List of Nocturnal Pets

Updated November 21, 2016

Nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night. All types of animals such as mammals, amphibians and reptiles include nocturnal members. Animals are nocturnal in order to avoid predators that are active during the day, or to utilise food sources that are active overnight. There are many nocturnal animals kept as pets, including hamsters and leopard geckos.


Hamsters are small, furry animals that are popular first pets for children. Relatively low-maintenance, hamsters require simple supplies such as a cage, bedding, water bottle, wheel and packaged food, which includes grains and seeds. While hamsters are nocturnal and active at night, many domesticated hamsters adapt to spending more daytime hours awake.


Hedgehogs are a bit larger than hamsters and are covered in bristly quills. While hedgehogs in the wild eat insects, domesticated hedgehogs are fed dry cat food or packaged hedgehog food. These nocturnal animals require many of the same supplies as hamsters, such as bedding, water bottles and exercise wheels.

Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are marsupials that are considered exotic pets in many areas. Native to Southeast Asia, sugar gliders are small animals that require a lot of care. Alongside a diet consisting of fruit, vegetables, breads, protein and insects, sugar gliders need large cages, and plenty of love and attention. Sugar gliders are nocturnal and enjoy sleeping in hanging pouches.

Leopard Gecko

Many people prefer reptiles and amphibians over more traditional, furry pets. Leopard geckos are nocturnal lizards that are native to Pakistan's desert. Known for their interesting, colourful markings, leopard geckos require minimal care and are able to go days without feeding. Leopard geckos need approximately 10 gallons of space and feed on mealworms and crickets.

African Spiny Mice

African spiny mice are relatively uncommon exotic pets that are native to Egypt. Small and gentle, these nocturnal mice have textured hair that, according to the Martha Stewart website, feels like a cross between fur and hedgehog quills. Spiny mice need warm temperatures, a low-fat diet and, as animals that live in colonies, the company of others of their own kind.

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