Under Indiana law, it is lawful to posses a big cat with a permit. Indiana law categorizes all wildlife into three distinct classes and big cats are considered Class III wildlife. Class III wildlife may be possessed with a permit. Zoos, carnivals, animal dealers, pet shops, nature centers, and circuses are exempt from this provision and may possess a big cat without a permit.
Permits are issued only if specific enclosure and housing requirements are met. Information about the animal and facility along with written verification from a licensed veterinarian of the animal’s health must be provided in the permit application. The owner must also provide a plan to recapture the animal should it escape and all measures and equipment needed to effectuate this plan must be in place before a permit will be issued. The permit fee is ten dollars. Any offspring from a lawfully possessed big cat must be registered and licensed by the state no later than six months from the date of its birth.
No permit is required if a person holds a Game Breeder, Scientific Collector, or Mammal Rehabilitation permit.