Montana does not permit private ownership of most big cats. Under Montana law, no person may possess a wild animal unless authorized by law and the law does not authorize big cat ownership with the exception of jungle cats and servals. Jungle cats and servals may be privately owned with a permit.
However, Montana does permit possession of big cats for menageries with a Roadside Menagerie Permit. A permit is required for menageries keeping cougars, lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, pumas, cheetahs, ocelots, and hybrids. All permits require enclosure, sanitation, and safety standards. Of the big cats permitted at a menagerie, the law requires tigers and mountain lions to be tattooed with identifying numbers.