Bringing a pet into your home is a great way to build your emotional attachment to your living space. While children flit in and out of the house, more so as they get older, your pets are there as constant companions. It has been repeatedly found that owning a pet improves your happiness and length of life.
Modern pet owners are finding more and more satisfaction from pets that are a little more exotic, maybe a monkey or a ferret or something even wilder. However, there are only a few exotic pets legal in California. California has very strict laws about what types of animals homeowners can keep as pets.
Some animals are banned as pets because they aren’t meant to be domesticated, others are dangerous to California’s ecosystem. But, although you may not be able to own a tiger, there are interesting and exotic pets you can own in California.
Miniature Farm Animals
Different types of miniature farm animals make great pets due to their calm natures, among other benefits. With these pets you will want to have plenty of space for them to play and roam. When searching for a house to accommodate these pets, search by lot size to find the right fit.
1. Pygmy goats – These miniature domestic goats typically weigh about 60-80 lbs and are just over a foot tall. They are very playful as well as intelligent and are used almost exclusively as pets. Pygmy goats behave a lot like a dog because they are full of energy, enjoy being handled and will follow you around if you let them.
2. Miniature horses – A benefit of miniature horses is that you will never have to worry about fleas in your home since their skin naturally repels fleas, they effectively keep your lawn mowed, and they don’t get very big; on average, they weigh between 55 and 80 pounds and are about 34 to 38 inches tall, or roughly 3 feet.
3. Pot belly pigs – Pot belly pigs make great pets because of their intelligence and personality, however they can be a lot of work. Because these pigs are so intelligent they will learn to open cupboards, pantries and the fridge door. They also can become territorial and aggressive around other animals.
Think outside the barn
If farm animal descendants are not as exotic as you’d like, there are still a handful of interesting pets legal in California for the adventurous. The best thing about these exotic pets? They don’t require a lot of space so if you’re interested in condos for sale in Irvine CA or other communities in the area, you’ll have enough room for these unique pets:
4. Tarantulas - Often, exotic animals require a lot of care and can be a huge time drain for someone not prepared for the responsibility. Not so with Tarantulas. While they will sit on your shoulder or in your hand, they prefer to hang out in their cage eating crickets. But beware, while they rarely bite they do have defensive responses that could pose some danger to your eyes. When cleaning the cage or handling your tarantula, it’s advisable to wear protective eye gear.
5. Ball Pythons – This particular type of python is non venomous and the perfect starter snake if you are into reptiles. They will grow a maximum of 3-5 feet and are very easy to handle. 6. Chinchillas – The average life span for a chinchilla is about 15 years. They are very playful and so do best in large cages however they are small and fragile so may bite if held or cuddled too tightly. Chinchillas are popular pets because they are adorably cute and their fur is so soft.
7. Various types of Lizards – There are tons to pick from so the best thing to do is find a local pet store and see which one catches your eye. Popular lizards to keep as pets include Bearded Dragons, Chinese Water Dragons and different types of Geckos.
8. Wildcats, such as the Lynx - Wild cats may not seem that different from your average house cat, but these cats are much bigger and have personalities closer to domestic dogs. A pet lynx will play fetch, take walks, and even pant when tired or hot. These pets require an active home prepared to give the animal attention.
Caring for your creative pet
Owning exotic pets, small or large, is a big responsibility and it’s a long term commitment. There are few veterinarians that can treat your pet, food and shelter may be expensive, or the animal needs specific or time consuming care. If the pet starts to become a problem, it isn’t easy to be rid of. Older animals come full of habits that the owners may not want to deal with. But, if you are prepared for it, owning an exotic pet is a very rewarding experience.
If you think an exotic animal is a pet you would like to keep in your California home, make sure you know exactly what your city’s or county’s laws are on legal pets before purchasing one. It is not advisable for you if you are renting an apartment to have an exotic pet as it will make it more difficult to find future places to live.
Most apartment building will not allow pets like pygmy goats or ball python. Buying a home provides enough space to have any pet you like as approved by your city. A good place to start looking is somewhere with more land and larger properties like Corona in Riverside County, CA.
If you are ready to buy a home to house your future unusual pet, call or email us at First Team to help you find a Southern California property that will fit your needs.