Bats As Pets: Facts You Must Know Before You Befriend These Mammals!

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 23, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Nov 05, 2021
Malayan bat hanging on a tree branch.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.4 Min

Bats are highly social wild animals found in approximately 1,400 different species throughout the world and are majorly spotted feeding at night.

It is possible for bats to grow to the size of a small dog or the size of a bee. Flying foxes are the largest bats, that fly with wingspans of up to 80 in (two meter) and body weights of up to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).

Bats have characteristics like birds, but they are not birds. Flying foxes are also the most docile. The bumblebee bat, which weighs less than two grams and is the world's tiniest mammal, is at the other end of the scale.

They are found in localities as well as among the wild in wildlife. Around 300 fruit species may become extinct if bats aren't there. Fruits like avocados, mangoes, cocoa, bananas, figs, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables fall into this category. Alternative sugar sources, such as agave, are increasingly being promoted.

It is critical for the ecosystem to keep bats in their natural habitat. Bats are nocturnal. Nocturnal beings are active at night.

Fruit bats are a type of wild bats. Fruit bats are also known as megabats, and are also referred to as flying foxes in various parts of the world. Their size varies significantly from one location to another.

The Indiana bat is a medium-sized species of bat. They are only 1-2 in (2.5-5.08 cm) in length and can be found in brown, black, or gray colors.

When completely developed, it weighs approximately a quarter of an ounce (7.08 g). It has long been known that the vampire bat is a terrifying monster that has been tied with folklore. The tiny, cone-shaped nose of this species of bat distinguishes it from others.

Can bats make good pets in a house for their human? The bat can be interesting and cute but it's not wise for humans to fall for how cute they look and keep a bat as a pet in your house.

As per experts, while bats are affectionate with humans and befriend humans as well, it is extremely difficult to tame a bat. The little brown bat is a well-known species in the world of bats.

It's a tiny creature, measuring between 3-4 in (7.6-10 cm) in length. They're also only half an ounce (14 g) in weight, which is impressive.

The giant golden-crowned flying fox, this bat is known to wear a golden crown. The bat is a one-of-a-kind species distinguished by its large wings.

After you have read this article on having a bat as a pet, do check that it might be illegal to have a pet bat and there is a real threat of rabies for a human. Afterward, do check out ghost bat facts and banana spider size.

Why is it illegal to own a bat?

Did you know that the Havana rabbit is considered the cuddliest smallest pet animal?

Some species of bats can become domesticated, meaning they can accommodate humans, even becoming clingy and cuddly.

But still, bats are illegal to be domesticated by humans in many countries around the world. Bats are considered to be a protected species under federal law.

In other words, it's against the law to kill them, even if they've managed to find their way into the humans’ residence. If, on the other hand, you've always wanted to build your own bat cave or improve your echolocation skills, you'll find it tough to do so in the United States of America.

When it comes to bats, keep in mind that they can live up to 20-25 years if you're truly into them. When they're kept in captivity, though, their life expectancy lowers to one year or less, depending on the circumstances.

There are several factors to consider before bringing a bat inside your home.

A bat's food intake. Bats eat a variety of foods, depending on their species. The age of the bat has an impact on what they eat. Fruits, insects, blood, nectar, milk, fish, and other animals are common foods for bats.

Cute baby bat sitting on human hand.

Pet bats will bite, urinate and pet bats will defecate on a regular basis. Pet bats, unlike typical domestic pets, cannot be trained to use the toilet. It's just not feasible. It will appear unexpectedly any place your pet bats prefer. Everything will be processed around 20 minutes after the bat has eaten.

Bats, like many other feral creatures, can be infected with the rabies virus. Even a little, seemingly insignificant bite from a bat can spread rabies. Bats may transfer deadly diseases like  SARS, Hendra, and Ebola to other animals, in addition to rabies. Because bats have a strong immune system, they are immune to these infections.

Bats also have a habit of smearing their pee all over themselves. Bats will almost certainly do a urine wash. They also have pungent smell glands on both sides of their necks, which they utilize to generously mark items. Bats rely on their sense of smell to survive. It's an important component of how bats interact with each other.

What bats are legal as pets in the United States?

At times, bats are considered interesting creatures and are even sought after as pets. Keep in mind, however, that bats are wild animals and should not be handled.

They behave in a different manner than domestic dogs and cats. Bats are incapable of being taught. Other than insects, although in some regions of the world, they also eat toads, fruits, other bats, nectar from flowers, blood, and fish.

Some bats hunt and travel using echolocation, while others rely on scent and vision to find their prey and navigate. They have a strong sense of scent.

While it is prohibited to keep native bats as pets in the United States due to the risk of their health and several other countries, it is permissible to import non-native species, particularly fruit bats such as  Egyptian fruit bats, leaf-nosed bats, and straw-colored fruit bats, into many states in the United States.

Bats can only be kept as pets if the owner obtains specific permission from the local authorities.

But in states like California, it is not to have a bat as a pet in California.

What states allow people to keep bats as pets?

Bats are a one-of-a-kind species of animal. It is not suggested to remove them from their natural environment for the sake of their health.

The taking of bats from their natural habitats is strictly prohibited since their health might be at risk, and the transfer of bats is strictly regulated by both the state and federal governments.

Interstate transportation is prohibited by law unless special permits are obtained. It is possible that you may need to obtain licenses from the Animal Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to handle bats without special authorization on a regular basis.

The majority of research facilities, animal sanctuaries, and zoos have legal ownership rights as they have the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to handle and care for exotic species such as bats. Bats, in contrast to conventional household pets such as dogs and cats, cannot be trained.

Humans are fond of brutally putting everything they want in a cage, but some animals are not meant to be kept in the cage because it's not safe for anyone. Unfortunately, enclosing bats in a cage does not work well for these mammals.

These mammals do better in the wild than in captivity. Bats must fly large distances in order to maintain their strength.

This suggests that a bat kept in a cage is weaker than a bat in the wild since it can’t fly.

They also require the presence of a colony in order to survive. Bats require specialized care, habitat, and nutrition in order to survive.

They are complicated animals, making it nearly impossible to provide good care for them even if one desired to do so in the first place. Many individuals have attempted it, only to find themselves with a dead bat after a few weeks.

How loud are bats as pets?

Small bats use ultrasonic calls to navigate in the dark and chase down insects, which helps them to survive. A bat's capacity to identify prey is enhanced when its cries are louder and travel further.

Due to the fact that people pair their cries with the beating of their wings, it has long been thought that echolocation does not add much to energy consumption during flight.

Scientists have recently demonstrated that high-intensity echolocation sounds are not without cost and that they contribute significantly to overall energy expenditure. As a result, bats must strike a balance between energy consumption and effective echolocation, and they must make efficient use of the latter.

Bats can produce sounds as loud as 140 decibels, which is 20 decibels louder than a rock concert and 15 decibels higher than the human pain threshold. Bats utilize high-pitched cries to echolocate because they can only detect their tiny, fast-moving insect meal at ultrasonic frequencies that are outside their hearing range.

Despite this, high-frequency sounds do not carry very far in the air, preventing bats from detecting prey outside of a few yards away.

These fruit-eaters are constantly patrolling huge areas of the jungle in search of food. According to Gilliam, there would only be a handful of fig trees fruiting every given night, so they would have to monitor a vast area.

The use of loud echolocations aids the bats in their search for far-away foods.

When the bats get near the trees, they reduce the strength of their echolocations in order to reduce the amount of noise caused by acoustic reflections. When approached by other foraging bats, the bug-eating bats use the same volume control method as the other foraging bats.

Bats are smart animals who have an intelligence level which is equal to dolphins and primates.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for bats as pets: must know these facts before you befriend these mammals, then why not take a look at chameleon species: curious kids facts on types of chameleon explained!

Or chickens losing feathers: amaze-wing facts on chickens molt explained!

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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