Feline Conservation Federation


Indiana Regulations on Wild and Exotic Felines

Division of Fish and Wildlife
402 W Washington St., Rm. W273
Indianapolis, IN 46204

State Web Site: http://www.state.in.us/
Department Website: http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/

Short Summary: Bobcats are native endangered species, but may be legally possessed with proof of legal captive birth paperwork and require either a USDA license, Wild Animal Possession Permit, Wild Animal Rehabilitation Permit, or Scientific Purposes License.

Issues Wild Animal Possession Permits. Permits must be renewed annually. Class III is for wild cats. Must provide health certificate for animal being possessed, escape recapture plan, pay $10.00 fee, and have cages inspected by conservation officer. Provides caging requirements - concrete floors must be covered with natural substrate, loafing platforms, 14 foot tall walls with 45 degree incline can be used if no roof provided, etc.  AZA and municipal zoos, carnivals, commercial animal dealers, pet shops, circuses, nature centers, those traveling through the state, and USDI license are exempted from this state permit and its requirements.

Also issues Special Purpose Educational Permits for educational displays or lectures that use live animals.  Must also have a wild animal rehabilitation permit or wild animal possession permit or be an educational institution or nonprofit organization.  Rehabilitators may only use non-releasable wildlife.  Licensed zoos, carnivals, animal dealers, pet shops, circuses and nature centers are exempt from needing a permit.

In 2010, the Department added that a vet exam is required within 45 days of getting a wild animal permit and added for definitions for Class I, II and III wildlife. 

Indiana - On 1/21/2014, a rule change was adopted affecting wildlife possession permits that now lists serval, leopard cat, margay, jaguarundi, jungle cat, Pallas' cat, sand cat, black-footed cat, flat-headed cat, fishing cat, Geoffroy's cat, pampas cat, little spotted cat, Pantanal cat, and marbled cat as Class II wildlife.  All cats not listed above remain Class III.  All domestic hybrids are exempt from the rule.   


In addition, the rule change: 


  • removes the USDI exemption

  • allows a permit within 5 days of getting class I or II instead of prior to getting one

  • removes Class III requirement to describe type of enclosure to be used

  • removes requirement for cats to be appropriately immunized for vet verification

  • only requires recapture plan for Class III instead of all classes

  • changes notification of escapes for class III to only if it passes perimeter fence

  • adds animals and documentation of legal acquisition if already in possession to list of items to inspect

  • clarifies inspections must be done before a permit is issued

  • removes requirement for wildlife to be housed in buildings

  • adds lighting requirement for enclosures

  • defines commercial purpose

  • exempts requiring daily drinking water with written instructions from vet