Every state has different exotic pet laws. In some places you can have a pet squirrel or kangaroo while other places you can’t have a pet rabbit.
Some states are specific as to what animals they restrict while others allow pretty much anything to be kept as a pet.
Find out what your state’s exotic pet laws are here with these exotic pet law summaries but be sure to double check with your local government before getting your pet to make sure the laws haven’t changed.
While these are the state laws, there may also be local, city, and county laws that also apply. Laws are also subject to change.
The following animals may not be kept as pets:
- Wolves, foxes, coyotes, hyenas, dingoes, jackals, and other undomesticated dogs
- Lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, pumas, panthers, mountain lions, cheetahs, cougars, bobcats, lynxes, and other undomesticated cats
- Ferrets, weasels, minks, badgers, wolverines, skunks, and mongooses
- Squirrels, raccoons, and bats
- Bears, elephants, zebras, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and hippopotamuses
- Tarantulas, black widows, and other venomous spiders
- Iguanas, gila monsters, and many other lizards
- Monkeys, apes, chimpanzees, and gorillas
- Vipers, cobras, pythons, anacondas, and many other snakes
- Alligators, crocodiles, snapping turtles, and other turtles less than four inches in length
- Eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, emus, ostriches, and other large or predatory birds
- Roosters, ducks, geese, and turkeys
- Bees (other than a honeybees), hornets, wasps, and other venomous insects
- Gophers, woodchucks, beavers, hedgehogs, porcupines, and other large rodents
- Deer, antelopes, llamas, and camels
- Sheep, goats, pigs, and most farm animals
- Kangaroos, opossums, koalas, and other marsupials
- Dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, walruses, and other sea mammals
Check out the video for 10 illegal pets people actually own!