Adopting a Serval Cat in New York State.
(lacona, NY, USA)
I was thinking of adopting a serval cat. I do live in north new york i dont know the laws about having a serval cat who could i contact about this?
Hi Kay, I don’t live in the USA! But I have been involved with the question before. In fact a friend of mine Deborah-Ann Milette keeps a F2 Savannah cat called Motzie. He is a very well known cat. She was recently forced to leave NY and ship her beloved Motzie out of the state because of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). You can read her story here: Jealous Cat Fancier Turns Motzie In As Vicious
So, in answer to your question the people to talk to are the DEC. This is their website: DEC (opens in a new page). As I understand it wild cats and hybrids are banned but that is probably a simplistic answer.
The Feline Conservation Federation (FCF) say this about the Regulations in New York on Wild and Exotic Felines. NY has enacted legislation that prohibits the breeding of wild cats and also bans the purchase and/or sale of wild cats as pets. At the time the law came into force (2005?) the law allowed existing owners to register for a license for 2 years. I suspect that the issuing of licenses to then existing owners would not be renewed once the animals had died.
Certain establishments are allowed to keep wild cats and hybrids such as USDA Class C educational exhibitors.
Wild cat hybrids at or higher than 5th generation are apparently acceptable (marechalcattery.com)
I searched their website for the actual regulations without success (and I search well!). But their page on regulations is here: DEC Regulations — see updates below, please.
I would just ring them! I presume that the regulations I have mentioned cover all of NY state but this needs to be checked.
Update: Click on this: The health code for the city of New York (new window) [update: this link is broken at Nov 2016 – sorry] and
New York State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals (new window)