These 11 Pets Are Illegal in Some States – Newsweek

Some states prohibit the possession of certain animals as pets.

Almost seven in 10 American households own at least one pet, according to the 2020 National Pet Owners Survey. Dogs are the most popular, followed by cats and freshwater fish. But rules on owning non-native, exotic pets are often much stricter.

Below, Newsweek has listed 15 pets that are illegal in some states.

Other states and cities—and other animals—not mentioned may have restrictions or require a permit to keep one.

Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are accepted as a pets in many parts of the world.
Getty Images

Native to Australia, bearded dragons are easy to maintain and are legally accepted as a pets in many parts of the world.

In the U.S., a majority of states require bearded dragon owners to have a license to keep as a pet. In Hawaii, however, it is illegal to buy or sell a bearded dragon under legislation designed to protect the native ecosystem.

Bengal Cats

One of the most popular cat breeds in the world
Kech/Getty Images

Intelligent and playful, the Bengal cat is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world, a hybrid created from a domesticated cat and Asian leopard cat.

They can be kept as pets in most U.S. states provided that they are less than five generations separated from their Asian leopard ancestors.

They cannot be kept as pets in Hawaii, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Seattle, as well as New York City.


A popular exotic pet for many families, there is an outright ban on keeping them as pets in California and Hawaii, as well as cities such as New York and Washington D.C.

There are concerns about ferrets biting people as they can spread rabies, while they are also considered a threat to local wildlife.


Originally from Central Asia, mainly Mongolia, Gerbils are not considered exotic because they were domesticated decades ago and are not imported from overseas anymore.

However, in California and Hawaii you can’t own a Gerbil as a pet. Hawaii has a unique ecosystem and California has an environment similar to the gerbils natural habit, so if they …….


Posted on

Leave a Reply