Feline Conservation Federation


Washington Regulations on Wild and Exotic Felines

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way N
Olympia, WA 98501

State Web Site: http://access.wa.gov/
Department Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/ 

Short summary: In 2007 a new state law (HB 1418 - signed 7/22/07) prohibits the possession, breeding or importation of large cat species (lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, cheetah, cougar and hybrids thereof) except for AZA zoos and facilities that participate in an SSP, animal protection organizations, animal control, vets, wildlife rehabilitators, wildlife sanctuaries, research facilities, circuses, persons temporarily transporting and displaying them for less than 21 days, fair displays, and game farms.  Effected felines held at the time of bill signing may be kept.  No new animals may be acquired.

Washington Dept. of F&W does not regulate small feline species that are non-native.

Bobcat and lynx (considered native species) require that the propagation, ownership or commercial use of bobcat or lynx is limited to specimens legally acquired from outside the state. Must have state issued importation permit number on health certificate to bring native species into state.

There are numerous county laws that restrict or prohibit exotic feline possession.
Link to HB1418 Bill History: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1418&year=2008
Link to HB1418:

In December 2012, Washington revised its live wildlife agency rules.