A pet or companion animal is an animal kept primarily for a person's company, protection, entertainment, or as an act of compassion such as taking in and protecting a hungry stray cat, rather than as a working animal, livestock, or laboratory animal. Popular pets are often noted for their attractive appearances, intelligence, and relatable personalities, or may just be accepted as they are because they need a home.
Two of the most popular pets are dogs and cats. The technical term for a cat lover is an ailurophile, and for a dog lover, a cynophile. Other animals commonly kept include rabbits; ferrets; pigs; rodents, such as gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as parrots, passerines, and fowl; reptile pets, such as turtles, alligators, crocodiles, lizards, and snakes; aquatic pets, such as fish, freshwater and saltwater snails, and frogs; and arthropod pets, such as tarantulas and hermit crabs. Small pets may be grouped together as pocket pets, while the equine and bovine group include the largest companion animals.