Ferret Life

Are ferrets legal to own as pets in California

Ferrets are legal in all the states of America except California and Hawaii. The California Fish and Game Code declares it a crime to possess any animal that is endangered and a threat to public security. Especially ferrets who are carnivores, wild animals like lions, tigers, and bears are also prohibited to own. Are ferrets legal to own as pets in California?

Once you cross the border of Nevada you will face penalties such as:

-A civil fine of $500 – $10,000, plus the costs of the animal’s removal, storage, and care.

-Criminal prosecution for an offense, punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Let’s further know where ferrets are legal to own a pet.

Are ferrets legal to own as pets in California?

Ferrets belong to the family of polecats biologically includes mink, weasels, and otters. Ferrets have been domesticated for several centuries and popular in every state of America. But in California, you cannot import, transport, or possessed ferrets until you have a permit specifically issued for a reason. The conditions apply to have a ferret if it escaped from the forest and threat to public security, medical research, and transported.

Moreover, you cannot keep a ferret as a pet in CA it is a considerable crime and you can be heavily fined if caught with a ferret at home without a permit.

Keeping a ferret in CA is a crime

Many people reported with heavy fines who were petting ferret in CA. Only one Culver City woman (Megan Mitchell) tried to legalize here 2.5-year-old ferrets. Though she wasn’t advocating for the legalization of ferrets in the city. She likes to spend time playing with them as she explained to LA weekly. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife declares on their website that may be ferreted are legal everywhere but illegal in the CA.

Mitchell isn’t the only woman fighting for the legalization of the ferret’s many cases have been reported from 3 decades. People who love their pets like dogs and cats so ferrets have the same bond with a human. She proclaimed if your dog is taken away from you because of CA’s old law without scientific data backing up how you would feel.

People’s emotion doesn’t work on CA’s laws and they have to face penalties. In case if they are caught with ferrets at home and have no special permit. They have to pay $1000 and also 6 months in jail for the crime.

Dept. of Fish and Game permissions for CA

According to the Dept of Fish and Game. Domestic ferrets are only legal to possess, transport, or import when you have a permit. Though these permits are issued based on certain reasons such as:

  1. Medical research
  2. Confiscated ferrets
  3. Rescued from the wild

Since you cannot import them as pets it is not allowed and won’t be permitted in CA. While other states allow ferret as pets. Some of the states let them pet with no issue and some of them allow with restrictions or permits. Domestic ferrets have been recognized with the legalization in each state from the mid-1980s and its ownership. When only 8 states legalized ferrets as pets such as:

  • Alaska (1985)
  • Pennsylvania (1987)
  • Vermont (1989)
  • Georgia (1991)
  • New Hampshire (1993)
  • Utah (1993)
  • Michigan (1994)
  • Massachusetts (1996)

Even at that time only California and Hawaii prohibit importation and possession of ferrets as pets.

If your ferret is seized

If you are petting a ferret without any special permit in CA. You will be caught by police or warden from Fish and Game then all you have to do certain things.

  1. Do not allow them to search your house until they show you a search warrant. As it would show “probable cause”
  2. If they find out ferret in your property or your home then you still have the right to transport it to the other state.
  3. The owner can ship it at your own expense, to a permanent adoptive home in the other 48 states that permits ownership of ferrets.
  4. You can also choose setup by CDFA to send it to the legal state but with your expenses.
  5. The owner surrenders your ferret to a DFG permit holder or even get a permit to assist with rescue in the region.
  6. You have a choice to select a confiscating officer to handle the situation. But there is no guarantee of your ferret’s safety. So think before handed your ferret to them or better to manage it yourself.

Legalities of ferrets

Everything includes when it’s about ferrets wherever you live the city, county, state, or military regulations tell you whether you can own a ferret or not. Some state laws allow the ferrets to pet but within cities. The regulations may vary like if you have a child at home in Nevada it’s illegal.

CA allows only neutered males to be kept (not to keep as a pet). So you can check the rules and regulations from your local Fish and Game dept or vet. They will guide you through whether you may have a permit requirement or license. Which can be free of cost of charge you $15 depends on the place.

Costs of ferrets

Buying a ferret isn’t difficult but maintaining its security and safety comes along with other expenses as well. You can get the ferret from $65- $250 depending on the state where you live. With the additional expenses, you can expect $150-$350 for vaccinations, veterinary examinations, and basic supplies. The cost of spraying or neuter your new pet will also be charged. So ask your vet before buying a ferret.

You have an option to choose an older ferret even than a young kit. You should know that they are a social and playful animal and also cost you a lot. With the budget of renewals of vaccination, routine care, applicable licenses, buy food, buy litter all the things include on a daily basis.

You have to purchase ferret-related accessories, items. As deodorizing cleaners, cage, a medicated shampoo, vitamin supplement, collar, and leads, etc.

An effort to make ferrets legal to sell and own in California

Are ferrets legal to own as pets in California? Many people are advocating the legalization of ferrets in CA. While they are mistakenly classified as wild animals whereas they are lovely pets. Ferrets do not harm and can be pet just like dogs and cats with a bit of training. Though their biting habit makes them fierce. When you adopt a kit you can train them not to bite and believe it, they won’t.

Being a citizen we all should have the right to keep a favorite animal as a pet with satisfactory ownership. Of course with better medical care and needs you can show dedicated behavior. The state has no right to take and euthanize the harmless and lovely animal.

You can check online by visiting a different website where the movements were in action to make ferret legal. But the discrimination from DFG failed them. Some reports to the commissioner who refused to review it.

Some misunderstandings about ferrets

The Govt of CA has insecurities about ferrets like they are wild animals and can be escaped to the wild and can be a threat to the eco-system. The fact is that domestic ferrets do not go outside the house. When they are spayed or neutered while petting at home, how they would be dangerous.

So it’s quite illogical to escape to the wild and create a feral population when they are already descanted or neutered. The other thing is to understand that they don’t hunt birds or small animals. They won’t even survive if outside, whereas the dogs and cats can.

The other thing about making their reputation bad is stinking. As they have their musky smell but also dogs and cats have worsened smell. 


Ferrets should be legalized to a pet in the CA as well as other many states of America as they are harmless animals. They are known to the Egyptian domestic ferrets before cats. You don’t need to worry about when you’re not home they fell asleep. As they sleep for 16-18 hours a day. When they wake up they are playful and lovely not harmful. Ferrets are the perfect companion of humans and should be allowed everywhere. As there is no case reported of the wilderness. You must know are ferrets legal to own as pets in California.

The black-footed ferrets are cousins of domestic ferrets. They are endangered species that were brought to the U.S over 300 years ago. You should also contribute to the legalization of ferrets in CA because you know they are harmless. If they were why the other states would allow it.

People need to understand the fact that ferrets are human loving animals and can be kept as a household pet anywhere if you like. Whether you need a permit or license to keep or own the ferrets they should be allowed at all.

We are here to educate you, stay connected, and stay blessed.

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