Uncommon pets you can legally own in Singapore


The companionship of our pets helps us reduce anxiety and relieve stress. But while the comfort of dogs or soft purrs from cats can ease our loneliness, there are other unusually interesting animals beyond your common fur babies that are acceptable as pets in Singapore.

From cute and furry to moist and slimy, here’s a comprehensive list of uncommon pets you can legally own in Singapore

Disclaimer: Owning a pet is a huge responsibility and an animal shouldn’t be adopted or bought without doing extensive research first. Do also note that the animals should never be picked up from or released into the wild as it can cause harm to our native eco-system.


1. Green Tree Frog


Legally Owned Pets In SG - Green Tree Frog
Image credit:
Pet Helpful

Green Tree Frogs are not cuddly by any means, but they are cute. Given the nickname “Dumpy Tree Frog”, they can end up obese due to their lack of activity and constant munching on insects. But their “dumpy” look and cartoonish features like big golden eyes appeal to many. 

Tree frogs’ docile nature and adaptability make them hardy; however, their high-pitched sound, jittery behaviour and daily misting will probably cause you to have a few sleepless nights. But a well-ventilated tank with wet and dry areas, artificial turf and branches will do the trick to keep them active, comfortable and hydrated. 

Maintenance: High


2. Malayan Box Turtle


Legally Owned Pets In SG - Malayan Box Turtle
Image credit:
The Turtle Source

Normally found in reservoirs, the Malayan Box Turtle is another uncommon pet you don’t see in most Singaporean houses. With the potential to grow to about eight inches and live up to 35 years, a large aquarium is ideal to keep them comfortable. 

Ironically, they can’t swim, so the height of the water shouldn’t be deeper than the length of their shell. This will give them enough room to stand and breathe. 

While this little creature is easy to care for, they need to be fed on the reg – ideally once every two days. On top of that, is it important to keep in mind that they are omnivorous but must be kept with a balanced diet of meat, fruits, vegetables and live fish. They’ve even got a taste for crickets and earthworms. 

Maintenance: High


3. Silkie chickens


Legally Owned Pets In SG - Silkie Chicken
Image credit:
@cluckinggoodsg

Dogs and cats make for the perfect cuddle buddies, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones. Similarly, Silkie Chickens are very fluffy, with feathers that are impossible to resist snuggling up to. Their calm and friendly demeanour makes them a good family pet that’s suitable for families with kids as well.

Just like more conventional pets, Silkie chickens are quite smart and can be trained to respond when called. Don’t be fooled by their small stature either, as they require just as much care as bigger pets. 

Silkie Chickens are pretty easygoing when it comes to their omnivorous diet, and can eat grains, vegetables and eggs. The best part? You won’t have to stress about creepy crawlies either, as Silkies can act as an exterminator to get rid of termites, crickets, beetles and various insects at home.

Legally Owned Pets In SG - Group of Baby Silkie Chicken
Image credit:
@happyhenhaven

A maximum of 10 chickens can be kept as per the Animals and Birds Act, and they have to be housed in a coop.

There are adoption groups like Chicken Adoption Rescue SG that have abandoned chickens that need to be rehomed. And if you’re a beginner owner, Clucking Good offers care tips and guides to get you started on your Silkie journey.

Note: Silkie Chickens can only be kept on private residential properties with approval from the premise owner, and breeding chickens or other birds for sale is illegal under Singapore’s Animals and Birds Act.

Maintenance: High


4. Sea Monkeys


Legally Owned Pets In SG - Sea Monkeys
Sea Monkeys used to fly off the shelves at Toys “R” Us back in the day

Image credit: @tigahboy.h2o

If you’re a 90s or early 2000s kid, then this name might ring some bells. By simply adding their eggs to water, we witnessed Sea Monkeys come to life.

Actually just tiny brine shrimp, this little animal offers aquarium connoisseurs an alternative to fish. Sea Monkeys are particularly an exciting pet for kids due to their mind-boggling features, such as their ability to breathe through their feet. They’re also born with one eye and develop a pair as they grow older.

While easy to maintain, they do need to be fed algae every two to five days from when they first hatch. If you’re looking to have some Sea Monkeys of your own, you can order a kit from Amazon and begin hatching your soon-to-be pet. 

Maintenance: Low


5. Moon jellyfish


Legally Owned Pets In SG - Moon Jellyfish
Image credit: Moon Jellyfish Blog

Though their tentacles and little stingers might be scary to some, Moon Jellyfish are actually safe and legal to keep. Those looking to own a miniature aquarium don’t have to worry about getting hurt due to their low stinging power too. 

Seafood lovers will be happy to hear that moon jellyfishes share something in common – they love munching on seafood such as brine shrimp – yup, the Sea Monkeys – and phytoplankton. 

And though they only live between eight months to a year, Moon Jellyfish can reproduce in large numbers during this short timespan. But don’t worry about a surplus of Moon Jellyfish as most of them don’t develop as quickly, meaning you’ll only have a few adult jellyfish in the tank at a time. 

Maintenance: Low


6. Carpenter Ants


Legally Owned Pets In SG - Carpenter Ants collecting food
Image credit: Chicago Tribune

With their ticklish legs and pinching bite, it’s funny to think that Carpenter Ants make pretty great pets. Although Carpenter Ants can protecc you from a termite or spider infestation, it’s best to keep them sealed tight to avoid them from crafting their next colony inside your wooden furniture. 

Legally Owned Pets In SG - Ant farmImage credit: @Louis.jinhui

Carpenter ants can eat anything sweet, and you can also feed them mealworms, crickets and a drop of honey to stay energised and healthy. 

You’ll be able to snatch up your very own queen ant at Just Ants, which also offers affordable supplies to catch ants in the wild, formicariums (ant farms) and over 30 species of ants to choose from. 

With Facebook groups like Singapore Ants, many ant-husiasts fawn over each others’ ant set up – much like you’d see technophiles raving about their PC rigs. These pages are great for beginners to learn tips and tricks regarding ant care – from how to build intricate ant farms to maintaining an appropriate moisture level. 

Maintenance: Medium


Uncommon pets you can legally own in Singapore


While conventional animals like rabbits and dogs are adorable and fun to have as companions, there are other uncommon pets that offer an alternative experience for budding pet owners. Just remember that they require just as much attention and dedication as any other pet, so be sure to do your research and ensure that you’re capable of caring for them.

You can also refer to AVS’ list of licensed pet shop owners in Singapore to ensure you’re getting your pets from the right place.


Cover image adapted from (L-R): Oceana, Reddit, Tree Hugger