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Seven animals that you cannot have as pets in California


There are certain animals that California only allows as pets if the proper permits are obtained, but there is also a lengthy list of animals Californians are not allowed to have as pets.

One of the main reasons for this is that the animals, if set loose, can disrupt the natural order of wildlife in the state.

Here are seven animals that people in California are not allowed to have as pets. 

Ferrets

A movement, which failed, was formed recently to make having ferrets as pets legal in California.

Despite having been domesticated about 2,500 years ago, they are not allowed to be pets in California. Ferrets, belonging to the weasel family, are able to get into holes where rodents and rabbits like to reside.

If they are let out into the wild, they could become an issue for other animals that are native to California.

Gerbils 

Gerbils are social and will become depressed if they are alone, which is why they are often in pairs.

The most common gerbil to have as a pet is a Mongolian gerbil, also called a desert rat, which thrives in desert and semiarid environments. For that reason, it is not allowed in California. 

California’s climate is a suitable environment for gerbils and it could propagate and become a problem for other wildlife if it made its way out into the wild.

Hedgehogs

Despite both having quills, hedgehogs and porcupines are not closely related.

Hedgehogs, like the other animals on the list, could become a problem and form colonies if they make it out into the wild. The San Diego Zoo, as well as other zoos, have hedgehogs that can be visited. 

They are often active at night, and they have a back full of quills that help them protect their more squishy parts, “like its soft belly.”

Squirrels

There are several kinds of squirrels in California, but they can be divided into three types. Those types are ground, tree and flying squirrels.

While they may be cute as they scurry around on the ground or in a tree, California wildlife is not allowed to be taken in as pets.

The eastern fox squirrel, not pictured above, is considered to be a “serious pest” and can be killed without a permit or hunting license.

Monkeys

Monkeys, much like the other animals on the list, have the potential to wreak havoc on California’s wildlife and habitats. 

Raccoons

Raccoons are known to attack birds and chickens.

Much like squirrels, raccoons are no stranger to the state and will eat just about anything. It’s a trait that can make them a nuisance for some residents and neighborhoods.

They are also a part of California’s natural wildlife and are not allowed as pets.

Chipmunks

Two chipmunks taking shelter under a board in a wood pile.

Only certain kinds of rodents are allowed as pets in California, such as domesticated breeds of hamsters, rats and mice. Chipmunks are not one of the ones included as allowable pets.

For more information, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.



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