Can You Own a Rusty Spotted Cat?

Can You Own a Rusty Spotted Cat? This question is quite tricky, and there is no direct answer in the form of yes or no because some countries allow their citizens to keep rusty spotted cats as pets, while others have strict regulations for domestication.

Rusty-spotted cats are the smallest breed of cats well known for their reddish grey fur. If someone sees this cat, they will definitely want to keep it as a pet, but sometimes our desires can’t be fulfilled.

The reason behind that rusty spotted cats are rare & exotic species and are listed as endangered species.

Some experts believe there are only 10,000 rusty spotted cats left in the wild as of January 2024. Today, we will discuss the domestication of rusty spotted cats and where it is legal and illegal to own them.

We will also consider other factors that should be taken when keeping them as pets. I hope my writing style will be clear and concise, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

Can You Own a Rusty Spotted Cat?
Image credit: NasserHalaweh, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Can You Own a Rusty Spotted Cat?

The answer to this question depends on where you live. If you live in the United States, then some states of the US allow people to keep exotic pets with special permits. States like Alabama, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Nevada have no laws regarding the ownership of exotic or wild animals.

Other states, Alabama, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, Delaware, and Wisconsin, don’t ban keeping pets or other big cats.

Some other states have their own rules and regulations regarding the keeping of wild animals as pets, as rusty spotted cats are also considered wild animals.

A table is given below you can further check where the rusty spotted cat is legal or illegal to own. I have checked all the legal info from the Spruce pets.



Permit Required

New York

































Can you own a rusty spotted cat in Florida?

Yes, you can keep a rusty-spotted cat as a pet in Florida with a special permit. According to the guidelines provided by FWC, keeping wild species as pets is permissible, provided that you have acquired a legal permit that authorizes you to own such animals.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has established three categories of wildlife species: Class I, Class II, and Class III.

Class I animals, such as cheetahs, tigers, lions, and leopards, cannot be kept as personal pets. However, class II and class III classified animals such as African golden cats, bobcats, giraffes, foxes, and raccoons can be kept for domestication.

Can you own a rusty-spotted cat in Texas?

Yes, it is possible to keep a rusty spotted cat as a pet in Texas, but you will need a permit from the Texas government for this purpose.

Many dangerous wild animals, such as lions and tigers, can be kept as pets with special permits in Texas. In Texas, it is necessary to vaccinate animals that are three months old.

If someone is caught without a legal and vaccine permit for their animals, they may face a fine.

In Texas, it is possible to keep endangered wild species with a permit by the state’s rules and regulations. Therefore, it is possible to legally own a rusty-spotted cat in Texas as long as you obtain the necessary permit.

Can you own a rusty-spotted cat in New York?

No, you can’t keep rusty spotted cats as pets in New York, as it’s against state law. According to state law, any big cats like Lions, tigers, cheetahs, bobcats, and other undomesticated cats are not allowed to be kept as personal pets.

However, you can further contact the NYCHA Pet Policy to get more information about rusty spotted cats as pets. Based on my research, I couldn’t find a definitive answer, but according to the rules, any wild species that are undomesticated are illegal to keep in New York.

Can you own a rusty-spotted cat in Utah?

Yes, in Utah, it is legal to own many wild animals, including non-domesticated cats and rusty spotted cats, with a permit. Animals such as alligators, camels, crocodiles, alpacas, and ostriches can be kept as pets in Utah without a permit. However, some other animals require a permit for domestication.

Are rusty-spotted cats good pets?

The first and foremost answer to this question is no. The reason is that rusty spotted cats are wild animals, and while they can be tamed, their natural behavior may be aggressive and cannot be changed.

Although these cats are small in size and need low-quality maintenance from their owners, they are also sometimes aggressive toward humans.

Another factor is that these cats are solitary felines that often live alone in the forest. If someone tries to fit these cats in the domestic environment, it is unlikely to change their natural behavior.

Most cat owners claim that they have good experience in taming cats and believe they can also tame rusty-spotted cats. However, the problem lies in the fact that these cats are wild by nature.

After some time, they may revert back to their original behavior, which is not suitable for domestication.

Are Rusty-spotted Cats Dangerous to Humans?

Although they are small in size and can grow up to only 13 to 19 inches long with a tail length of 6 to 11 inches, their wild nature may make them somewhat dangerous to humans.

In most states throughout the United States, they are only legal with special permits. So, most cat owners keep other similar cats to avoid paperwork.

And there is no past incident reported about a rusty-spotted cat that attacks humans since they mostly live in the wild of India, Srilanka and some parts of Nepal.

However, these cats may be dangerous to other small cats due to their solitary and wild nature. Therefore, it is not advisable to keep them as house cats.

Can You Own a Rusty Spotted Cat? Final Thoughts:

So, in short, rusty-spotted cats are not totally illegal to own throughout the United States and the rest of the world. If you wish to bring them home, ensure that you first complete the necessary legal requirements.

Also, remember these cats are endangered species due to their habitat loss.

After completing the necessary legal formalities, ensure that you purchase these cats from an authentic breeder or seller who has a good reputation for selling wild species.

Don’t buy from illegal sources because this will further increase your problems when you receive a permit. These are the essential factors that should be considered before purchasing a wild species.



Can I legally own a rusty-spotted cat as a pet?

Yes, you can own a rusty-spotted cat as a pet with a proper legal permit. However, before considering one as a pet, it is important to research local laws to ensure compliance.

What kind of environment do rusty-spotted cats need?

Rusty-spotted cats live in the wild, where they have ample space to move freely & find their prey. But at home, this environment is difficult to provide.

Are rusty-spotted cats social with humans?

While they can form bonds with their owners, these cats often retain some wild instincts. Small or large, wild animals can be dangerous and should be approached with caution.

What is the lifespan of a rusty-spotted cat?

Rusty-spotted cats can live up to 12 years in captivity, while there is no particular life expectancy for them in the wild.

How much does it cost to own a rusty-spotted cat?

The initial cost of purchasing a rusty-spotted cat may be $1500 to $20,000.

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