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10 Unique Pets You’ll Love Just as Much as a Cat or Dog

6. Chinchillas

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Chinchillas have the softest coat around, and are very, very cute. But, they require a relatively large cage and can be very nervous, so it takes them a long time to get used to being handled by people, Haberkorn says. They are also very delicate, so save these pets for older children and adults.

7. Hamsters

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No, hamsters and guinea pigs are not the same, though they are both cute and small. One drawback to having a hamster is that they tend to be active at night — making this a parent’s worst foe when trying to get their kids to sleep. “They are mainly fun to watch since they don’t like to cuddle, although they will tolerate being held,” Haberkorn says. They are a low-maintenance pet, but unfortunately, they have a short life span of only one to three years.

More: 8 Hamster Facts That Will Change the Way You Look at Your Adorable Pet

8. Gray cheeked parakeet

Grey Cheeked Parakeet
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If you’ve ever wanted to have a bird, gray cheeked parakeets are a great choice. They’re like a parrot — only in a smaller package. However, make sure you’re committed to having this pet for the long haul — they can live at least 35 years. “They are smart, fun, inquisitive and very interactive,” Haberkorn advises. They also form very strong human bonds, and seem to have individual personalities.

9. Turtles

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Well-cared-for turtles can live up to 25 to 50 years — even more on occasion. While it’s tempting to put turtles in tanks, they thrive better in habitats that replicate nature, such as a pond where there is real sunlight — allowing them to grow naturally and develop strong bones, says Susan Tellem with the American Tortoise Rescue. They also are carnivores — so they must eat live food like snails, fish and worms.

10. Pigs

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Pigs are one of the smartest animals on Earth — even smarter than dogs and 3-year-old children. Before you invite these intelligent creatures into your life, however, it’s best to do research on what having a pig as a pet entails. After all, they can live up to 20 years. Here’s all you need to know about caring for these adorable creatures, courtesy of the rescue group, Lil’Orphan Hammies.

More: Pigs as Pets Are a Great Idea — If You Follow These 7 Steps

What are your favorite pets you’ve had? Vote for your favorite pets by listing them in the comments below.

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Meet the dreamy veterinarian People magazine voted 'Sexiest Beast Charmer'
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