Although porcupines are placid in demeanor, they are wild animals and are not recommended as pets. They carry no known communicable diseases, but the 30,000 quills on their bodies and tails are treacherous to any human or animal they encounter.
Porcupine quills have barbs that burrow into flesh, and they are not easily removed. Quills are the major advantage porcupines have against predators, but it is the last one they employ when threatened. Instead, they give off a putrid smell and chatter their teeth in warning before backing up to the predator and releasing quills. Porcupines are destructive to trees, yard tools and wooden structures.