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Are Pokemon Animals Or Monsters? + Real Animals Pokemon Are Based On!

With Pokemon being the huge global phenomenon that it is with it seemingly being able to captivate each new generation that comes along, there is no surprise that we see a few questions from its huge fanbase each month.

Although the majority of the questions that we see are based around trying to workout if pokemon are animals or monsters in the game due to Pokemon translating to “pocket monsters” we have see a few other questions too.

With so many questions being asked on a regular basis, we have decided to publish this dedicated article with the hope of being able to help as many of our readers as possible settle their arguments with their friends about Pokemon.

On top of this, we do see people reaching out to ask for real-life animals that look like Pokemon on a regular basis too as well as for animals that look like Pokemon that can be kept as pets.

Due to this, we will also be going over a number of Pokemon that have drawn their inspiration from real-life animals too as the current trend of having pets that look like Pokemon only seems to be getting increasingly popular.

To help our readers quickly and easily navigate our article, we have added our table of contents below.

Are Pokemon Animals Or Monsters?

Although Pokemon translates to “pocket monsters” the majority of Pokemon are more like cute animals than scary monsters although there are exceptions such as Gengar that draw their inspiration from ghosts.

There are also Pokemon like Mawile that can look a little more monster-like until you realize that the monster’s appearance is just their hair being used in a similar way to a peacocks tail feathers to scare off potential predators.

Due to this, we would go as far as to say the majority of Pokemon are actually animals rather than monsters.

Although some Pokemon can be seen to attack people, some wild animals also do this with many animals being fine with humans once properly trained and socialized to not attack people.

With there being far more than the original 151 Pokemon these days, they really have had to draw their inspiration from a huge range of animals and fictional beings while also completely making up some creates for the Pokemon universe too.

This is why the sheer range is so diverse and so many people reach out each month to ask if Pokemon are animals or monsters as there are a fair few situations where there really is a grey area between the two.

Do Pokemon Display The Seven Vital Characteristics For Life?

The seven vital characteristics for life are Movement, Respiratory, Sensitivity, Growth, Reproduction, Nutrition, and Excretion with there being evidence for all of these characteristics in the Pokemon universe.

This is another reason that you could classify Pokemon as animals rather than monsters due to filling all characteristics for being a living animal.

Do Pokemon Poop?

One of the main arguments against Pokemon being classed as animals is that there is very little evidence that they poop with excretion (pooping and peeing) being an essential characteristic for life.

Just because there is not much evidence of Pokemon pooping does not mean that it is not there though and Gary does pick up some fossilized Pokemon dung confirming that Pokemon do poop.

There is additional evidence that Pokemon poop with Darumaka´s Pokedex entry in Pokemon White saying “Darumaka’s droppings are hot so people used to put them in their clothes to keep themselves warm“.

Although a little disgusting, it does offer additional evidence that Pokemon do poop and there for excrete and fill the final characteristic of life to be classed as an animal.

Are There Non-Pokemon Animals In The Pokemon Universe?

Although there is only a very small amount of evidence, it does appear that there are normal animals in the Pokemon universe that are not used for battling and are just regular animals.

For example, Pikachu is described as an “electric mouse” suggesting that there are normal mice in the Pokemon universe. In some of the Pokemon comic books, you can also see dogs walking around as dogs would, suggesting that there are also dogs too.

The counterpoint to this is that there are a number of Pokemon like animals such as Pidgeot that draws its inspiration from a pigeon that you would expect to be left as a normal animal.

In the Pokemon universe though, Pidgeot is still used to battle so in the future, we may find out that the mice and dog references in Pokemon lore are going to be future Pokemon too.

There is also additional references to normal types of animals in the Pokemon universe too. For example, a sailor on the S.S. Anne mentions jellyfish, the Bird Keeper class clearly shows them with a normal bird on their arm, butterfly appear in the background for some battles in Pokemon X and Y, and normal bees appear for some of Vespiquen moves.

This helps to suggest that there are also normal animals in the Pokemon world but they are rarely seen or spoken about.

What Real-Life Animals Are Like Pokémon?

With the creators of Pokemon drawing so much of their inspiration for their creatures from normal animals in the real world, there is a huge amount of cross over with actual animals.

There are a large number of rodents, birds, fish, and other animals that look very similar to the Pokemon that they were used as inspiration for with some people choosing to keep these animals as pets simply due to looking like Pokemon.

We will now be going over some of the real-life animals that have Pokemon based on their likeness that can show that Pokemon are animals. Please note, just because some of these animals do look like Pokemon, it does not necessarily mean that they will make good pets!

We have lost count of the number of people who have been adding pets to their family simply due to the animal looking like their favorite Pokemon only to realize that the animal requires a large amount of time and attention.

Adding a pet to your family is a large commitment and should not be taken lightly at all.

Springhare For Pikachu

“East African Springhare (Pedetes surdaster)” by berniedup is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

The East African Springhare was used for the initial inspiration for Pikachu and although Pikachu went through a number of changes during the original development stage of Pokemon, there are still some similarities with its original inspiration.

Obviously, the real-life animal Pikachu was based on does not have the ability to manipulate lightning but virtually, there are still some similarities.

Toco Toucan For Toucannon

As the name suggests, the real life-animal Toco Toucan was used for the inspiration for the Pokemon Toucannon with there being so many similarities between the animal and the Pokemon, you could actually accuse the Pokemons designer of being lazy.

That said, this is another case where we have a real-life animal that has a Pokemon based on its likeness so much that you could class the Pokemon version as an animal rather than a monster.

Fennec Fox For Fennekin

Next up, we have the Fennec Fox that was clearly used as the inspiration for Fennekin with the Pokemons name and visual appearance closely resembling its real-life animal counterpart.

The Fennec Fox is one of the animals that has seen a spike in demand as a pet recently partly due to it looking so much like the Fennekin Pokemon.

Yellow-Collared Lovebird For Chatot

The Yellow-Collared Lovebird has clearly served as the main inspiration for the Chatot Pokemon with the bird and the Pokemon sharing a large number of similarities between the two.

Although different types of Lovebirds have different colours, the Yellow-Collared Lovebird does tend to have the closest appearance to Chatot in real-life.

This has resulted in a slight increase in the popularity of keeping Yellow-Collared Lovebirds as pets but thankfully, they are relatively easy to keep compared to some of the other animals that look like Pokemon.

Nudibranch For Shellos

Nudibranch (Sea Slugs) are highly likely to have been used as the main inspiration for Shellos with the animal and the Pokemon sharing a number of common visual characteristics.

Although there was a spike in the number of people trying to keep Nudibranchs as pets, they do tend to be very difficult to keep alive in captivity making them an unsuitable pet for the majority of people.

Hermit Crab For Dwebble

It is obvious that the real-life animal inspiration for the Dweeble Pokemon is the hermit crab and although Dweeble technically uses a rock instead of a shell for its home, they look almost identical.

Hermit crabs have been steadily increasing in popularity as pets for years with them being one of the better animals that look like Pokemon to keep as a pet due to how easy it is to care for them.

What Animal Does Not Have A Pokemon?

Although there are a huge number of Pokemon now, there are still some real-life animals that have not actually been used as inspiration for Pokemon yet.

The most common animals that Pokemon fans want used as inspiration for a Pokemon are dolphins and Flamingos.

That said there, there are also a number of Pokemon fans who also want animals such as the Platypus, Grasshopper, Cheetah, and Swordfish to be used as inspiration for Pokemon.

Due to how quickly Pokemon games are churned out, we would highly expect these animals to be integrated into the Pokemon universe in the future and doubt people will have to wait too long.

We do find it a little surprising that Pokemon was initially released back in 1997 and they have still not added a dolphin or flamingo inspired Pokemon though.

Time will tell if they do use these animals or if they keep going with mythological creatures or made up animals instead for future Pokemon games.


That brings our article going over if pokemon are animals or monsters to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you and in our opinion, the majority of Pokemon are animals although some of them have clearly had monsters used for their inspiration. Our of all of the Pokemon that have been confirmed, it is clear that the majority of them are based on Animals though making up lean more towards them being animals instead of monsters.