We love our cats and dogs but some people would rather have more.... unique animals as friends. Depending on the animal that they have got their heart set on this is actually quite achievable, and once a few hurdles are overcome the relationship can be just as rewarding as keeping any of the more conventional pets. Exotic pets can be rather costly to keep and due to their rarity it can be difficult to find any help with or for them, should any be required. Bearing that in mind here are seven of the most unusual pets ever.

Ocelots:

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Once considered as a vulnerable species, Ocelots are essentially micro-leopards growing no bigger than the average domestic cat. In terms of behaviour, they act much like all cats, spending their days lazing and hunting, they are however nocturnal for the most part and they can become vicious if they feel threatened.

Life span: 20 years

Fennec Foxes:

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Adored due to their striking look, fennec foxes have been kept as pets for centuries, and have gained a reputation for being very loving; even though they can never be fully domesticated. As omnivores fennec foxes eat both plants and meat, but they do not need to drink water, as they have evolved to extract water directly from their food; they will however drink it if it is present.

Life span: 14 years

Sugar Gliders:

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One of the most popular exotic pets around, the sugar glider require a very particular diet consisting of 1 part fruit, 1 part vegetables and 2 parts insects. The reason for this is because they are prone to calcium deficiencies, which can cause severe health issues, such as hind leg paralysis. Despite being fussy eaters, they are very sociable and loving, but considering they are nocturnal this may not necessarily be a good thing.

Life span: 15 years

Chinchillas

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Not the most easy animal to keep, Chinchillas are basically really high maintenance Guinea Pigs. They require a lot of exercise, their teeth need to be worn down as they grow constantly, they cannot get wet, they must be kept cool as they do not sweat, and their digestive tract is incredibly sensitive. They are however very cute, so their flaws are easily forgiven.

Life span: 19 years

Degus

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Pronounced Dei-goo-s, the degu is preferable to the more common small pets due to its high intelligence and sociability. They are easy to tame and bond well with humans, even taking the the time to help groom their owner by gently nibbling on them, once they have grown sufficiently attached. They do like chewing though, so it is best not to keep them in a plastic cage.

Life span: 8 years (13 in perfect conditions)

Pogonas

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Also known as Bearded Dragons, their popularity has really boomed over the past decade. One reason for this is that they are incredibly friendly and docile; making them easy to move around, carry and play with. Generally happy eating fruits and vegetables, they do need to be fed insects from time to time, to help give them a balanced, healthy diet; especially when they are young.

Life span: 10 years

Hyacinth Macaws

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Possibly our favourite name for any animal, this breed of parrot make wonderful pets so long as you have researched and come to grips with how to look after them. They have powerful beaks, that can easily bend the bars of ordinary cages; and may bite people if they are not taught not to when young. They also require a lot of space as they have a 4 foot wing span and require a lot of exercise, if they are going to be healthy.

Life span: 60 years