10 Exotic Pets That Are Legal in California and You Can Own

Exotic Pets That Are Legal in California Which You Can Own

California, known for its diverse wildlife and stringent pet laws, still offers an array of exotic pets that are legal to own. Here’s a guide to some unique and fascinating animals you can have as pets in the Golden State.

1. Bearded Dragons

These friendly reptiles are a popular choice for pet enthusiasts. Bearded dragons are known for their docile nature and unique appearance, making them ideal for first-time exotic pet owners.

2. Hedgehogs

While not native to California, hedgehogs are legal and widely adored for their cute appearance and quirky behaviors. They require specific care but can be rewarding companions.

3. Tarantulas

For those fascinated by arachnids, various species of tarantulas are legal in California. These low-maintenance pets are intriguing and, contrary to popular belief, generally harmless.

4. Fennec Foxes

These small, desert-dwelling foxes, known for their large ears, are legal in California. Fennec foxes are energetic and require a lot of attention, but they are affectionate and bond well with their owners.

5. Pygmy Goats

Pygmy goats are adorable miniature goats that are legal in California. They are social and playful, and can be great pets if you have the space to accommodate them.

6. Chinchillas

Native to South America, chinchillas are legal in California. These fluffy rodents are known for their soft fur and require specific temperature and dietary needs.

7. Ball Pythons

A popular choice among snake enthusiasts, ball pythons are known for their calm temperament and manageable size. They are one of the easier snake species to care for.

8. Sugar Gliders

These small, nocturnal marsupials can be owned in California. Sugar gliders are social animals that require a lot of interaction and a specific diet.

9. African Pygmy Hedgehogs

Distinct from their European counterparts, African Pygmy Hedgehogs are smaller and legal in California. They make for curious and relatively easy-to-care-for pets.

10. Axolotls

These unique amphibians are known for their ability to regenerate limbs. Axolotls are aquatic creatures that require a well-maintained tank environment.


Owning an exotic pet in California legally can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the specific care requirements and legalities involved. Always do thorough research and consider adopting from reputable breeders or rescue centers.

About the author

Austin Cannon

Austin Cannon

Austin Cannon, editor for The Spruce Pets and Daily Paws, is a seasoned journalist with a background in award-winning reporting for publications. Austin joined The Exotic Pets in December 2023. Austin holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from Drake University (2016). He edits and produces most of the site’s content and trending stories, giving pet owners daily joy and knowledge.

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