Stoats may be kept as pets only where they are not protected by law. The exotic animals are illegal in many states, including California, while several other states require permits for keeping them in captivity.
Owners deciding to keep stoats legally should be aware of their tendency for aggressive behavior when they are not raised them from birth. Also known as the ermine, the predators are able to take down animals up to six times their size, so they must be kept alone or secure from other pets. While their cute appearance is well-accepted by animal lovers, they are not as commonly domesticated as their ferret relatives.