The Latest in Pet Trends: Leeches

Thanks to a new trend, pet owners all over the world are cuddling up with the latest in animal companions: leeches.

“They’re amazing, curious creatures that grow like crazy and make wonderful pets,” self-described leech keeper Ariane Khomjani tells ScienceAlert. “Some like to try and sneak a feed more often than others. But once they’re full, they’re content to sit and rest for a bit out of water if handled gently.”

Some owners even allow their leeches to suck their blood, Khomiani says. “Once they get feeding you don’t even feel it, even with the large buffalo leeches,” he says, noting that a leech’s initial bit may hurt a little.

The good news: leeches can go as long as a year between feedings!