Minnesota prohibits private possession of any cat other than a domestic cat. A person in possession of a big cat prior to January 1, 2005 may maintain possession if the person satisfies registration, micro chipping and inspection requirements. The owner must pay an annual fee of twenty-five dollars per animal up to two hundred and fifty dollars for all big cats owned.

Big cats may be possessed for public exhibition purposes with a permit. A permit will be issued only if the owner has satisfactory education or experience to care for animal, consents to an inspection of the facilities, provides a statement about all employees’ education and experience caring for wildlife, provides a description of facilities in which the big cat will be kept and the other animals to be exhibited, and pays a ten dollar permit fee. Zoos, circuses, and pet shops are exempt from this provision and may exhibit big cats without a permit.