Can You Own A Hedgehog In California?

Can You Own A Hedgehog In California

Owning a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but unfortunately not all pets are allowed in all states. Hedgehogs have become increasingly popular as house pets over the last few years, so if you’re wondering whether or not you can own one in California, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the legality of owning a hedgehog in California and provide helpful tips for anyone considering welcoming a spiky friend into their home.

Can You Own A Hedgehog In California?

No, it is illegal to own a hedgehog in the state of California. However, there are certain regulations and laws that must be followed when keeping a hedgehog as a pet in other states where it is legal.

Regulations for Keeping Hedgehogs in California

  • Hedgehogs must have access to fresh water at all times.
  • The enclosure used to house the hedgehog should provide adequate space for exercise, hiding spots, and ventilation.
  • It’s illegal to buy or sell live wild-caught hedgehogs in California.

Understanding the Requirements to Legally Own a Hedgehog in California

Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals native to Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. They can make great pets for those who have the space and resources to care for them properly. In California, owning a hedgehog is legal as long as you meet certain requirements.

Licensing and Permits

In order to legally own a hedgehog in California, you must obtain a permit from your local animal control department. This permit requires that you provide proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies. Additionally, some counties may require you to register your pet with them or obtain a specific license.

Caging Requirements

The caging requirement for hedgehog ownership in California states that each hedgehog must be kept in its own separate enclosure. The cage should be at least 18 inches wide by 24 inches high with an adequate amount of bedding material provided within it. It’s important that any cages used are made of safe materials such as plastic or metal which cannot be easily chewed on by the animal.

Food & Water Requirements

All animals need access to fresh food and water at all times, so it’s important that when keeping a hedgehog, their diet is supplemented with quality foods. It’s best to feed them insect-based dry kibble along with fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins like boiled eggs. Any treats offered should also be given sparingly. Additionally, fresh water should always be available in their cage.

Exercise Requirements

Hedgehogs need plenty of exercise time outside of their cage during the day. To encourage this, they should have access to a large playpen several hours each day where they can explore safely without getting lost or injured. Additionally, toys such as tunnels or tubes will help keep them entertained while encouraging natural behavior patterns like running and climbing.

(Please note that these rules & regulations may change over time so it’s important to check with your local authorities about the legality and procedure prior to owning a hedgehog.)

Owning a hedgehog can be an enjoyable pet experience, but it is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding owning one in your state. Though it is illegal to own a hedgehog in California, some people say it is legal to own as long as certain conditions are met.

Requirements for Owning a Hedgehog in California

The main requirement for owning a hedgehog in California is that it must have been bred and raised domestically. This means that you cannot purchase or import wild hedgehogs from outside of the US. Additionally, if you plan on selling your hedgehog, you must obtain an Animal Seller’s License from the Department of Food and Agriculture.

In addition to these requirements, potential owners should also consider whether or not they will properly care for their pet. Hedgehogs require special diets and regular veterinary checkups, so proper care needs to be taken into consideration before purchasing or adopting one.

Other Considerations

  • Age: You must be 18 years old or older to legally own a hedgehog in California.
  • Housing: If you plan on keeping more than one hedgehog together, make sure that their enclosure allows ample space for them all.
  • Veterinary Care: You should take your hedgehog to the vet at least once per year for regular checkups and vaccinations.

California is home to a wide variety of exotic pets. From reptiles, amphibians, and birds to small mammals and fish, there are plenty of species that can be legally owned as pets in the state.


  • Bearded Dragons
  • Corn Snakes
  • Leopard Geckos
  • Iguanas
  • Chameleons


  • Fire-Belly Toads
  • Dart Frogs
  • Axolotls


  • Cockatiels

Small Mammals

  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Chinchillas
  • Sugar Gliders


  • Goldfish
  • Bettas
  • Cichlids


In conclusion, owning a hedgehog in California is possible but it comes with certain restrictions. Hedgehogs are not considered to be domesticated animals and therefore require special care and attention when being kept as pets. It is important for prospective owners to research the legal requirements for owning a hedgehog, as well as any potential health risks associated with keeping one.

Additionally, owners should ensure that they have the necessary time and resources to provide proper care for their pet hedgehog, including providing adequate housing, food, water and medical attention. With some patience and dedication, owning a hedgehog in California can be an enjoyable experience!


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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