Can You Have A Pet Kangaroo?

When we consider some of the different animals native to Australia, the one which springs to mind first is the beloved kangaroo.

With their stocky bodies, powerful legs, and stomach pouches, they’re easily distinguishable thanks to a lengthy evolution

Can You Have A Pet Kangaroo?

Known as wild animals, some of you may be wondering whether or not they can actually be domesticated, and if this is a good idea.

To find out more about this topic, keep reading as we take a look below. 

Is It Legal To Keep A Kangaroo As A Pet? 

Before we take a look at whether or not it’s a good idea to keep a kangaroo as a pet, first let’s take a look at the laws surrounding the subject. 

The answer is complicated, because in some regions keeping a kangaroo as a domesticated pet is strictly prohibited.

On the other hand, some regions do allow you to keep a kangaroo in your home, but there are strict rules and guidelines to follow in such a case. 

If you were to live in a region where owning a kangaroo is legal, you’d need to acquire a permit first, which can be difficult to get.

The places in which keeping kangaroos as pets is legal are Idaho, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Mexico. 

Some of these places don’t actually require a permit, but the majority do. Getting a permit to keep a kangaroo as a pet can be incredibly costly, as well as being a difficult process in general.

There are a lot of restrictions that come along with the permit, including not being able to breed kangaroos yourself. 

Why Keeping A Kangaroo As A Pet May Be A Bad Idea

There are many different things that you need to consider before owning a kangaroo as a pet, after all, it’s not like picking up a dog or cat from your local shelter. 

Owning these creates can be an incredibly stressful and difficult endeavor, and there are things that need to be thought about first.

To find out more about the potential issues regarding owning a kangaroo as a pet, keep reading below. 


One of the main things that you need to think about before seeking a permit to domesticate a kangaroo, are the costs that will be incurred.

Before even owning the kangaroo itself, as we mentioned above, the permits themselves are incredibly expensive. 

They are exotic animals, which means that they will be incredibly costly to own.

Purchasing the kangaroo in the first place will cost you thousands of dollars, and that’s without the starter kit that most breeders incur into the purchase cost. 

The starter consists of medical bills, shots that the joeys need, food, cages, and vaccinations. This all adds up eventually, and owning the kangaroo after purchasing can be incredibly expensive too. 

Because they’re wild creatures, there are many risks involved when domesticating them, which could mean potential medical costs for both you, and the animal. 



This brings us to our next point, kangaroos are wild animals, who have not been exposed to many centuries of domestication like cats and dogs. They will always have their natural instincts, which can be dangerous to humans. 

Some kangaroos, such as the red variety, can weigh a startling 90 kg, along with incredibly powerful feet and paws, this means that they could pose some potentially life threatening risks for their owners.

They also have incredibly sharp claws, which could again, prove to be fatal. 

They are incredibly strong, and are prone to lashing out, even towards other members of their species.

They fight by putting their weight on their tail, and proceeding to kick their legs out, which could knock a human being out.

The claws are also so sharp that some kangaroos have been known to disembowel their opponents. 

Living Requirements

Another thing that needs to be considered before owning a kangaroo is their large living requirements. Kangaroos are accustomed to roaming freely in the wild, not crammed into a small apartment. 

If you’re considering getting a permit for a kangaroo, you’ll need to make sure that you have adequate land to support them.

They can jump up to 30 feet with just one hop, which means that you’ll also need to make sure that you have appropriate fencing to keep them contained. 

You will also need to make sure that the fencing will be strong enough to keep them contained, as their physical strength is immense, and might mean that they could break through it if it’s too weak. 

Quality Of Care

Another thing that you’ll need to consider is the quality of care that you’ll be able to provide the animal.

You’ll need to make sure that you live next to a veterinarian who has experience working and treating wild animals, so that if they ever develop an illness or injury, they’ll be able to receive treatment. 

In addition to this, you’ll need to consider the food that you’re feeding them.

Kangaroos consume a lot of grass because they’re such large animals, so you’ll need to make sure that you’ll be able to supply them with all the food they need to survive. 

If you don’t have a lot of land with unlimited grass for them to eat, then you’ll need to be able to order in these supplies from a retailer. 

Final Thoughts

Although in many US states it is possible to keep a kangaroo as a pet, it can be an incredibly difficult and costly process.

Before owning a kangaroo, you’ll need to obtain a special permit, as well as adhering to specific guidelines and stipulations. 

Owning a kangaroo is not to be taken lightly, as they are wild animals which will require a lot of specialized care.

Olivia Kepner