What States is a Pet Bobcat Legal?
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, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Texas. If you acquired a bobcat before laws prohibiting a domesticated bobcat, you might still be able to keep your pet. Of course, it is always best to check with local restrictions and regulations.
What Special Permits Are Required?
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, permitting may be required if you plant to export bobcats or sell bobcats across state lines. Furring states that require a permit include Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.
How Do I Care for a Pet Bobcat?
Adding a pet bobcat could be an excellent experience for a family, pending 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 indoor and outdoor. 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.