If you are a big fan of exotic animals, then you are going to love this exotic little member of the guinea pig family. Patagonian Mara is one of the most docile animals that can be kept quite easily in captivity in cages. 

These Patagonian Mara, also known as Cavy, looks like large rodents, which is why they are also distant relatives of the Guinea pig family. Patagonian Mara is an herbivorous animal and has somewhat rabbit-like features. 

These exotic species are only found in Argentina; to be more specific, 28 to 50S. Being herbivores, they prefer to stay among shrubs and grasslands, but they are also found in barren lands as well like along the Monte Desert. 


NamesPatagonia Cavy, Mara, and Dillaby
SpeciesD. patagonum
Binomial NameDolichotis Patagonum
Size & Weight18 inches & max 35 pounds
Lifespan14 years in captivity
Speed25 miles/hour

Can Patagonian Mara A Be Good Pet?

Can Patagonian Mara A Be Good Pet?

Since Patagonian Mara is an exotic animal, there are certain things you need to consider before deciding on keeping one as a pet. Only after analyzing all these points should you consider buying one as a pet. 


Whenever the question arises about keeping an exotic animal as a pet, you need to check any legalities surrounding it. Since Patagonian Mara is a member of the rodent family, they can easily be owned as pets. 

Even though Patagonian Maras are considered exotic animals, so it is better to check out the legal aspect of owning such an animal before buying one. 

States like Georgia, California, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Colorado, legally don’t allow such exotic pets as Patagonian Mara. But states like Alabama, Texas, Oregon, and Washington, allow you to keep a Mara as a pet without any legal permits. 

But it is true that laws and regulations change very often and so if you want to buy a Patagonian Mara, check with your local governing body first. 

Behaviour & Temperament


The best thing about Patagonian Mara is that they are known to be very active during the day and are not nocturnal. Although known to be quite shy when approached, Patagonian Maras can be very affectionate and friendly when they are raised from a young age. 

Maras are known to require a lot of human interaction and attention. And they are very demanding towards daily belly rubs and snuggly cuddles. 

The male Patagonians have a scent of their own which they use to mark their territories, which also includes your home. So be prepared to smell urine and also anal gland secretion in certain places of your home. 

Since Patagonian Mara requires constant attention and affection, they tend to live in pairs of both genders. But if you give a lot of attention to your Mara, then they won’t require another one. 



Patagonian Maras tend to dig burrows to live inside them. In the wild, Maras are very social and live together in many burrows dug in the ground. Each burrow is inhabited by a pair of Maras. This Patagonian Mara habitat looks a lot like Prairie dog towns. 

But when you are buying one and bringing it home, you have to get a large yet secured enclosure to make sure that your Patagonian Mara is comfortable. 

If a huge cage in your living room seems impractical, then you can keep the cage outside. And to keep you Mara warm, fix the cage with heating lamps and warm blankets during winter. 

Food & Diet

Food & Diet

I have stated before that Patagonian Mara are known to be herbivores, like other rodents such as Guinea Pigs. Similar to guinea pigs, Patagonian maras also need constant access to hay like alfalfa, meadow hay, timothy hay, or even bluegrass to help them file their molar teeth in the back. 

In captivity, you need to provide your Mara with leafy vegetables and grass to complement the hay. Vegetables like kale, parsley, collards, and dandelion leaves. Patagonian Maras also like squash, sweet potatoes, and even apples. You should sprinkle powered vitamin C with their food as they require vitamin C supplements. 

Health Problems

Health Problems

When they are in captivity Patagonian Maras, if they are allowed to roam freely on cabinets, couches, and furniture, are prone to fractured bones. They also get highly affected by certain dental problems such as mouth deformation and overbites. 

Often they are affected by gastrointestinal and heart problems. So you need to ensure proper health check-ups of your mara animal annually.



This is one of the easiest animals to groom. Patagonian Maras don’t require any baths or showers. You won’t even have to brush them. Because, like cats, they tend to clean themselves using nothing but their tongues.  

Exercise & Training

Patagonian Maras are known to take off jumping and occasionally leaping and sprinting when they are in the wild, along with the daily grazing. So in captivity, they might feel restrained and need more space to move around. 

So it is better if you train your Patagonian Mara to wear a leash and harness so they can go running and hiking with you. Though they are not easily trained, by using the clicker training used for dogs, they can be trained. 

You can even train your Mara to be potty trained and use a litter box just like cats. In that case, make sure that the litter box is made of metal, or else they will chew it off. 



These Patagonian Maras are pretty monogamous until the death of one, then they pair with another. The male Patagonian Maras are solely responsible for maintaining the pair’s bond. They follow the female mara everywhere. 

Mating BehaviourMonogamy
Reproduction SeasonAugust – January
Pregnancy Duration90 days
Baby Carrying2 pups
Independent Age75 – 78 days
Baby NamePup

Patagonian Mara Pet: Yay or Nay!

If you think you are capable of providing a proper caring environment for a Patagonian, then, by all means, get one. But you should know that these Patagonian Maras require a lot of affection and attention. 

But if you can provide that as well, then Maras can be a very friendly and cuddly animal who can also be trained to wear a leash and harness. 

Purchasing A Patagonian Mara

Purchasing A Patagonian Mara

The average cost of a Patagonian Mara is about $200 to $300. And you need to make sure that you purchase one from a certified breeder and buy one as a baby and not as an adult. From a certified breeder, you are able to get legal and valid documentation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)!

Now that you know everything about Patagonian Maras, here are a few queries that others had about them.

1. Why Is The Patagonian Mara Endangered?

Ans: Patagonian maras are known to live in a place called Pampas. Slowly but steadily, this area is declining, and with that, their habitat is also declining. Along with that, hunting is also an important reason why the number of Patagonian maras is reducing. 

2. Is A Patagonian Mara And A Capybara Related?

Ans: Both the Patagonian mara and the capybara belong to the same rodent family. Both of them are diurnal mammals, with their primary place of origin being Argentina. 

3. Do Patagonian Mara Go Along With Other Pets?

Ans: If Patagonian maras are raised along with gentle dogs and cats, then they can be very friendly. But they should not be left along with them as they can learn behavior from these animals. 

Wrapping Up!

So now you know that Patagonian Maras are great as pets, but they do need special care and attention. So you are up to the mark for that kind of care and attention, then surely get one as a pet. But Patagonian mara facts are that, since they are exotic animals, they always thrive better in the wild. 

As always, if you find this article helpful, surely let us know in the comment section down below.

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Nabamita Sinha
Nabamita Sinha loves to write about lifestyle and pop-culture. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and TV series and experiment with food. Her favorite niche topics are fashion, lifestyle, travel, and gossip content. Her style of writing is creative and quirky.

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