There are over 5,000 known species of mammals, and many of them have found their way into human homes as pets or show animals. It isn't easy to generalize about a category that includes animals as different from each other as a Sugar Glider is from a Capuchin Monkey or a Ferret.

The exotic mammals are not for the beginner seeking an inexpensive, easy-care pet on a whim. They are for the serious hobbyist who has made a study of each animal's specific needs for specialized housing, diet, and vet care. You will also need to carefully investigate your local wildlife law, to make sure you can obtain the necessary permits and licenses to keep these animals.