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How Many Cats Can You Own in Louisiana? Restrictions, Permits & Licenses

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

two devon rex cats are sitting on the scratching post

Do you have a cat lady living next door with felines practically pouring out of the woodwork? If you’re a Louisiana resident, you might wonder just how many cats one household can legally own. Does it depend on the area? Is there a specific law?

There are laws on owning animals, including cats, in Louisiana. The general answer is that you can own roughly three to five cats at a time in Louisiana. Rules change slightly depending on where you live in the state and any residence restrictions you might have personally. The rules will also vary from state to state.

Owning Cats in Louisiana

Many people enjoy the company of feline companions. For some, having a single cat suffices. For others, they could fill their house with cats and still not have enough. Some factors to consider outside of law are more general guidelines on what you can expect.

ginger cat with the owner
Image Credit: Yuriy Seleznev, Shutterstock

Household Size

Your household speaks volumes about how many cats will fit comfortably. Here is a general guideline for how many cats work in specific spaces, but these are not definitive.

1,000 square feet or less 2 cats
1,500 square feet 3 cats
2,000 square feet 4 cats
2,500 square feet 5 cats

Based on this simple chart, you can get the gist of how many cats you can own. Basically, when you live in a home that is over 1,000 square feet, you can have an extra cat per 500 square feet of home.

It might seem silly, but you must consider litter boxes. A good rule of thumb is to have one litter box per cat, plus one extra. That means, if you have two cats, you should technically have four available litter boxes. You can see how that might get challenging in a smaller home—not to mention smelly.

Rent/Own/Lease Property

If you live in certain types of housing, such as condos or apartments, there might be strict rules on how many pets you can have on the premises. Some places don’t allow pets at all.

Before you purchase or adopt any kitten or cat, it’s vital to look over your lease or rental agreement for specific stipulations and regulations on the subject. If a lease is drawn up correctly, this subject is usually always covered in print.

Some places that allow pets require you to show yearly vaccinations or other upkeep. Also, they might require a deposit or an extra monthly fee.

It usually makes no difference how many pets you own unless they are outdoors or otherwise a nuisance to neighbors if you own your own home.

Toyger cat lyig on couch
Image Credit: stockelements, Shutterstock

Financial Means of Care

Many areas only permit you to have animals you can ultimately care for. This doesn’t end with basic attention and sharing your living space. You must be able to accommodate each animal in your home financially.

Financial means of care includes:
  • Regular vetting, such as annual checkups
  • Yearly vaccinations and boosters
  • Food
  • Supplies, such as bedding, crates, food bowls, etc.
  • Tags/microchipping
  • Spaying or neutering surgery

As long as you can properly provide for your cats, that’s a step in the right direction—no matter where you live.

Health Upkeep

While health upkeep goes hand-in-hand with the vetting discussed above, this is slightly different. If your cat develops a health issue that requires surgery, monthly medication refills, or other special means of care, you must be able to give the feline the care they need.

cat and vet
Image Credit: Maria Sbytova, Shutterstock

Federal & State Laws

You can scour the web all day and find next to nothing about national and state-specific laws regarding the possession of domestic pets. At best, you might find some mixed results but no definitive answers over a whole state or country.

While states can restrict the number of cats you own, they can set strict stipulations on how you care for your pets. However, in Louisiana, the big cities set the bar.

Instead, these matters are dealt with on a smaller scale specific to the area.

Restrictions for Owning Cats in Louisiana by Area

Generally, the rules are loose regarding the exact number of cats you can own in Louisiana. Many larger cities have more specific numbers, while the laws on smaller cities, towns, and villages can be harder to find—or even non-existent.

For domesticated animals like dogs and cats, there are no permits required to own these animals, but there are other laws in place.

While you might find the limits are different depending on several factors, the general answer is that you can own roughly three to five cats at a time in Louisiana.

three domestic cats outdoor
Image Credit: JF4, Shutterstock

In-City Areas

In large cities, many animal laws are clearly outlined in a sea of legal documents that you can search online, at the library, or through your city court.

For instance, here are some animal laws in Baton Rouge and New Orleans to give you a better idea.

Rural Areas

If you live in a rural or less populated area, you might not be able to find any specific laws on the total number of cats you can own. Since this is a loose topic, you can check with your local lawmakers to see if anything is in place that would put a cap on the number of felines sharing your home.

Permits or Special Licenses

Sometimes, you can get by owning more than your local laws permit if you have a special license. If you want to care for cats to foster, mend back to health, or breed, you will need to adhere to any requirements put in place by your city.

kittens in cage in a shelter
Image By: Okssi, Shutterstock

Owning a Responsible Number of Cats

Even if you can’t find a specific number of cats you can own where you live in Louisiana, use your best judgment. Owning too many cats can cause more issues for the animals—and you—than it’s worth. If you’re a cat lover, it is natural to want to take in strays or adopt from local shelters.

But every person has a limit. Owning too many cats at a time can have several consequences that aren’t favorable to your circumstances.

Some include:
  • Lack of ability to give adequate attention to each cat
  • Struggles with food costs
  • Inability to vet with emergencies, or sometimes general care
  • Unsanitary living spaces
  • Potential transmission of disease to existing cats from newcomer cats

So, even if you don’t have set-in-stone laws, it’s important to live within your means.


In Louisiana, the laws vary depending on your location. They tend to be much stricter in larger cities and somewhat non-existent in rural areas. If you rent or lease your home, the total number of cats might greatly depend on your landlord or overseer.

If you’re unsure, the best thing you can do is check your local resources. When it comes to domestic pets, it seems to be laxer on laws.

Featured Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

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