Best 10 Owls facts, Owls as pets Updated 2021

Owl as pets

People these days are obsessed with owls, their eye colors, and above all owls as pets. But as exciting as it may sound, having an owl is not an easy task, it takes a lot from the pet owner to take care of an owl. Only keen and passionate people fit best for this job.

In most countries, it is not legal to own an owl for just your own liking. However, in some countries you can own an owl if you have a specific permit from a defined authority. These authorities only allow you to have owls as pets if you fulfill their criteria and have permits from their authorities.

The United States of America does not let people own owls privately, particularly the native owls. People in U.S are only allowed to have owls as pets only if:

  1. They are trained, and licensed people
  2. Individuals running breeding programs for owls
  3. Individuals enrolled in rehabilitation centres and are still in those centres
  4. Requirement of owls for education purposes
  5. For falconry, though it is very rare for owls to be good falconry birds.

Even if the individuals fulfill the former criteria, they are still not the “Owners” of the owl. The owls will register under U.S Marine and Wildlife Services, “Bird stewardship” category. This authority has the right to keep an eye on the owl and their owner. If the owner has failed to meet the required criteria to have an owl, they can take it back anytime they want.

Owls as pets

The Owl is not a common pet and not every second family owns an owl as a pet. Still there are several people out there who want to keep owls as pets. But not everyone is aware of the consequences and just take it as fun. However, it is important to understand all the pros and cons before having owls as pets. Therefore we have compiled this article for you people to make a good decision if you are thinking of having an owl as your new companion. 

Many people may not know that keeping an owl as a pet is not legal in several countries. You have to take special permissions from higher authorities and they only grant you these if and only if you have enough experience and facilities to keep an owl. 

The U. S Government does not allow their citizens or individuals to keep owls as pets specifically not the native owls. Only those individuals who have permits, have licenses to keep owls are allowed. They also have to provide solid reasons why they are keeping owls as pets; for an educational cause, an institution that works on owl breeding and making efforts to conserve them and sometimes for the purpose of falconry. But they rarely are good birds for falconry. Even in these conditions the licensed person does not become the master of the owl. The wildlife service of the U.S holds the “stewardship” and they can cancel the permit any time if the person is unable to meet the terms and conditions mentioned on that permit. 

10 Reasons Why Owls Make Bad Pets

As I have mentioned before that owls are not common pets like cats, dogs, rabbits etc. To most owners they and their requirements are unfamiliar so therefore below are those reasons that owls as pets do not make great companions

Food is the most difficult thing to find when you have an owl as a pet. You cannot just go to any local store and ask them for owl’s food. Owls unlike other pets are not omnivores, they are hard-core carnivores and therefore you have to maintain a diet full of animal protein for the proper functioning of their body. For that you have to find Owl centres, there they have special freezers in which owl’s diet like grasshoppers, rats, rabbits, mice etc are available. In these owl centers the staff is dedicated to provide clean and safe food to the owls. They purposely remove the stomach, intestines and the bladders of these above described animals. After the removal of these body parts they are ready to be served to owls. You have to keep an eye on the owl while it is eating because they are fond of preserving the leftover food. They save it for later. So if there is no owl center available near you what will you do? And if you are not into cutting dead animals and removing their bladders and all that cringe stuff you are not ready for having an owl. Als0 these owls live for more than 10 years so it is hard to afford their diet as well. 

Owls as pets 2

  1. Owls unlike other birds shed thousands and hundreds of feathers each year. So people who are allergic can not at all afford an owl. They also shed balls of their plumage or fur no matter where they are. Owls as pets also shit a lot. They do not only poop but they also eradicate the leftover in their cecaa which is a liquid and has a runny consistency. It looks similar to melted chocolate but smells disgusting, and once it stains something it is hard to get rid of the stain. So if you want to have an owl that means you will have to keep your surroundings a lot more clear than normal. 
  2. Most of the vets are not specialists in owls, so it is difficult to find  one. Therefore if you are planning to have an owl it is necessary to know the general care and knowledge about them. How the normal poop looks like, because their poop can actually tell you about their health conditions. You also have to know about their normal behaviors. In addition to this their plumage and beak maintenance is also necessary. As you have to be properly trained before owning an owl, it is not suitable to own a owl for everyone. 
  3. Their beaks and claw nails are very sharp. So, without proper training most of the people usually end up with deep wounds and scratches. Even when they are not trying to hurt you there are still chances of accidents. For example the owl may sit in your naked arm instead of the glove. Besides, if you are doing something and it is not liked by your owl it will let you know in the form of a bite or a scratch. 
  4. Keeping owls as pets means you have to be well committed and enthusiastic because they are long-living birds. Great horned species of owl can live for 30 years as pets if they are provided with all necessary care. Other species can live for 10 years. 
  5. Owls require a lot of attention and maintenance. They need excessive cleaning and proper food which everyone cannot provide. If you have an owl that can fly then you must have to provide them flying hours to maintain their body structure and so can have adequate exercise.
  6. If you are someone who is looking for a cuddly pet then owls are definitely not for you. Owls kept in captivation still drive on their natural instincts. They will not love your hand caressing their head. In short the normal cuddle definition does not fit in the behaviors of owls. 
  7. When the mating season approaches, the howls make irregular and loud noises. As they are nocturnal all of these noises and hooting will be done at night. So if you live at a populated place then the people nearby will be disturbed by it. Moreover if you owl is human imprinted it will consider its owner as it mate and it will want the owner to hoot with it all night 
  8. Owls are natural killers. No matter how much they are tamed the natural instinct of an owl will make it kill and attack anything that scares it or looks like a prey for example blanket, pillows stuffed toys etc. Moreover their pointy claws are also very harmful for the furniture or the wood stuff. They can easily pierce up any thing that is shred-able 
  9. Vacations are very difficult with owls as pets. The thing is you just cannot put your owl in the cage and take it with you for vacations. In the U. S every time you fly from one state to the other you must have a permit. Owls as pets are also aggressive and if they are human imprinted they would not like any other person than their owner to take care of them. Owls as pets also follow a strict routine, any hindrances in their normal schedules will make them disturbed. 

Keeping owls as pets

For most of the people the idea of having an owl majorly comes from the most famous movie series Harry potter. Everyone wanted a snowy companion Hedwig (the snowy owl in the movie). We are all familiar about parrots and other birds being kept as pets. But what about an owl? Is it okay? And if it is so how to take care of an owl? 

However in America you cannot own a snowy owl as pets. Not only the snowy owl but all other native species are banned to own according to the act of Migratory Bird treaty. 

Owls practically are not good pets for all the bird lovers. It is not necessary that you love birds and you can handle each of them. Many parrot owners assume that keeping the owl in their large parrot cage will be okay but that is not. As compared to their already large size, owls also need a lot of outdoor space as well as indoor space for proper exercise. So you can only have one if you can manage these requirements. 

What owls eat as pets? Well most of the owners out there will not be pleasant by this idea because you literally have to feed them meat every single day and you cannot easily buy their food at all from local stores. You have to make their meat by opening the carcasses of mouse, rabbits and other animals to remove their gut parts. After the animal’s stomach,bladders, and intestines are removed only then it is suitable to give your owl as food. So owls as pets are high maintenance and not everyone can afford meat everyday. 

Owls as pets shed a lot, poop a lot and can cause issues to allergic people. 

Owls are prone to these diseases:


Owls can develop bone problems due to fluctuations in their metabolism. It can  caused by deficiencies of Vitamin D, Calcium or it can also be caused by imbalance of calcium phosphorus ratio. 

Tuberculosis problem in owls:

Owls can develop tuberculosis, the organism is ingested by your owl causing sever boils in the wa of the intestines and ultimately the owl will die due to this. 

Bumblefoot problem in owls:

This issue is mainly observed in captive owls and can be caused by poor perch locations, sometimes owls hurt and infect themselves by their own talons, ruptured wounds, and minerals and nutrient deficiencies. 

Pox problem in owls:

It is one of the most common avian diseases. There are almost Thirty two kinds of pox viruses and are mostly carried by mosquitoes. 

Nile Virus problem in owls:

This virus mainly infects the juvenile raptors. You can prevent this virus by setting mosquito traps and using gaseous traps as well. 

Why You shouldn’t Keep An Owl As a Pet? 

  • Owls are costly and are mainly illegal to have in U. S Only permitted individuals are allowed to have owls. Permitted persons are only allowed when they have enough training, experience and other solid reasons for owning an owl. 
  • Owls are high maintenance and your pocket size have to be large in order to feed them. As they are large birds and are carnivores, so they need a spacious environment and limitless meat respectively. 
  • Owls as pets shed a lot of wings, feathers, regurgitated bones and pellets making the place a mess. 
  • Their calls can be loud and will be a problem for surrounding people. 

Owls as pets 3

Can I Have an Owl as a Pet? 

Most of the research sites state that you can’t have a pet owl because they are illegal to have, but they do not deliver the whole information. 

In the UK people can have diverse species of owls as pets, however, in the U.S you are not allowed to have any native species of owls particularly the snowy owl. These owls are protected by a treaty, even you cannot have one of their feathers unless you have a permit to have it. 

Permits are given only for intellectual purposes or for those individuals who are interested in falconry. To become a master in falconry, you require a lot of training and patience. The whole process is quite complex. Other individuals who can have a permit are those who are involved in Owl preserving movements. So, if you have any of the purposes mentioned earlier then you can have a permit. 

Pet owls for adoption 

Yes owls can be kept as pets in countries other than U. S. You can get them from several organizations and centres after meeting certain requirements. 

Sadly, many people do adopt or buy an owl but cannot make a life time commitment. A barn owl can live for almost 20 years while European owl can make it for 50 years, that  obviously requires a lot of passion and enthusiasm for that type of commitment. As most people cannot do that therefore most of the owls die or they are just simply abandoned. 

Also, living most part of their lives in captivity they don’t even know the techniques to attack and capture the prey. So therefore different organizations and centres preserve such owls for people who actually want to adopt them. Adoption is better than buying because the owl is used to captivation. 

Do owls like being pets? 

Owls are not good as pets and they are hard to be tamed and trained. The bird is way better in the wild because they have natural instincts of attacking and preying. In addition, owls do not live in flocks so they are hard to keep as pets as they are not used to having a companion. Most of the owners want bird companions so that they can caress and cuddle them however, owls do not like to be cuddled. Moreover they are also high maintenance so it is hard that owls like to be kept as pets. 

Are owls affectionate? 

Owls as pets are not affectionate and they do not like to be cuddled. Even if they show some kind of affectionate gesture they only do that because of mating instincts. When you stroke them they don’t like it and can get stressed even tamed owls can cause biting behaviors in such situations. 

Owls as pets 4

Do owls attack humans? 

Owls are aggressive and territorial birds. When they feel threatened they attack, no matter whatever is present before them. They save their territories, their newborns and their babies. However owl bite or owl attacks are not fatal. But that does not mean they cannot attack. Frequent attacks have been reported in mountain areas. 

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