6 Weird Problems No One Tells You About Owning Exotic Pets

#3. Ferrets Can Die from Being Too Horny

Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Apparently, picking an exotic pet that won't completely traumatize its owner is harder than it sounds, so you decide to go with one of the classics: the ferret. Ferrets have been our companions for an estimated 2,500 years, look adorable with their hairy domino masks, and on top of everything are great dancers. In fact, they're so great that you decide to get a girl ferret so that she can eventually multiply into an entire happy ferret family.

Just make sure the ferret does have sex, though, because otherwise you've just condemned her to a painful death.

Mitchell Emert / Flickr / Getty
"Oh, now you need sex or you'll die? Guess who just 'got a headache,' Tina."

Yes, female ferrets will develop a minor medical issue if they have been waiting for a mate for too long: It's called "death." More specifically, the thing that kills them is a fatal state of too much horniness. Unlike human females, with their fancy and confusing system of spontaneous ovulation (which has the negative effect of making them not constantly fertile and infuriating iguanas), ferrets have induced ovulation, meaning that they will remain in heat until they have sex.


"Ain't no brakes on this train."

Unfortunately, the hormones that flood their body during heat are toxic and will sooner or later kill them if a guy ferret doesn't come along and end their torment with a good dicking (which we're pretty sure is the plot of most furry fan-fiction). So, about that "getting a pet that won't traumatize my nephew" thing? Well, hopefully little Timmy isn't too shaken up by watching his ferret get slowly poisoned by its own sex drive until the vet prescribes some euthanasia.

Photo Alto / Ale Ventura / Getty
"I'm very sorry, she's gone. And it's your fault for not getting her a gigolo."

It's therefore recommended that owners spay their ferrets, and for those intending to breed them, they'd better be ready to go through with it every breeding season. It's something worth remembering the next time you're complaining about how long it's been since you got laid -- at least your body won't kill you for striking out.

#2. You May Have to Crack Open Some Skulls for Your Snake

Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty

We don't mean to imply that every problem with an exotic pet is related to some kind of weird sex thing. We're not sure how we got off on that tangent. So let's proceed to something much, much worse.

If you're going to buy a reptile, you might as well stop fucking around and go for the Corvette of scaly crawlers -- the snake. Sure, snakes get a bad rap in cartoons and the Bible, but the popular pet varieties, like the corn snake, are non-venomous, are harmless to humans, and will allow you to delight your dates with clever and hilarious sexual puns.

Image Source / Getty
"Hey look, look. Let's have sssssssex."

Then there's the fact that you only have to feed them every week or so, meaning that they won't die like those flimsy-ass goldfish if you vanish for a week. And only occasionally will you have to open a mouse's skull before feeding it to them.

Huh? What's that? You'd rather limit the number of times you touch a tiny animal's brain matter to "never"? Too late, buddy. You already signed up to be a snake owner; "braining" mice every now and then is part of the job description.

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
As are claw hammers.

Unlike dogs, who will eat any animal byproducts that are mashed into the vague shape of a meat chunk, snakes are more fussy, demanding their meals whole. The norm is to feed them frozen pre-killed mice, but sometimes the snake refuses to eat it. This is particularly problematic for hatchlings, which may refuse their food until they starve to death. And that's where you come in.

There are several possible techniques to persuade a snake to eat, but the most effective and easily applied method is braining -- piercing the dead rodent's head and exposing its brain to make it smell tastier.

Photostock-Israel / Gett
"Could you hurry up? I can't post this to Instagram until it's ready."

Yep, if you get a snake, you have to be prepared to crack open the skulls of tiny little corpses. Oh, and don't even think about cutting some corners and thawing that frozen treat in the microwave, because you'll be scraping out exploded mouse innards for the next week.

You know what, you might be better off just getting a giant spider. Speaking of which ...

#1. Tarantulas Shed Their Skin ... With Your Help

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Tarantulas generally aren't dangerous to humans, and also they're furry and gentle and ... OK, screw this, we're terrified of these things. However, tarantulas are becoming increasingly popular as pets, so maybe you think it's a good idea to get one. Or you did, before seeing this:

tarantulaguy1976

What exactly are we seeing, though? Is that an adult tarantula giving birth to another adult tarantula? Nope: It's a single spider shedding its skin, which is then left behind in one piece like a hollow doppelganger. Here's what the empty husk looks like:

ValleyNatureCenter
Now you have a Halloween costume for your lizard!

Dozens of cruel pranks could be played with the discarded spider molt, which might even be worse than the real thing. Think about it: At least when you pick up an actual tarantula that someone left on your pillow, your finger won't go straight through and cause arachnid pieces to crumble onto your bed. Which you'll then have to burn.

But it's not all fun and games -- sometimes your tarantula might need a hand getting undressed. As in, you'll have to assist it in removing its old skin if it gets stuck, even if it means doing it leg by leg, because if the molt hardens and the tarantula is still inside, it's gonna die. Afterward, you might wanna give your living room a good vacuuming, because it's going to end up littered with little armor pieces as though there's been an arachnid explosion.

If there's a lesson in all this (besides "AAAAAAAAHHHHH!"), it's that tarantulas and exotic pets in general aren't quirky toys for you or your kid to whip out in front of friends so they'll think you're cool. (PRO TIP: They won't anyway.) You have to be really, really committed to owning one, like the guy in the video above who patiently undressed his leggy friend piece by piece. Otherwise, get a damn hamster.

Related Reading: Too lazy to own a pet, but still want one? We've got the list for you, and it includes a poo-trap for your dogs. Absolutely need the cutest possible cat? Try this link and fall in love with a feline munchkin. If you already ARE a pet owner, let Adam Brown tell you what not to do.

The Basstronaut has nothing to do with pets, but goddamn is he cool.

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