Ferret Life

which states can you own a ferret

Ferrets are lovely animals but are illegal in some of the United States of America to keep a pet. They prohibit ownership of ferret and to import sometimes in some countries. Let’s know which states can you own a ferret.

There are restrictions and consider a crime, so it’s better to check your state’s rules and regulations before owning a ferret. You state laws maybe not strict much but your local laws so contact to an animal board or your local government if you want a pet ferret.

Which states can you own a ferret?

Among 50 states of America, you can own a ferret except for two countries that is California and Hawaii. Their state laws maybe a little flexible, but local rules are strict, which means single cities within California and Hawaii cant permit ferrets.

The states where it is legal to have ferret may have ban owning a ferret such as (NYC, Texas, and Dallas). Because of the misinformation and ignorance about ferrets prohibits most time to restrict the ownership of ferret.

According to the government, officials for animal control have almost the same reasons to make the owning of a ferret is illegal. They say that ferret isn’t a domestic pet but a wild animal (vicious biters) and can even spread disease (rabies).

Where do you not allow to own a ferret?

Some states of America do not allow owning a ferret even since 2500 years. They are domesticated, but they are still illegal to keep a pet. You may also need a license to keep them home or fulfill some requirements. If you are unable, then you cannot keep a ferret. Some state’s rules and regulations do not allow ferret in a home where there are babies under the age of 5.

The reasons for restricting ferret as a pet are outdated and until now not upgraded because the laws still exist. The people still believe in the laws outdated 100 years back. The following are the few states under certain conditions that do not allow to own a ferret. Let’s know which states can you own a ferret.

  1. California—restrictions

Well, in California, it is not legal to have a ferret or sell, buy, or import is a crime without having a license from CDFG (California Department of Fish and Game). The license is issued not for petting ferret but under the circumstances like medical research, rescued or confiscated. The state law banned it because of the fear of escape and established a wild population to disrupt the ecosystem of wildlife.

  1. Hawaii—banned ferret

In Hawaii, it is a crime to have a ferret in the home if you notice, having it you can be imprisoned for three years and with fine $200,000. They ban the ownership of ferret because they could return to a feral state and potential carriers of rabies.

That’s why the state is free of this disease as they don’t pet ferrets. So people when face penalties turn their ferrets to Hawaii Department of Agriculture without prosecution.

  1. District of Columbia—Washington scenario

District of Columbia where almost all small animals are legal to keep at home such as (dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, non-poisonous snakes and caged birds). The DCHD (District of Columbia Health Department) allows waivers with license to keep at home.

So the laws regarding ownership of ferret are difficult but not impossible or restricted. Because of their look like weasels makes an image of a wild animal in the people’s mind. Whereas they are lovely creatures and do not attack you until abused or malnourished by people.

  1. New York City—legal or illegal

New York City amazingly allows you to keep ferret at home in some regions but also banned in others. In 1999 Mayor Rudolph Giuliani ban ferrets in the city because he believes that they are relative weasels and dangerous. NYC has five districts where ferrets are not allowed (Manhattan Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx). The rest of the state declares it legal to keep a ferret as a pet though vaccinations are law mandated.

Conditional ownership of ferrets in States

Most of the United States allows ferret to keep as a pet under the circumstances or even free to have them, such as Georgia and Illinois. They never banned ferrets, and you even don’t need to have a permit, but in case if you are breeding them. Texas used to restrict the ownership of ferrets, but now they are acceptable and legal with vaccination codes in Dallas. The legality of the ferret depends on the town municipality or within city limits, where they are banned.

Reasons and Myths regarding ferret’s adoption

There are some reasons and myths spread in the States about Ferrets and cause a bad reputation. That’s why people face difficulty to keep ferret at home. Here are the most common misunderstandings of people who don’t know the originality of the ferret.

  1. Ferrets are vicious and dangerous animals

Ferrets lost their value since they attack children and the media declare them to be a wild animal. It assume that they could be malnourished or abused because they are pretty friendly animals. They don’t bite until in pain or fear.

As the study shows that human gets a bite from dog, cat, or snake instead of a ferret. So the ASPCA warned people not to keep the ferret if they have children under age of 5 or without supervision.

  1. Ferrets are a rabies risk

Ferrets are so sensitive and can catch rabies or transmit it to humans; that’s a risk because of their hot body temperature. Though they require to take shots of vaccination (IMRAB 3), which was introduced in 1991 by the USDA. Every state has its restrictions and laws regarding vaccination, and you need to inform the buyer about shots if you are a breeder.

Later in the times in 1998, it was declared by the American Veterinary Medical Association that if ferret gets rabies, they die within a few days.

What is the level of restrictions?

First we should know which states can you own a ferret. Petting a ferret at home, breeding, import, research, or confiscated them everything regarding ferrets varies state to state as some issues permit some don’t.

  1. Ferrets are named legal

Ferrets are legal in specified conditions in some states and illegal to have a pet at home. They are restricted with the name rabies tags or need license for the ownership. Some places need it to neuter or spray whereas some needs permits to have them for breeding and selling.

So all is you need to provide accurate information about petting the ferret at home. And to tell them what kind of procedure you need to make a permit or get the vaccination schedule form vet. Obviously the quantity does matters how many ferrets you may have keep in your home.

  1. Ferrets are not permitted

Some states do entirely not allow to own a ferret, or if they caught with ferret at home can face the penalties in the form of fine and imprisonment. The double standard thing is always there when you can sell the ferret but cannot keep them at home.

  1. Ferrets are not in the code

Some states do not require animal code authentication. Their ferrets are legal and don’t come along with rabies tag, permits, or licenses to own. While the code is open in case of emergency.  If it reported the ferret bites someone or scratch cases can cause the ferret euthanized by a vet. It rarely happens as the ferrets are social animals, and after training them. You can have the best buddy you ever had.


Though the people have misconceptions about ferrets, some people are still petting the ferrets without having an issue. They have to clear the mind from distinguishing the ferrets and weasels. People need to educate themselves regarding the originality of ferrets. If you want to own a ferret and find out no difficulty regarding your state laws, then there is no issue in it.  Or you may have to make a license to keep them as a domestic pet, but keep in mind your state law. The conditions vary from state to state, just follow the rules and save yourself from the consequences.

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