Meerkats as Pets:
Meerkats are illegal to own in the United States without accompanying exotic animal licenses and permits. The requirements for getting such documents vary from state to state, but a general requirement of 1,000+ training hours with the animal seems to be a commonality.
As far as whether or not meerkats actually make good pets, the topic is a mixed bag. Pam Wallberg, president of Fellow Earthlings and a meerkat owner here in the U.S., writes that they can be pretty destructive to property. Because digging is so instinctual, they have boared through many a plaster wall, she had said.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, on of our users from South Africa, wrote from personal experience that they actually make rather good pets.
“I have a pet meerkat and I have never had a more adorable pet. He follows me everywhere including to work. A lot of people say they can be a hassle, hardly! All they need is plenty of attention and love.”