Can You Correctly Guess These Pets Based On Their Dictionary Definition?



By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

"Fluffy munchkins" will not be found in the dictionary to define your pet kitty. However, "A small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractable claws," will define your finicky feline. And if you own a turtle or ferret, the definitions can get more obtuse. 

This brain-teaser of a quiz will have you looking at your household pet in a whole new light. Take, for instance, a snake or as the Oxford Dictionary puts it, "A long limbless reptile which has no eyelids, a short tail, and jaws that are capable of considerable extension." That definition surely has you concentrating on the lidless gaze and not on the big personality your snake may have. 

Just remember, dictionaries need to provide the broadest definition of an animal. Otherwise, it would be a daunting task to try to categorize the large number of different species based on more specific details like color, shape, tail size, and other characteristics. 

You probably can name several animals that fit this description: "A gregarious burrowing plant-eating mammal, with long ears, long hind legs, and a short tail." Deer, rabbit, long-eared mouse, are just some of the names that may come to mind. 

Find out if you're the one in seven people who can correctly guess the pets based on their dictionary definition. Take the quiz now. 

Which pet is defined as this in the Oxford Dictionary? "A domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, non-retractable claws, and a barking, howling, or whining voice."

It's a dog. Many people worldwide keep dogs as pets. There are so many breeds and personalities that everyone can find their own perfect furry friend.


"A small reddish-golden Eurasian carp, popular in ponds and aquaria. A long history of breeding in China and Japan has resulted in many varieties of form and colour."

It's a goldfish. Goldfish are great for teaching the responsibility of owning pets to children. They don't require excessive work aside from feeding and cleaning their tanks on a regular basis.


"A crab with a soft asymmetrical abdomen, which lives in a cast-off mollusc shell for protection. In several kinds the shell becomes covered with sponges, sea anemones, or bryozoans."

It's a hermit crab. Hermit crabs are great pets that are better kept along with a friend. They are kept in tanks that are large enough for the number of crabs that you keep.


"A domesticated ruminant mammal with a thick woolly coat and (typically only in the male) curving horns. It is kept in flocks for its wool or meat, and is proverbial for its tendency to follow others in the flock."

It's the sheep. Getting a sheep is an exciting choice for a pet. They make a good pet, but require lots of work. They also require a lot of good research before deciding if getting a sheep is right for you.


"A long, limbless reptile which has no eyelids, a short tail, and jaws that are capable of considerable extension."

It's a snake. Snakes can make great pets and they have long lifespans. They can range from small snakes all the way up to enormous ones!


"A large marine reptile with a bony or leathery shell and flippers, coming ashore annually on sandy beaches to lay eggs."

It's a turtle. Turtles can be more difficult to take care of but can make for an awesome pet. They live in tanks that include both water and land.


"A small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractable claws. It is widely kept as a pet or for catching mice, and many breeds have been developed."

It's a cat. Along with dogs, cats are very common pets. Not only are there house cats, but many farms keep barn cats that take care of the barn.


"A solitary burrowing rodent with a short tail and large cheek pouches for carrying food, native to Europe and North Asia."

It's the hamster. The hamster is a common pet for many kids and adults that is often found in its cage or rolling around in a little hamster ball!


"A gregarious burrowing plant-eating mammal, with long ears, long hind legs, and a short tail."

It's a rabbit. Rabbits make adorable pets, but they can find and get into many pesky places that can cause some trouble. Keeping a close eye on your pet rabbit is always a good idea.


"An eight-legged predatory arachnid with an unsegmented body consisting of a fused head and thorax and a rounded abdomen. Spiders have fangs which inject poison into their prey, and most kinds spin webs in which to capture insects."

It's a spider. Spiders aren't as common as other pets but many people get lots of enjoyment out of having them. Many people favor tarantulas as their pet.


"A tailless South American rodent of the cavy family. Originally raised for food, it no longer occurs in the wild and is now typically kept as a pet or for laboratory research."

It's the guinea pig. Guinea pigs are very popular pets that are best kept with a friend. These cuddly critters are great when it comes to handling.


"A small insect typically having a sting and living in a complex social colony with one or more breeding queens. It is wingless except for fertile adults, which form large mating swarms, and is proverbial for its industriousness."

It's an ant. Ants are usually kept as pets inside an ant farm! In order to keep the colony in your ant farm going, you need to make sure that you have a queen.


"A bird, often vividly coloured, with a short downcurved hooked bill, grasping feet, and a raucous voice, found especially in the tropics and feeding on fruits and seeds. Many are popular as cage birds, and some are able to mimic the human voice."

It's a parrot. Parrots are known for their ability to speak like a person does. These pets can make a great companion for anyone, but sometimes you may want some peace and quiet!


"A reptile that typically has a long body and tail, four legs, movable eyelids, and a rough, scaly, or spiny skin."

It's the lizard. Lizards make excellent pets as they are generally easy to care for. They are also quite tolerable towards being held.


"A small nocturnal Old World mammal with a spiny coat and short legs, able to roll itself into a ball for defence."

It's a hedgehog. Hedgehogs are spiky little critters that are quite friendly. They make great pets that can be handled, as long as you're careful around their spikes.


"A limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins living wholly in water."

It's a fish. Fish make great pets because they are generally easy to take care of. They require a tank that is big enough for them, food each day and a cleaning of their tank regularly.


"A domesticated polecat used chiefly for catching rabbits. It is typically albino in coloration, but sometimes brown."

It's a ferret. Ferrets can be quite the entertaining little pet, but they require a lot of care. They love to play, and when they're done they can sleep for a long time!


"A large plant-eating domesticated mammal with solid hoofs and a flowing mane and tail, used for riding, racing, and to carry and pull loads."

It's a horse. Horses are a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. They can help get things done as well as take you on a fun horseback ride.


"A domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat, especially a young one."

It's a chicken. Chickens are commonly kept in a barn and many are kept for their eggs. Although some people truly keep them as a companion.


"A hardy domesticated ruminant mammal that has backward-curving horns and (in the male) a beard. It is kept for its milk and meat, and noted for its lively behaviour."

It's a goat. Goats surprisingly make great pets, but they require quite a bit of work. These little guys are very fun to watch as well!


"A small rodent that typically has a pointed snout, relatively large ears and eyes, and a long tail."

It's a mouse! Mice can be a difficult pet to keep, but they are very cute! These furry friends are exciting and love to play just like a hamster.


"A large arboreal tropical American lizard with a spiny crest along the back and greenish coloration."

It's the iguana. Iguanas are beautiful creatures that can be a little difficult to care for. These animals can live for over 15 years as well.


"A horse of a small breed, especially one below 15 hands (or 14 hands 2 inches)"

It's a pony. Ponies are commonly found on farms and they require a lot of care. The miniature horses are cute and great to bond with.


"A waterbird with a broad blunt bill, short legs, webbed feet, and a waddling gait."

It's a duck. Ducks are another animal that is kept by many farmers. However, there are people who love to keep the adorable birds as their feathered friend as well.


"A fully grown female animal of a domesticated breed of ox, kept to produce milk or beef."

It's a cow. Cows are commonly kept as barn animals or animals that roam farmer's fields. Cows are very cute and can make for an enjoyable pet.


"A domesticated pack animal of the camel family found in the Andes, valued for its soft woolly fleece."

It's the llama. Llamas are often kept as pets but have been used to aid people as well. These animals can form an amazing bond with their owners.


"A large mainly domesticated game bird native to North America, having a bald head and (in the male) red wattles. It is a popular food on festive occasions such as Christmas and (in the US) Thanksgiving."

It's the turkey. Surprisingly, turkeys make for a great pet! However, they are best kept outdoors where they have space to move around.


"A mollusc with a single spiral shell into which the whole body can be withdrawn."

It's a snail. Snails are very easy to take care of and keep as pets. They can be kept in a tank that is cleaned and they need to be fed regularly.


"A domesticated hoofed mammal of the horse family with long ears and a braying call, used as a beast of burden; an ass."

It's the donkey. Donkeys are best kept with a friend to keep them company. They also require some work, so new owners should be ready for anything.


"A small parrot with predominantly green plumage and a long tail."

It's the parakeet. Parakeets are great pets that are generally easy to care for. They are beautiful animals that are usually good when it comes to handling.


"An omnivorous domesticated hoofed mammal with sparse bristly hair and a flat snout for rooting in the soil, kept for its meat."

It's a pig. Pigs are commonly kept as barn animals but there are some that are family pets as well. The little critters are adorable but require some work!


"A lizard-like amphibian with an elongated body and tail and short limbs, once thought able to endure fire."

It's the salamander. Salamanders are cute creatures that may look like a reptile, but they are actually amphibians. They make great pets.


"A tailless amphibian with a short squat body, moist smooth skin, and very long hind legs for leaping."

It's the frog. Frogs are great pets to keep because they are entertaining and easy to care for. Frogs are kept in a tank that needs to be cleaned and fed regularly.


"A small slender-bodied amphibian with lungs and a well-developed tail, typically spending its adult life on land and returning to water to breed."

It's the newt. Newts are amazing pets as they are easy to care for, friendly and brightly colored. Newts are best kept with others of their species.


Which pet is defined as this in the Oxford Dictionary? "A rodent that resembles a large mouse, typically having a pointed snout and a long tail. Some kinds have become cosmopolitan and are sometimes responsible for transmitting diseases."

It's the rat. Rats are often portrayed as an animal to be feared, but they are actually quite nice as a pet! These little creatures are friendly and easy to take care of.


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