List of Exotic Pets Legally Allowed in India

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Written By Tamal Dey

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Are you looking for an unusual pet to add to your family?

India has a wide variety of exotic pets that are legally allowed within its borders. These include budgies, love birds, palm cockatoos, cockatiels, finches, African grey parrots, macaws, and tortoises. Although the Wildlife Act of India protects all desi birds, exotic birds are exempt from this restriction and it is legal to keep them as pets.

Must read: These animals are banned in India

Some legally allowed exotic pets in India

Disclaimer! We are not legal experts. The information provided here is for entertainment purposes only. Always ask your lawyer and police station regarding permissions and/or paperwork for keeping an exotic animal as a pet. The Petfather website ( and its authors will not be held responsible for any legal consequences.

Exotic Cats

Siamese Cat

Indians are increasingly turning to more exotic breeds such as Siamese and Persian cats. They require a healthy environment, a proper diet, and veterinary care.

However, unlike stray cats, these cats are kept only as pets, so they do not have survival instincts. If you leave them on the street, they can get completely lost.

Persian cats have special dietary requirements, not milk but good Persian cat food which can cost up to 1000 rupees per 2kg.

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Exotic foreign birds

Exotic foreign birds
Exotic foreign birds

Desi Indian birds like parrots are illegal, but you can always pet exotic foreign birds. Here is a list of birds that are legal in India.

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs
Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are legally allowed in India. But, always go and ask your local police station.

African pygmy hedgehog

African pygmy hedgehog
African pygmy hedgehog

African pygmy hedgehogs are generally allowed in India. However, make sure they are not desi hedgehogs that are illegal, only foreign ones may be allowed. But, you must go to your local police station and ask them whether they are legal in your area and if you need any papers.

Sugar glider

Sugar glider
Sugar glider

As sugar gliders are exotic animals, they are generally allowed in India. Always ask your local police before buying a sugar glider.

Red/golden-handed tamarin

Red-handed tamarin
Red-handed tamarin

Red-handed tamarins are generally allowed as pets. Please ask your police station before buying one.

Fennec fox

Why is it bad to have exotic pets?

Often, they’re shipped huge distances and taken to countries vastly different from their original homes

  • Basic needs are not met: At least 75% of pet snakes, lizards, tortoises, and turtles die within one year of becoming a pet
  • Cruel captive breeding: Artificial breeding in captivity can cause ball pythons serious genetic defects
  • Insufficient nutrition: Captive green iguanas can suffer from soft bones due to poor diet
  • Unhealthy human contact: Handling Indian star tortoises can cause them disease and death
  • Confined in tiny spaces: African grey parrots fly several miles a day in the wild
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Check Local Laws and Regulations Before Obtaining an Exotic Pet

Before obtaining an exotic pet, it is essential to research the local laws and regulations that govern the keeping of such animals. In India, there are several laws that regulate the trade and keeping of exotic pets. These include the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act of 1960, the Nature Conservation Act of 1972, the Penal Code of India, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Additionally, some states may have additional laws pertaining to exotic pets. For example, in some states, certain exotic species like American Bullfrogs are not legally allowed as pets. Therefore, it is important to check the local laws and regulations before obtaining an exotic pet.


In India, exotic pets are legally allowed if the owner has the necessary paperwork. However, wildlife experts have long been asking for stringent laws to regulate the domestic possession of exotic wildlife. As per Section 378 of the Indian Penal Code, stealing a dog or any other animal is a punishable offense. Moreover, supply-chain security is essential to ensure that the import of live exotic animals is legal as per the Customs Act 2020. The IUCN Red List and CITES Appendix also provide an overview of the legal imports of exotic reptiles into India. Thus, it is important to understand the regulations and laws before procuring exotic animals as pets in India.



I am dealing with Pets and Aquarium fish for the last 10 years. Now it is time to share my knowledge with you. I am very passionate about sharing everything that I learned so far about pet care. Watch my Youtube channel Petfather

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