Categories: Caracal

Are caracals legal in Texas?

It depends what you mean by ‘legal’. Obviously they are legal in an approved zoo but I’ll proceed on the basis that the question is asking if a person living in Texas can legally own and take charge of a caracal at their home.

Pet caracal . I don’t know where this is. They must have a license but it may be Russia where the rules are probably slacker. Note that this caracal is missing his right foreleg which is why I presume he has become a pet to this woman. Photo: Andrey Bondarev/Caters News

The answer, I believe, can be found in the Texas State Law Library online under ‘Wild Animals’.

Under Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 10 Health and Safety of Animals. Chapter 822 Regulation of Animals, Subchapter E Dangerous Wild Animals section 822.101 (4) the caracal is defined as a dangerous wild animal.

Under section 822.103 (a) a person in Texas cannot own or have custody of a dangerous wild animal i.e. in this instance a caracal for any purpose unless they have a certificate of registration for the animal issued by an animal registration agency. You’ll have to apply and there is no guarantee that you’ll be successful or that a license would be renewed. Certificates are valid for one year. The fee is between $50 and $500.

There are other regulations governing the ownership of caracals and other listed wild animals in Texas. You can read them at your leisure by clicking on the link below.

Caracal ownership Texas

There is also the question of import permits for transporting the caracal into the US and then into Texas. You’ll have to get that straight and I believe you need to contact National Center for Import and Export at email or call (301) 851-3300 option 2. This information comes from the Texas Animal Health Commission.

It is a given that exotic animals such as a caracal will need a licence to possess. This would almost certainly apply to all developed countries. But licensing depends on enforcement. Where there is slack enforcement it may be possible to possess a caracal without a license but I strongly discourage it.

The caracal can be tame or even domesticated but they are potentially dangerous. They are a very athletic, strong, medium to small species of wild cat. The caracal is one of the wild cat species which is sometimes domesticated in the USA.

In my view it is wrong to have a caracal as a pet. There is a lot wrong with it.


Are caracals legal in the UK?

Licences are required for all animals listed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The caracal is listed under the ...
Read More

Are caracals legal in Washington state?

The Washington State Department of Agriculture's website states that it is illegal to possess wild animals. The caracal is a ...
Read More

Are caracals legal in California?

Caracals are legal in California provided you have a permit under 14 CCR § 671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of ...
Read More

Picture of cute caracal kitten

This is a lovely picture of a cute caracal kitten taken by the staff at Exmoor Zoo (I believe). The ...
Read More

How long do caracals live?

In captivity, caracals have lived to be sixteen years old. The reference for this information is (a) R.H.N. Smithers in ...
Read More

Do caracals purr?

Yes, caracals purr. The caracal possesses the usual range of feline sounds including meowing (more like a bird chirping when ...
Read More

Are caracals dangerous?

Caracals can be dangerous to people under certain circumstances because this wild cat species is considerably larger and stronger than ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

Legislation to end private big cat ownership in America passed in the House of Representatives

NEWS AND COMMENT: The Big Cat Public Safety Act is federal draft legislation which "prohibits…

3 hours ago

Tragedy in Lexington County, SC: 72-year-old feral colony caregiver killed during dispute over cats

A Lexington County, South Carolina feral colony caregiver was shot to death Thursday evening by…

11 hours ago

Veterinarian performs “humane declaw” against adoption contract

The Instagram post tells you what is happening. This is a "doctor", a veterinarian, who…

14 hours ago

16 facts about the Somali cat

Here are 16 facts about the one of the most attractive of all the purebred…

18 hours ago

Birdfeeder placement to help avoid attack by cats

I can think of two instances (but there are many more) of exposing, through good…

22 hours ago

My neighbour’s cat asks to be let in all the time, so is he neglected?

It is not uncommon for neighbourhood cats to want to visit neighbour's homes. You won't…

1 day ago