Pet Opossum Legal States 2022

Are Opossums Wild Animals?

Opossums are wild animals and are usually considered part of natural wildlife in many states. There are many species of opossum in the United States, including the Virginia Opossum and the Short-Tailed Opossum, both commonly kept as pets. Because opossums are usually considered wildlife, keeping one as a pet is strictly banned in most states. If your state has a ban on owning wildlife as pets, it is usually safe to assume that wildlife includes any species of opossum. Of course, it is always best to consult your local laws and restrictions to ensure that pet opossums are illegal. Some states simply require special permitting or licensing to keep this exotic pet.

What States Is It Legal To Have an Opossum?

Although opossums are largely considered wildlife, some states have no restrictions surrounding pet ownership of these animals. Arkansas, Wyoming, and Wisconsin do not require a permit to keep a pet opossum. Oregon does not require a permit if you are keeping a Short-Tailed Opossum as a pet. However, if you plan on keeping a Virginia Opossum as a pet, you will need special permitting.

Most states that allow opossums as a pet also require a special permit. You may be able to own a pet opossum in Colorado, Maine, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Dakota with a permit. In Missouri, you can keep an opossum as a pet, but the Virginia Opossum is considered a large carnivore, so large carnivore permitting is needed. In Nebraska, pet owners will need to acquire a captive wildlife permit before keeping an opossum as a pet.

Do Opossums Make Good Pets?

Most people who have an opossum as a pet choose the Short-Tailed Opossum. These animals are smaller and can be great pets for beginners. They are highly affectionate, relatively clean, and generally very healthy. Because these animals are so small, keeping a Short-Tailed Opossum is relatively inexpensive. They will need a suitable cage to live inside, but usually, anything larger than a well-ventilated 20-gallon aquarium will work. They have an omnivorous diet, so they appreciate a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables and a mixture of insects and worms. Some people choose to give their Short-Tailed Opossums hard-boiled eggs or even cat food to help boost their protein intake. Expect a pet opossum to live for six years or more if well cared for.

Pet Opossum Legal States 2022