Can You Own A Pet Jaguar

Can You Own a Pet Jaguar? Is It Legal?

Do you want to keep a Jaguar as a Pet? Having enough money, resources, and exclusive terms may let you keep a Pet Jaguar, but in reality, it is a bad idea.

Jaguars or one of the Big Cats, as they say, is awe-inspiring. Individuals who have fancy hobbies may be fascinated by keeping one as a pet. But what kind of Pet will a big wild cat ‘Jaguar’ make? Nothing more than Dangerous, for self and others both.

So, What is a Jaguar?

Jaguar is a large cat species and the largest cat species in the Americas. Even globally, it is the third-largest big cat after Tigers and Lions. Jaguars are the only living member of the genus Native American Panthera.

Jaguars, though look like Asian and African leopards, but in reality, they are a lot different. While both have a similar coat, Jaguars are stockier and more muscular than the leopard in power.

In many ancient South American cultures, Jaguars were worshipped as gods. And thus, even today, pre-Columbian culture, art, and archaeology have several representations of them.

Where Does a Jaguar Come From?

Where Does the name jaguar Originate? The word Jaguar likely originated from yaguareté, which translates to “true, fierce beast.” It came down from Guarani and Tupi, two South American languages.

It is believed that the modern Jaguar’s ancestors probably came into America from Eurasia during the Early Pleistocene period.

And today, many years after, they have extended from the core Southwestern United States to Central America, Mexico, Paraguay, Northern Argentina, and the Amazon Rainforest.

Can You Own A Pet Jaguar

Jaguar Species Taxonomy chart

SIZEHead and body, 5 to 6 feet;
tail, 27.5 to 36 inches
WEIGHT100 to 250 pounds
SIZEHeight: 63 – 76 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)
Length: 1.1 – 1.8 m (Adult, Nose to the base of the tail)

Does Jaguar Make Good Pets?

Keeping a Jaguar as a Pet is an incredibly exciting idea but fairly a bad one as well.

Jaguar, or as they call it, Tigre Americano, is a wild cat meant to live in the wild. It is large, heavily built, and life-threatening for any living species around.

Jaguars are extremely anti-social and let alone humans; they even avoid interacting with the ones from their own species.

A baby Jaguar who is just born might initially make a good pet. However, Jaguars can prove extremely dangerous and life-threatening as pets once it starts growing.

Is It Legal to Keep Jaguars as A Pet?

Keeping Jaguars or other big cats as a pet is supremely dangerous. However, a few States and Countries do not regulate or ban keeping Jaguars as Pets.

Even Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) discourages unlawful commercial trade and poaching of Jaguars. 

Even after a ban on keeping exotic pets, several authorities at times approve applications for keeping some rare breeds. For instance, several richnesses in UAE keep Leopards, mix breed Jaguars, and other wild cats as Pet.

Even though when it is illegal, individuals keep such animals out of fantasy. Similarly, an Indian-Ukrarian refused to fly back to his homeland without his rare, cross breed Jaguar (an Amur leopard and a jaguar).

Are Jaguars legal in the U.S.?

The United States have different laws for keeping Jaguars as a pet.

Jaguar, a wild threatened species, is legal in some American states but restricted in others.

For instance, the U.S. States, including Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Delaware, and Oklahoma, do not ban or regulate keeping Jaguar as a pet.

At the same time, the U.S. States, including Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, have no law on keeping any dangerous wild animal as a pet.

Besides that, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act was introduced and passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004 to address several issues regarding Wild cats.

As per the law, foreign as well as interstate trade of Jaguars is strictly prohibited. However, licensed facilities like Circuses, zoos, and wildlife rehabilitators are exempt from the law.

Can you have Jaguars as pets?

Owning to the law of your specific state or country, you can keep Jaguars as pets. However, since Jaguars are not a kitty, one must drop the idea of keeping them as pets. Unless there is an extremely special reason why you have them, never bring Jaguars as a pet.

Individuals like a wild cat trainer or a Zoo keeper may own a beautiful wild creature like Jaguar under specific circumstances.

For instance, if the Jaguar cub is very small, has dead parents, and has no one to look after, special individuals can keep them for a while. However, once the animal starts growing, it is essential to either release him in the wild or hand him over to a zoo facility.

Do Jaguars Make Good Pets?

While the Jaguar is too young, he might make a good pet for a very, very short time. However, once he starts growing into the wild within a few days, your pretty Pet Jaguar will turn you into a tasty treat.

Jaguars are wild and dangerous, and it is incredibly stupid to keep a jaguar as a pet. Initially, as babies, they will undoubtedly appear cute and lovely. However, remember they will not stay the same for long and will soon turn bad-tempered, unpredictable, and life-threatening.

However, if you are still curious about What it takes to own a Pet Jaguar, here are some insights:

Getting a Pet Jaguar: What You Need to Know

Owning a pet Jaguar is no easy deal, and there goes a lot of effort behind the same. You have to meet the animal’s needs in several ways, and it can prove extremely expensive and tiring. Have a look at what to expect:

Jaguar Housing Needs

Owning Jaguar as a pet is a personal preference, but it is a public responsibility. Since Jaguar is a wild and dangerous pet, you can’t let it roam out for free. Instead, you will need a dedicated space for the Pet to live, roam, and run freely.

For instance, a one-acre free plot is what jaguars will need at a minimum. However, the animal will feel many homes and happier if the land is bigger.

Besides that, no matter how huge the ground space is until it is well fenced, it isn’t fine to keep a wild cat. The entire ground must have steel fencing all across securely fastened with the floor. And if it is a dirt floor, the fencing must extend at least 3 feet securely into the ground.

The Jaguar habitat must have some trees and ledges for the animal to play and lounge around. Along with the dense vegetation, more trees, and a real-like forest setting will make the wild cat feel more authentic.

Lastly, the public or anyone mischievous must have no chance to enter the Jaguar habitat by even a slight chance. Also, a human inside a Jaguar habitat is less dangerous than a Jaguar roaming freely amongst humans, thus being extra mindful with locks and extra fencing.

Jaguar Temperature & Humidity Needs

Jaguars live in different temperatures and environments as long they have access to enough shade and water. Though they are commonest in rainforests, savannahs, and swamps, Jaguars can also survive in deserts and scrubs.

The ideal temperature for Jaguars to survive healthily is from 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) to 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). These wild cats can handle humidity around 80 percent, though even 90 to 94 percent is fine for them as long as there are shades and water around.

Jaguars Dietary Needs

Jaguars are strictly carnivorous and consume a variety of prey. Their dietary needs include fresh meat which includes any animal they come across if the opportunity provides. Jaguars, though, generally prefer mammals since such diets are more wholesome.

They need to eat about 1.2 to 1.5 kilograms of meat daily to maintain a healthy weight. First Bite on the neck and chest and then move towards the hearts, lungs, and shoulders.

Even though Jaguars eat a heavy meal once, they can’t go long starving even with that. Jaguars can quickly lose their powerful physique if not regularly hunting, opening themselves to high risk.

The common health problem with Jaguars

The most common health problems Jaguars face include Dental and Oral issues, Gastro-Intestinal, integumentary, and Musculoskeletal diseases.

Jaguar Cleaning

Jaguar or any wild cat doesn’t need cleaning and grooming by humans. They, by nature, are natural cleaners, and thus you will find them licking themselves all through the day.

How Much Does a Jaguar Cost?

If you think that owning and keeping a Jaguar is cool, take a few minutes to consider the costs. Even where it is completely legal to keep Jaguars as pets, owning them can cost oceans. Since these Big Felines aren’t Pets, having them can prove extremely expensive.

The average price to purchase a Jaguar is estimated to be $2,000 in Mexico. The price in other States and Countries where these big cats are legal will fall nearby. Besides the purchasing cost, the amount for obtaining State and Federal permits as well are highly expensive.

However, this one-time buying amount isn’t alone. Since you are getting your home on a live Jaguar, you can’t simply keep it in your bedroom. That is an extremely bad idea.

Instead, you will need at least 4 to 5 acres of land, which by no means will cost any less than a few million dollars. Besides that, the startup cost of roofing the place so that the animal does not escape is additional.

Where To Find a Jaguar Breeder?

If keeping Jaguar is legal in your State or Country, you may find some breeders nearby. Or, contact the Forestry or Animal welfare department to get more precise information.

Those individuals, though, will never encourage keeping a Jaguar as a pet, but they can guide you to the places you can find these cats legally.

Some Interesting facts about Jaguar

  1. Jaguars have the most powerful bite amongst big cats. They have such strong teeth that they can bite through any mammal in one go.
  2. Jaguars are great swimmers.
  3. Jaguar cubs grow quickly, and thus even when for medical/ rescue purposes, keeping them at home for long is not safe.
  4. Jaguars hunt both day and night and can have anything living for their meal.


Petting a Jaguar, any Wild cat, or other wild animals is never a great idea. Because nature has made them wild and given them excessive physical power, they aren’t meant to live between humans. Instead, their right place is either the wild (State or National forests) or Zoos (in case of any injury, etc.).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are jaguars friendly to humans?

Jaguars are wild, and thus by no chance, they will behave friendly to humans. It will take just a few minutes for a Jaguar to attack and feed on humans. However, since humans rarely occur in the wild, the instances of Jaguar attacks on them are quite rare.

Do Jaguars need water?

Since Jaguars are habitual of living in the wild, preferably wet environment, they can’t avoid water. If provided, they will enjoy swimming and chilling in rivers, ponds, and lakes.

Do Jaguars eat plants?

Jaguars are hardcore carnivorous, and they typically don’t eat plants. However, one can occasionally find them eating fruits such as avocado.

How long do Jaguars live?

Jaguars live a total of 10 to 15 years in the Wild and 8-10 Year In Captivity.

Where To Buy a Jaguar?

Only a few organizations legally deal in buying or selling Jaguars. Instead, they are the illegal breeders who may sell you’re a baby or adult Jaguar for some thick bundle of dollars.