9 Baffling Pets That Are Actually Legal to Own in Louisiana

wolfdog standing on rock in woods
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Written by Sarah Barkley

Published: January 14, 2024

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Have you ever thought of what pets you can own in Louisiana? Local ordinances often prohibit having wild or exotic animals as pets, including alligators, tigers, and bears. However, some baffling pets are legal to own in Louisiana. 

You can check local municipal laws to see what the regulations and rules are in your specific area. 

1. Venomous or Constrictor Snakes

Reticulated python on white background

It is legal to own a reticulated python in some parts of Louisiana.


With a permit, you can have some venomous and constrictor snakes over eight feet long as pets if you live in Louisiana. You need a permit from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, or you could receive a violation.

Some of the species you can have include the following:

2. Gila Monsters 

Gila monster - Heloderma suspectum, poisonous, white background

With a permit, you might be able to have a pet Gila monster.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Gila monsters are legal to own as pets in Louisiana if you have a permit. These lizards are venomous and advanced pets, so only those with reptile experience should keep one. When a Gila monster bites, it doesn’t easily let go.

3. Savannah Cats

f1 Savannah cat

Savannah cats are intelligent and like to play.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

If you live in Louisiana, the state may permit you to have a pet Savannah cat. However, this varies by area. Some cities and parishes outlaw them, so check with your local government first. These animals are the offspring of a serval and a domestic cat.

Savannah cats are intelligent and love to play, so they might shred paper towels or toilet paper rolls when bored. Otherwise, they’re fun pets to own, and you can teach them to play games like fetch and hide and seek. 

4. Genets

baby genet being fed

Although genets are carnivores, you can have one as a pet in Louisiana.


Most large carnivores are banned in Louisiana, but their list doesn’t include the Viverridae family, making genets legal to own if you live in the state. Genets might be allowed because they are small mammals but opportunistic eaters. These animals don’t typically like being held, but they can bond with their owner if they are the only pets in the home. 

5. Turtles 

Box Turtle

You can own four box turtles but only take two from the wild daily.


While turtles might not seem baffling when you first think of them, the specific types that are legal to own in Louisiana are. Louisiana residents can own one alligator snapping turtle and four each of the razor-backed musk and box turtles, although you can only take two from the wild daily. 

6. Hedgehogs

Woman holding cute hedgehog on sofa at home, closeup

Hedgehogs can be pets because the state doesn’t consider them wild or exotic in Louisiana.


You can own a hedgehog as a pet in Louisiana, as they aren’t wild or exotic animals by state law standards. Hedgehogs don’t require much maintenance if you regularly clean their cage and give them fresh food and water. 

7. Chinchillas

pet chinchilla - silver

Pet chinchillas don’t smell and can live for 10-20 years.

©ATTILA Barsan/Shutterstock.com

You can own a pet Chinchilla in Louisiana because laws exclude them from consideration as wild or exotic. These pets are a good option if you want one that doesn’t smell and can live for 10-20 years. They can also climb more than six feet and like to leap. 

8. Wolfdogs

wolfdog standing on rock in woods, pets in Louisiana

It’s easy to confuse a wolfdog for a wolf, so make sure you keep your required paperwork on hand.


Wolfdogs look nearly identical to wolves, so some states have banned owning them as pets. However, if you live in Louisiana, it might surprise you to learn you can own one. 

You don’t need a permit, but you must have proper documentation to prove your wolfdog isn’t a wolf. Without the paperwork, the law states that it will consider your pet a wolf despite what you claim. 

9. Bengal Cats

Bengal cat: Marble bengal cat on birdhouse, pets in Louisiana

Bengal cats are the offspring of Asian leopards and domestic house cats.

©Ifness/iStock via Getty Images

It’s illegal to own Bengal cats in some states, but it’s legal in Louisiana, depending on your location. Some cities outlawed Bengals, but you can also find some places that still allow ownership. In 1983, The International Cat Association accepted Bengal cats.

As the offspring of a male Asian leopard and a female domestic cat, some areas restrict F1 Bengals because they are 50% wild. F2 Bengals are the offspring of an F1 Bengal and a domestic cat, F3 Bengals are the offspring of an F2 Bengal and a domestic cat, and so on. Many locations allow F4 Bengals and later because they are only 20-10% wild, making them much farther from their wild ancestry.

1Venomous or constrictor snakes
2Gila monsters
3Savannah cats
9Bengal cats

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