What Animals Are Legal To Own In California?

South San Francisco, CA  October 25, 2021 by Allie Clevenger, ESC

Unusual pets are more commonplace in these times as owners prefer to think outside of the box and explore different types of animals. If this appeals to you, here are a few ideas on the variety of pets you are able to own legally in your state.

 

Did you know these pets are legal to own in California?

 

  • Pot Belly Pigs
  • Pygmy Goats
  • Miniature horses
  • Tarantulas
  • Ball Python (these type are non-venomous)
  • Chinchillas
  • Lynx
  • Lizards (non-venomous)
  • Llamas and Alpacas

An unusual pet, yet it is legal to own llamas in California.
Photo: abbat

 

While the above may sound enticing, California has strict laws on which animals are NOT to be kept as pets. These include:

 

  • Ferrets
  • Monkeys
  • Gerbils (although hamsters, mice, rats and Guinea pigs are allowed)
  • Squirrels
  • Hedgehogs
  • Sloths
  • Foxes
  • Skunks
  • Raccoons
  • Jaguars
  • Cheetahs
  • Bobcats
  • Deer
  • Alligators
  • Zebras
  • Lemurs
  • Prairie Dogs
  • Any Wolf hybrid
  • Leopards

While illegal to own in California, Sloths have been known to be owned by private parties.
Photo by Roxanne Minnish from Pexels

 

Did you know that even so much as feeding a wild animal in California is illegal,

and could include a fine of up to $1,000!

 

Reasons for the ban of owning some of these animals are due to the fear of destruction of California’s natural habitats. Concerns are that animals such as gerbils, who escape or are let go with form feral colonies that interfere with the animals native to California. Some rules are simply because the animals are not to be domesticated and are not safe to keep as pets, as they pose a threat to humans.

 

Extra Extra: Have you heard these weird facts about animals?

 

  • Dogs are somewhat resistant to the venom of a black widow spider, however, horses and cats are very sensitive to it.
  • Rats can laugh
  • Cats do not have sweat glands
  • Garter snakes can birth up to 85 babies (yikes!)
  • Iguanas can hold their breath up to 30 minutes

Garter snakes can birth up to 85 babies!
Photo: pexels-pixabay-162347

 

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Helpless
Helpless
23 hours ago

My neighbor has Peacocks, goats,cows , turkeys and chickens. They make noise all night. He just added over 10 more goats. Is this legal in Lucerne Valley CA?

Last edited 23 hours ago by Helpless
Catherine
Catherine
1 month ago

There are so many cute pets that we can’t keep, it’s super annoying

him
him
3 months ago

not fairrrr

Evalynn
Evalynn
3 months ago

Why can’t we have them in California it annoying

Evalynn
Evalynn
3 months ago

Can we at least get a marmoset Monkey

Benjamin
5 months ago

Do you have any for sale in cal near la

Benjamin
5 months ago

I want a wolf hybrid

lily
lily
6 months ago

I Want A Sugar Glider!!!!

Ricky Torres
Ricky Torres
6 months ago
Reply to  lily

Take mine!

Evalyn
Evalyn
4 months ago
Reply to  lily

Same

Bob
Bob
7 months ago

Can aye ayes be allowed in California?

Timothy Beasley
Timothy Beasley
9 months ago

Are galago legal in California

trackback

[…] California, a variety of exotic pets are legal to own. These animals include lynxes, tarantulas, miniature horses, ball pythons and pygmy […]

Indy
Indy
11 months ago

If any of you people are over the age of 16 you can get your trappers license and own a raccoon legally or you just don’t tell no one about your furry friend.

moon
moon
10 months ago
Reply to  Indy

that’s smart

Buddy
Buddy
11 days ago
Reply to  Indy

Just 4 more years

Indy
Indy
11 months ago

I would be awesome to own a raccoon, but do you need your trappers license?

mn m m,
1 year ago

ferret

welovecastingspells
welovecastingspells
1 year ago

wait i have a raccon on my bed rn and i dont wanna get rid of it

Indy
Indy
11 months ago

Dang do you really have a raccoon I’ve always wanted to own one. But I’m pretty sure you need your trappers license.

Aniya Valentino
Aniya Valentino
10 months ago

Don’t ever tell 😉😄💖

Alexa Ferreyra
Alexa Ferreyra
1 year ago

i would like a sloth thank you

Whoabrother
Whoabrother
1 year ago

If they had similar regulations for parents of Humans as we do for Sloths, humans would be extinct in California. We may have something here!!!!????

Andreas kevin
Andreas kevin
1 year ago

Is it legal for me to have a hissing cockroach?

Buddy
Buddy
11 days ago
Reply to  Andreas kevin

I don’t think so

Henry Boone
Henry Boone
1 year ago

why is it elligal to own a hedgehog but not a water buffalo ?

Buddy
Buddy
11 days ago
Reply to  Henry Boone

I thought they were legal

Henry Boone
Henry Boone
1 year ago

my friend has a hedgehog and chinchilla in CA.

Mori Owen
Mori Owen
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Boone

they’re going to jail, my friend

Buddy
Buddy
11 days ago
Reply to  Henry Boone

Don’t call the cops on them

Dani
Dani
1 year ago

I have a friend in California who has a chinchilla and it says they are illegal,????

Michael Allen Elliott
Michael Allen Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Dani

They sell chinchillas at petco in southern California

Shae Watkins
Shae Watkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Dani

it does not say that

Not a moron
Not a moron
6 months ago
Reply to  Dani

Is your last name Gump? It clearly said “Did you know these pets are legal to own in California?” Now it you can count to 6…we know it is a big number…then count down the list of LEGAL animals….OMG chinchilla. So now adding it together you get…yes I knew you would get it. Legal chinchillas…

kenzie
kenzie
1 year ago

i have a minx is it eligel

Norma
Norma
1 year ago
Reply to  kenzie

Goddess, I hope so, sweet’ling!!!😘💋🐾🐺

Samantha
Samantha
1 year ago

Is there a specific frog that is illegal or all frogs are?

Henry Boone
Henry Boone
1 year ago
Reply to  Samantha

only some

The earl of sandwiches
The earl of sandwiches
1 year ago

Are comorants legal?

The Jet
The Jet
1 year ago

Yeah cause the sloth is just going to take off and start messing up the environment bc they are so vicious and destructive…

Also, seems hypocritical that its legal to kill as many skunks, racoons or squirrels as you want. Just don’t try to keep one for a pet bc you will be hurting the natural flora of California’s overly watered desert if you do… What a load of BS california political garbage.

Michelle Walkup
Michelle Walkup
1 year ago
Reply to  The Jet

Bwahahaha 😂😂 RIGHT?!
I don’t recall ever hearing any stories about a Sloth attacking someone? But, then again…it is California. We wouldn’t want anyone to contract Sloth Pox.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Walkup
BuggaBea
BuggaBea
1 year ago

I think it’s more cause people don’t know how to care for even a fraction of these animals and most vets probably would be woefully unprepared. I could easily see some fool thinking they could care for a sloth and somehow screwing that up horribly. I am curious about the ferrets though. I thought that was a common pet.

FKR_22
FKR_22
1 year ago
Reply to  BuggaBea

Sloths are actually legal to own. You have to go threw many many channel before even getting a permit and you have to have an entire enclosure that has to be checked and signed off before even thinking about buying and exporting it to the United States. It’s incredibly expensive and time consuming to a point of you gotta be extremely rich to be throwing 20k for permits

Joe Bommerman
Joe Bommerman
1 year ago

man cali sucks can’t own nothing here

Angela Zhang
1 year ago

Is the blue dragon illegal?

Ethan
Ethan
1 year ago

how about Prairie Dogs

Rosalie Nuncio
2 years ago

I want a chipmunk is that legal please reply

SUSSYBAKA
SUSSYBAKA
4 months ago
Reply to  Rosalie Nuncio

NOOOOOO😭

Christalle
2 years ago

..

Last edited 2 years ago by Christalle
Kacchan
Kacchan
2 years ago

i did not know you could own a Lynx. Now i need and want one

vale
vale
2 years ago
Reply to  Kacchan

same

Samantha
Samantha
1 year ago
Reply to  vale

they are cute

Benjamin
5 months ago
Reply to  Kacchan

Same

Jams
2 years ago

I DIDNT KNOW IT WAS ILLEGAL TO HAVE A FERRET. THeyb PUT IT DOWN

Benjamin
5 months ago
Reply to  Jams

🥹😭

Ava Marie Romero
2 years ago

I have to comment on this my best friend sandy once had a pot belly pig growing up in west winston manor it wasn’t ok to have pigs as pets back then in the 90s back then. They had to take it back to the barnyard although it’s a very sweet piggy. My dad before he met my sweet mom once had a pet monkey and my grandma said please take that monkey back it is too much trouble and our family cannot it true story. Didn’t know pet momkeys are illegal only can be seen on a movie screen excellent information