Keeping a pet bobcat is legal in several states without a permit. States where a pet bobcat is legal include Nevada, Alabama, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and South Carolina. In these states, captured bobcats or domesticated bobcats are considered suitable pets.
Other states require a special permit or registration for your bobcat. These states may require a breeding permit or exotic pet permit, which could be subject to routine housing inspections to ensure your bobcat is living in the right conditions. States that allow bobcats as pets with a permit or registration include Arizona, Florida, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Texas. Of course, it is always best to check with local restrictions and regulations.
Some states require a special permit to keep a domesticated bobcat as a pet. Other states require permitting if you plan on owning bobcats for furring. Official permits may also be necessary if you plan to breed your bobcats or import bobcats into your state from a different location. Further, permits may be required if you plan to export bobcats or sell bobcats across state lines. Furring states that require a permit include Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.
Adding a pet bobcat could be an excellent experience for a family if they are prepared to provide the right environment to allow the bobcat to thrive. Be sure that the animal receives proper nutrition, including organ meat, muscle meat, bones, and whole prey items. Live feeding is not humane, so frozen and prepared meat is best. Your bobcat will also need appropriate housing, ideally both indoors and outdoors. Cages should be durable and secure, providing double-door entrances to prevent escape.
A pet bobcat that escapes could become easy prey in the wild or be hunted and captured. Outdoor housing should have plenty of room for activity and exercise, such as a small dog run and a designated area for the cat to use as the bathroom. A bobcat should never live entirely in a cage. These animals are not domesticated and should not be kept with the intention of caring for a bobcat like a house cat. If cared for properly, a pet bobcat can be a great addition to your family providing years of entertainment and companionship.
|Arizona||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Delaware||Legal||With permit or registration|
|District of Columbia||Illegal|
|Florida||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Indiana||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Maine||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Mississippi||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Missouri||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Montana||Legal||With permit or registration|
|North Dakota||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Oklahoma||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Pennsylvania||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Rhode Island||Legal||With permit or registration|
|South Dakota||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Texas||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Wisconsin||Legal||With permit or registration|
|Wyoming||Legal||With permit or registration|