Is it legal to own a caracal in Georgia?

Caracal on top of fridge in home
Caracal on top of fridge in the home of Deborah-Ann Millett, USA.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division have confirmed that it is ILLEGAL for an individual living in Georgia to possess and own a caracal without a special permit. My thanks to Georgia DNR. I set out my reasons in quoting the full law for this decision on a page which asks the same question regarding servals (same law applies). You can reach that page by clicking on the link below. There is no need for me to recite all the law again. Wildcat species are in the order Carnivora and all animals in that classification of wild animals require a permit for ownership in this state, except European ferrets.

The law, incidentally is:

2010 Georgia Code
§ 27-5-5 – Wild animals for which license or permit required
O.C.G.A. 27-5-5 (2010)
27-5-5. Wild animals for which license or permit required
(b) Except as provided in this Code section, a license or permit is required for the following wild animals and any others specified by regulation of the board
(K) Order Carnivora (weasels, ferrets, cats, bears, wolves, etc.)

Please click the link below to read my full explanation.

Are servals legal in Georgia?

This is a difficult topic and I have seen websites which are not wholly correct in the advice that they give. Both caracals and servals are medium-sized animals. They are predisposed to domestication but they will never behave entirely like a domestic cat for obvious reasons. You have to be a special kind of person to be a caracal caregiver. You have to keep them inside the home or train them to accept a lead or have an enclosure for them. They place particular demands upon their caregiver. I have seen some bad examples of pet caracals where they become obese. Unsurprisingly they often want to escape their confinement because in the wild the home range is going to be in the order of many square kilometres.

DNR of Georgia ask you to answer these questions:

Ask Yourself:

  • Is what I am doing legal?
  • Am I willing to risk the health, and possibly the life, of myself and my family?
  • Am I willing to risk destroying the animal?
  • Am I willing to change my lifestyle to conform to the animals natural and unalterable behavior?

If you cannot truthfully answer “yes” to each question, do not attempt to keep a wild animal as a pet.

Below are some more pages on animal laws.

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Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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