are hedgehogs illegal in california

Are Hedgehogs Illegal in California?

Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals in the Erinaceidae family that can make wonderful pets – but are they allowed in California? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no; it is currently illegal to possess a hedgehog as a pet in California.

Why Are Hedgehogs Illegal?

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) considers animals such as hedgehogs to be “non-domesticated” wildlife, and thus it does not permit their possession as pets. These animals, deemed “injurious,” can carry certain diseases as well as parasites. Thus, the authorities restrict their ownership to only those individuals licensed by the department, primarily zoos and research centers.

What Are the Alternatives?

If you’re looking for a similar pet, here are some options you can consider instead:

  • Rats
  • Chinchillas
  • Hamsters
  • Guinea Pigs

These small, affectionate rodents make great companions and are usually readily available in pet shops across California.


In summary, it is sadly illegal to possess a hedgehog as a pet in California. However, you can still enjoy the companionship of a small rodent like a rat, chinchilla, hamster, or guinea pig.

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