11 Animals You Should Definitely Read With (That Aren't Cats Or Dogs)

On lazy afternoons and sweatpants nights, pets and novels go together like pizza and beer. If you're on Instagram, you already know how many #cats and #dogs of Instagram there are. And if you're a book nerd, you know how much your fellow book lovers enjoy sharing photos of their #catsandbooks and #dogsandbooks.

But what about owners of other types of pets? Do they also enjoy cuddling up to their furry, feathered, and scaly friends to check out the latest installment in their favorite series? Sure, all signs point to a big fat YES, but it's entirely possible that some animals just make better reading buddies, right? Most animal-loving book nerds I know would be willing to curl up with just about any cute critter for a chapter or two. Well, aside from maybe... I don't know... grizzly bears and tigers, that is.

But which off-beat animals should you seek out to accompany you on your next reading journey? Any of these 11 cuties would be happy to help you make it through those really tough books you've been wanting to read since high school. So pick one, settle in, and be sure to snap a great pic to share on Instagram!

Ferrets

Ferrets are nature's Slinkies, and they're just plain magical. Grab one of these bendy cuddlebugs and check out some fantasy featuring marmots for an experience you'll both love.

Snakes

Snake-haters, I have one question for you: have you ever actually held a serpent? They're amazingly cool and content to make themselves comfy and enjoy a great book with you.

Goats

Having owned these sweethearts for a number of years, I'll go ahead and warn you: it might be best to grab your sturdiest e-reader before settling in to book-geek-out with a goat. The old stereotype might not be entirely factual, but you'll still find that your horned reading buddy enjoys nibbling on your covers and pages.

Deer

I haven't met many deer, but, having seen plenty of them chewing by the roadside, I'm willing to hazard a guess that they're kind of like goats in their compulsive desire to munch. Guard your paper books around Bambi, but don't be afraid to give him a snuggle and a story if he's tame.

Capybaras

If you're unfamiliar with capybaras, allow me a moment to fangirl: THEY'RE BASICALLY GIANT GUINEA PIGS AND THEY EAT ICE POPS AND THEY'RE JUST SO STINKIN' CUTE. Ahem. You might have a difficult time finding a capybara near you, but you can always buy a plushie to squeeze while you read.

Rats

Outside of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, I don't know of many rats who can read like the little guy above. But that doesn't mean a fancy rat or two won't appreciate a cuddle in your reading nook on the next rainy Sunday.

Owls

So I couldn't find any pictures of owls reading, and that's a shame. READ WITH OWLS, PEOPLE. Come on, do you think Harry didn't give Hedwig a few head pats while he was enjoying a book? I mean, really.

Rabbits

Who doesn't love rabbits? Evil people, that's who. Bunnies are cute, fluffy, and litter box-trainable, just like cats, so why aren't more people grabbing a long-ear when they're enjoying a lengthy read? Do your part to stop anti-rabbit prejudice by loving on a bunny the next time you re-read Harry Potter.

Fish

Fish might not be cuddle-able, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your aquatic pet's company while you read. Just don't spill the tank water on your book or e-reader.

Monkeys

Monkeys don't have the best track record as pets, but that won't stop me from hoping for one to perch on my shoulder one day while I'm reading. Just look at those hands! They could turn the pages for me, or hold the book open while I brush my teeth. They'd be useful reading buddies, is what I'm saying.

Raccoons

Speaking of hands, look at this raccoon's adorable digits! As with the owls, I couldn't find pictures of raccoons with books, which means someone is severely neglecting their masked pet's education. Read with raccoons, folks, and send me pictures when you do.

Images: The Book Ferret, charm the snake, Goats Galore, theyardpdx, Animals with glasses, Soreyuki Yuzu-midan Go!, JYHS Library, Milo the Bunny!, teaching literacy., Monkeys in Art History, Fr_Larsson/Tumblr