Cats and dogs are popular pets for many reasons — they’re cute, cuddly, and just so lovable. But these two particular animals are also the most common pets because they’re perfectly safe for people to own, train, and live with on a daily basis. And the same can’t be said for many other popular pets.
From furry rodents to cuddly cat breeds to certain cool reptiles, some animals simply aren’t allowed to become your next pet. That’s right: some of the world’s most popular pets are actually considered dangerous.
There are a number of common household pets that have been deemed too deadly, too destructive. And they’re considered such a danger that they’re actually banned in certain parts of the world. Thanks to strict animal laws, environmental concerns, and other surprising factors, some animals that you likely thought were perfectly good pets are actually illegal.
Check out which adorable pets are banned in different regions, countries, and states. Some of the animals in this list will surprise (and anger) you.
Hedgehogs are some of the most adorable animals around. With sweet faces, tiny stature, and prickly little quills covering their backs, hedgehogs don’t really appear to be harmful. After all, if you don’t scare them, their quills shouldn’t bother you. And you might even know someone who’s kept a cute little hedgehog as a pet with no problems.
Unfortunately for hedgehogs and anyone who loves hedgehogs, these cute-as-a-button little rodents are totally illegal. They’ve been banned in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Pennsylvania, some parts of Nebraska, and Washington, D.C. — and it’s simply because of their natural inclinations.
When hedgehogs escape into the wild — or if they’re released by irresponsible pet owners — they can destroy a local ecosystem. Hedgehogs can create their own entire population, and they can wreak havoc on the environment. These cute rodents can also transmit terrible illnesses, including foot-and-mouth disease, to humans.
Hamsters are one of the most popular pets in America. They may be rodents, but they’re pretty irresistible. They have adorably chubby cheeks, love to run around and play, and have generally calm and kind dispositions.
But there’s some bad news for any hamster fans living in Hawaii: these totally normal pets are banned on every one of the state’s islands.
The Hawaiian government banned hamsters because they can quickly become an invasive species if left alone. When hamsters aren’t pets — or when they wind up in the wild — they can have a damaging, destructible effect on Hawaii’s native plants and other animal species. Wild hamsters will establish entire colonies of rodents, destroy crops, and even carry rabies to humans.