Exotic Pets in Japan

Published 7 December 2021


7 December 2021, Tokyo: In-depth consumer research in Japan revealed that the sense of Iyashi (mental healing properties) and Kawaii (cuteness) people find in animals are the most significant underlying motivations for owning exotic pets. In the face of growing popularity of exotic pets globally, the study calls for consumer behaviour change through targeted communications and social mobilization.

Study Unveils Consumer Motivations for Exotic Pets in Japan

Report author(s):
GlobeScan: D. Bergin, W. Meijer, T. Cheng, G. Mei, E. Kritski

Publication date:
December 2021


"In this survey, we use the terms ‘exotic pet’ and ‘domestic pet.’ While there is no generally accepted definition of an exotic pet, the term usually refers to ‘animals that are not considered as common pets, primarily those having overseas and/or wild origins.’ Domestic pets include animals such as dogs, housecats, hamsters, canaries, as well as insects or fish.”

The study further sheds light on the various types of consumers and what critical touchpoints influence their journey to purchase an exotic pet.

  • Intenders of exotic pets were more likely to be younger (aged 18–34) and are more likely to be full-time students compared to Owners and Non-owners/Non-intenders.
  • Popular intended exotic animals were parrots (22%), hedgehogs (19%), exotic rodents (18%), followed by lizards (15%) and turtles/tortoises (15%).
  • Four in ten Intenders (42%) say they are likely or very likely to buy an exotic pet in the next 12 months.
  • The top influencing factors for exotic pet intenders were media on social networks (45%), TV (32%) and family/relatives (29%).
  • Three segments (Rational, Convenience, and Emotional Bond) were identified amongst owners and intenders based on variations in their motivations towards owning exotic pets.


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