8 Cute Reptiles That Will Change Your Mind About These Pets

cute lizard


When you think of cute, cuddly animals, reptiles are probably towards the bottom of the list. And it's not often that lizards and crocodiles grace the pages of annual calendars, right? 

Despite the fact that they're scaly, slithery and, often, love to eat bugs, reptiles can actually be pretty darn cute! Don't believe us? Check out these reptiles that will instantly make your terrarium cuter. 

  • 01 of 08

    Garter Snakes

    Garter snake
    Saratoga Woods and Waterways / Blogspot

    Snakes. Most people are terrified of them (because they were a threat to our early ancestors and the way they move is just so unnatural to us, according to some theories). Indiana Jones seriously just does not want to deal with them. And cats will absolutely lose it if they come across a snake (or anything remotely resembling a snake, like cucumbers). But tiny and non-threatening snakes—like garter snakes—are actually kind of cute.

    Widely available in pet stores and suppliers all over America, garter snakes are some of the most commonly kept snakes in the country. And although they're constrictors, their small size will prevent them from destroying the plants and structures in their tanks.  

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  • 02 of 08

    Box Turtles

    Box turtle
    jennalynnrichards / Deviant Art

    They carry their homes on their backs, can live for up to 50 years and make excellent protagonists in childhood fables (okay, it was a tortoise, but still). And despite their sharp beaks, rough, scaly skin and tiny, pointed claws, a box turtle can make a pretty darn cute addition to your terrarium. 

    Although they can be a little bit more difficult to care for, box turtles make some cute and seriously long-term reptilian companions. 

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  • 03 of 08

    Crested Gecko

    Crested gecko
    Pet Coach

    Despite their bulging eyes and preferred diet of crickets, mealworms, and waxworms, the crested gecko's goofy smile and tiny little hands (just look at them! They're so tiny!) make them some of the cutest reptiles that can be kept as pets. 

    Crested geckos were thought to be extinct, but were "rediscovered" back in 1994. Since then, their low maintenance care and funny personalities have made them extremely popular pets. Because they're super simple to care for, crested geckos make excellent pets for kiddos or beginner reptile pet parents.

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  • 04 of 08


    Wikimedia Commons

    Did you know chameleons actually don't change color to blend into their environments? Rather, their colors can change from emotional responses (like fear or anger) or changes in the environment, like increased or decreased light, humidity and temperature. 

    And although there are 180 species of chameleons in the wild, only a few can be kept as pets—and they require a good bit of work. Unfortunately, chameleons aren't the best pick for the novice lizard owner, but if you've got the experience, they can make gorgeous (and fascinating) additions to the terrarium. 

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  • 05 of 08

    Worm Lizards

    Worm lizard
    Real Monstrosities

    What do you get when you combine a creepy, slimy worm with a scaly, bug-eating lizard? The world's scariest creature? No way! More like a weirdly cute reptile that looks like they're straight outta the Kevin Bacon classic Tremors. But way less dangerous and blood-thirsty. 

    Found only in a few parts of Florida, worm lizards are very similar to earthworms—they burrow in the soil and have segmented bodies—but they're actually part of the reptile group Amphisbaenia.

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  • 06 of 08

    Leopard Geckos

    Leopard gecko
    Cane Bay Pet Sitting

    What's tiny, spotted all over and your new favorite reptile? Leopard geckos! These exotic-looking guys love to nom on crickets and mealworms and bask in direct light—in fact, they need about 12 hours of visible light every day. And when properly cared for, leopard geckos can live up to a whopping 20 years. 

    Generally docile and easy to tame, leopard geckos make perfect picks for beginners.

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  • 07 of 08

    Softshell Turtles

    Softshell Turtles
    Julie Rubacha / Shutterstock

    There are a few reasons we love softshell turtles: Their, ahem, interesting appearance is like a cross between an extraterrestrial being and a video game character, their snouts look like tiny snorkels and they're often referred to as—wait for it—pancake turtles!

    Softshell turtles differ from regular turtles because—you guessed it—they don't have hard exterior shells. And because their shells aren't as hardy and resistant to bacteria, softshell turtles in captivity can often have some shell issues. You can avoid these problems by cleaning the water in your tank often and exposing their shells to natural sunlight or artificial full-spectrum light—it's believed that light exposure can help keep harmful bacteria at bay. 

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  • 08 of 08

    Corn Snakes

    Corn snake

    Okay, corn snakes may constrict their prey into submission and love eating mice, but their calm nature, reluctance to bite and manageable size make them a super popular pet in the United States. Their cute little smiles don't hurt, either. 

    If you've never had a pet snake before, you might want to consider a corn snake. They're pretty low maintenance and don't grow into large adults.