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How Many Cats Can I Legally Own in Louisiana?

Animal laws are put into place for the safety, well-being, and health of both humans and the animals themselves. If you live in Louisiana, you may be wondering what the animal laws are, specifically regarding how many cats you can own. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple and straightforward answer.

Unless there are local guidelines prohibiting it, you can own as many cats in Louisiana as you want (and can afford). This state has very few blanket animal laws, but animal control enforcement is largely up to the individual parishes, which may be lenient or very strict. It’s best to check with the parish in which you live for specific laws regarding cat ownership.

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Louisiana Animal Laws

Animal laws in Louisiana differ mostly by cities and parishes. In general, Baton Rouge, Mandeville, and New Orleans have the strictest animal laws. For example, in Baton Rouge, you’re not allowed to have an outdoor car that runs at large. Their definition of “at large” means any cat that’s not in your immediate possession or on your personal property. In other words, your cat cannot peruse the neighborhood in this city.

New Orleans is also strict but for opposite reasons. Community feral cats are completely legal as long as they’re sterilized and vaccinated, but the city is powerless to remove any community feline that might have wandered into your backyard unless they’re sick or injured. Under this law, you might have more cats than you ever dreamed!

If you live in a city, owning an outdoor cat can be complicated regardless of specific laws because of the chance they’ll be mistaken as a stray. Animal enthusiasts may think your wandering cat is lost or homeless and take them to the shelter without any legal repercussions. If your cat is microchipped, the animal shelter is required to call you and put your pet on a stray hold. The length of time will depend on the parish, but 3-5 days is common.

However, if your cat doesn’t have the chip or if its collar is missing, it can be really tough to recover your pet. For this reason, it’s best not to have an outdoor cat in densely populated areas or parishes with strict animal control laws.

orange cats using scratching post
Image Credit: MarinaTr, Shutterstock

How Many Cats Can You Realistically Have?

Even if your state doesn’t have any laws in place regarding how many cats you can have, there are still limits as to how many cats you can realistically have. One of the biggest things to consider is your budget.

Wherever you live, you should always consider the responsibilities and expenses of pet ownership. As a pet parent, you’ll have to pay for:

  • Food
  • Treats
  • Litter
  • Blankets
  • Beds
  • Grooming supplies (cat shampoos, brushes, etc.)
  • Vet bills, including emergency visits, can cost hundreds at a time

Your cat will depend on you for their financial needs, but will also need your time, love, and care. Please be sure you can provide them with these things for life before adopting an animal.

multiple kittens in a hooded litter
Image Credit: Moncayofoto, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Though there aren’t too many animal regulations in the state, it’s best to answer the question of cat ownership by honestly evaluating how much time and money you can afford to spend on a pet. Cats will need your help all their life, but in return, they’ll give you their love.

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Featured Image Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

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