images

    What carries Rabies and SARS, has sharp teeth, sleeps all day, and flies all night? Bats. The truth is, bats are extremely cute and intriguing, but a hands-off approach is best. There is the possibility of zoonotic disease, plus no realistic way to care for a bat in your home. They can live over 30 years, hibernate for months in colder climates, and eat insects, fruit or blood at night (depending on the species). These little guys are better left outside so don't bring one of these cute...MORE critters into your home intentionally.

  • 07 of 10
    Wolf howling
    Howling wolf outside. Getty Images/Tambako the Jaguar

    There are reasons why domesticated dogs exist. Their wolf and coyote ancestors were too wild to live alongside humans. Wolves and coyotes are still wild and they act on their instincts. They hunt when they are hungry, play when they want to, and sleep the rest of the day. If they feel threatened, they will attack. They can kill a full-grown moose and sense the sickest animal in a herd, even when that animal shows no symptoms. Like large cats and bears, they are far from domesticated and cannot...MORE be trusted. Wolfdogs have also grown in popularity as pets but are not much different from their pure wolf cousins, therefore, they too should be avoided.

  • 08 of 10
    Kinkajou in a tree
    Kinkajou sitting in a tree. Getty Images/Neil Bowman

    Also in the raccoon family, the kinkajou has grown in popularity over recent years. Smaller then it's coati cousin, a kinkajou only reaches seven pounds but still has very sharp teeth and a high activity level. They are also nocturnal creatures and are known to be aggressive on occasion. They especially do not like being awoken during the day and can emit quite a scream and attack by clawing and biting their owners.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Pet Alligators and Crocodiles

    Alligator head
    Alligator close up with mouth open. Getty Images/D Williams Photography

    The American alligator can reach over 14 feet in length and kill prey as large as cattle. Most homes in the US cannot accommodate such a large predator. These animals can cause serious infections from bites causing limb amputations, knock you down with a whip of their tail while it breaks your legs, and even kill you with their bite force of around 2000 pounds. And you don't want to see a male gator during mating season.

  • 10 of 10
    Red fox
    Red fox sitting outside. Wikipedia

    With the exception of the tiny Fennec fox (or the domesticated Silver/Siberian Fox), foxes are not recommended as pets. They can become very tame, but never fully trustworthy and are especially dangerous around children, just like other wild canines. They are far from being domesticated and they also have a musky odor that is far worse than a ferret's. They have teeth like any other canine and if scared they may resort to their wild instincts and cause you or someone else harm. Also, most...MORE states will destroy a pet fox if a bite is reported because there is no vaccination protocol.

Before acquiring any type of pet you should do your research and fully understand what owning that species of animal requires of you. Food availability, legalities, finances, enclosures, safety, environments, and your schedule and availability should all affect this decision - alongside common sense.