Hawaii

Summary: 

Hawaii prohibits private possession of big cats. Under Hawaii law, it is unlawful for any person to possess a lion, clouded leopard, tiger, puma, cougar, leopard, cheetah, caracal, ocelot, serval, margay, or mountain lion for private possession. However, possession of big cats is permitted for research purposes by universities or for exhibition purposes by municipal zoos.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Alaska

Summary: 

Alaska prohibits private possession of big cats making it unlawful for a person to possess a big cat as a pet. Although private possession of a big cat is prohibited, other types of possession are lawful with a permit. For example, a permit may be granted for scientific or educational uses if the applicant states his or her purpose in possessing the big cat, provides an explanation why studying the animal is needed, and explains how such use will provide a significant benefit to Alaska.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Connecticut

Summary: 

Connecticut prohibits private possession of big cats. It is unlawful to possess potentially dangerous animals in Connecticut and Connecticut law classifies lions, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, ocelots, jaguarondi cats, pumas, lynx, and bobcats as potentially dangerous animals. Some organizations are exempt and may lawfully possess big cats, including municipal parks or zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or the Zoological Association of America, nature centers, museums, exhibitors, laboratories, research facilities, or scientific and educational institutions registered with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Massachusetts

Summary: 

Massachusetts law prohibits possession of a big cat or hybrid as a pet. However, any person who owned a big cat prior to January 1, 1994, may continue to own the big cat with a permit. Some institutions are exempt and may lawfully possess big cats without a permit, including zoos, circuses, educational institutions, wild animal farms, and AZA-accredited institutions under the Breeding Permit and Educational Use Permit.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Maine

Summary: 

Under Maine law, it is lawful to privately possess big cats with a General Wildlife Possession Permit. Permit holders must meet caging requirements and consent to an inspection of the facilities in which the animal will be kept. Additional caging and facility requirements may be imposed on owners if it is necessary to mitigate safety risks or ensure humane treatment of the big cat. The permit must be renewed every two years at a fee of twenty-seven dollars. Likewise, a Wildlife Exhibit Permit authorizes any commercial display of wildlife. The permit must be renewed every two years at a fee of one hundred and forty-seven dollars. This permit does not allow pet shops to display or sell big cats.

Classification: 
Permit
Color: 
blue

New Jersey

Summary: 

In New Jersey, it is lawful to privately possess a big cat with an Individual Hobby Permit. New Jersey law classifies big cats as potentially dangerous animals and this classification means only permit holders may keep big cats as pets. The Individual Hobby Permit must be renewed annually and it requires a permit fee of ten dollars along with satisfactory housing and care for the animal. New Jersey allows other types of big cat possession under Scientific, Zoological, Animal Exhibitor, Animal Theatrical Agency, and Rehabilitation permits.

Classification: 
Permit
Color: 
blue

Delaware

Summary: 

Under Delaware law, big cats may be possessed with a permit. It is lawful to import and possess any big cat or hybrid with an individual permit from the Department of Agriculture. A permit is required for each animal and individual permits must be renewed every three years. Other permit requirements include a twenty-five dollar fee, proof of adequate enclosures, copies of both an emergency evacuation plan and animal attack protocol, and consent to an inspection of the facility and the big cat. The permit does not authorize breeding of big cats. Delaware law allows only those with a sales permit or an accredited zoo permit to breed big cats.

Classification: 
Permit
Color: 
blue

Indiana

Summary: 

Under Indiana law, it is lawful to possess a big cat with a permit. Indiana law classifies big cats as Class III wildlife, which means big cats may be possessed only with a permit. To receive a permit, an applicant must pay a ten dollar permit fee, meet enclosure and facility requirements, provide information about the animal’s health with written verification from a licensed veterinarian, and provide a recapture plan in the event the big cat escapes. Some persons and groups are exempt from this provision and may lawfully possess a big cat without a permit, including zoos, carnivals, dealers, pet shops, nature centers, and circuses.

Classification: 
Permit
Color: 
blue

Maryland

Summary: 

Maryland prohibits private possession of big cats. It is unlawful for a person to posses any cat other than a domestic cat. There are limited exceptions to this prohibition, including individuals who were in possession of a big cat prior to May 31, 2006, research facilities, licensed exhibitors, a nonprofit animal sanctuary, and zoos.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Pennsylvania

Summary: 

Under Pennsylvania law, it is lawful to privately possess lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and cougars with an exotic wildlife possession permit issued by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. A permit will be issued only when the approving board is satisfied that housing and care for the big cat is adequate and public safety is protected.

Classification: 
Permit
Color: 
blue