Wild Animals as Pets in California

Wild Animals as Pets in California

What types of animals can the residents of California keep as pets?


California, being one of the most restrictive states when concerning animals, makes it a misdemeanor to own, transport, or release into the wild any of the following animals:

  • Cuckoos, larks, crows, jays, magpies, thrushes, weavers, sparrows, finches, buntings
  • All primates except for those in family Hominidae
  • Sloths, anteaters, armadillos
  • Marsupials or pouched mammals
  • Shrews, moles, hedgehogs
  • Gliding lemurs, bats
  • Spiny anteaters, platpuses, pangolins, scaly anteatersh
  • Pikas, rabbits, hares
  • Rodents except for hamsters, domesticated rats and mice, and guinea pigs
  • All carnivorous mammals except for domesticated cats and dogs
  • Aardvarks
  • Elephants
  • Hyraxes, dugongs, manatees
  • Horses except for those in family Equidae
  • Zebras, tapirs, rhinoceroses
  • Peccaries, camels, deer, elk
  • Lampreys
  • Bony fishes
  • Crocodiles
  • Slugs, snails, clams
Although some animals can be brought in with special licences, the general rule is that these animals cannot be household pets. For more information it is always advisable that you speak with attorney on what you can or cannot bring into California as a domesticated animal. 


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