How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in North Carolina?

How many dogs or cats are considered too many in a North Carolina household? First of all, the state of North Carolina has no statewide law restricting the number of dogs and cats residents can own. However, individual municipalities are given the authority to set their own rules regarding pet ownership. 

In most North Carolina municipalities, there is a general rule of 3 dogs or 3 cats permitted per household, which is a good number to aim for. But if you have a large family and reside in a vast place with lots of indoor space and land outside in North Carolina, you may want to own as many dogs or cats as you can care for. However, before doing that, you need to check your local animal ordinances to find out if there is a limit to the number of dogs or cats a resident can own.

2 cats and 2 dogs

In this article, I have listed some North Carolina municipalities and the number of dogs and cats allowed per household therein.

Charlotte, NC

In the North Carolina City of Charlotte, you can own more than 3 dogs and cats without a permit, provided the animals are kept indoors. But you need to obtain a permit if you have 3 or more dogs or cats 4 months of age or older frequently kept outside. The permit costs $40 and must be renewed each year. Under the permit, a shelter is required for each dog/cat kept outside and all dogs and cats must be physically restrained. In addition, each dog and cat in Charlotte must have a current rabies vaccination and a current city license.

Raleigh, NC

In Raleigh, NC, you can own as many dogs and cats as you can care for. However, the City Code requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies and prevented from becoming public nuisance animals. A dog or cat is considered a public nuisance in Raleigh, NC, if it excessively makes disturbing noises, causes fouling of the air by odors, damages the property of anyone other than its owner, or is repeatedly found at large.

Furthermore, Raleigh City Code requires that all dogs and cats be provided with adequate feed, adequate water and adequate shelter. Each Raleigh dog owner is responsible for the removal of any feces deposited by their dog on any street, sidewalk, park or other publicly owned areas within the City.

Fayetteville, NC

The City of Fayetteville allows no more than 3 dogs per residential lot of 20,000 square feet or less and no more than 2 dogs per multifamily residence. Fayetteville does not place a limit on the number of cats you can own. However, Fayetteville pet owners must see to it their dogs or cats do not become public nuisance animals. An animal is deemed a public nuisance in Fayetteville, NC, if it molests passers-by or passing vehicles, damages private or public property, or habitually or continuously barks, whines, howls, or makes other noises so as to disturb the comfort of people living in the neighborhood.

All adopted dogs and cats in Fayetteville are required by Cumberland County law to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies.

Asheville, NC

In the City of Asheville, you may have 4 dogs and 3 cats or any combination of both animals not exceeding 7 in your house. A permit is required to own more than seven household pets in Asheville, NC. A permit is also required to own livestock including goats, horses, ponies, and exotic pets in Asheville, NC. All dogs 6 months of age in Asheville are required by law to have a current city or county license. The license fee is $10 and must be renewed each year on January 1.

Furthermore, all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months in Asheville are required to be spayed or neutered. Failure to comply with this ordinance could result in a $200 fine. If you wish not to sterilize your dog or cat, you can obtain an “unaltered permit” for your pet from the Asheville Police Department for a lifetime fee of $100.

Gastonia, NC

In the City of Gastonia, residents can own up to 10 domestic animals, including dogs and cats, according to Gaston County's Code of Ordinances. According to the Gaston County Animal Control Ordinance, all Gastonia pet owners are required to have their dogs, cats, or ferrets vaccinated against rabies and obtain a license for each dog, cat, or ferret from the Animal Shelter, within ten days of the pet receiving its rabies vaccination.

Chapel Hill, NC

The Town of Chapel Hill limits each household to 4 dogs and an unlimited number of cats. Every dog and cat 4 months of age or older kept in the town of Chapel Hill is required by law to be vaccinated against rabies and have a current Orange County license. 

However, for public housing residents in Chapel Hill, the ownership of cats and dogs is limited to 1 cat or 1 dog per household. In addition, the following dog breeds are not allowed to be owned by public housing residents in the Town of Chapel Hill: Chow Chows, Pit Bulls, Sharpeis, Boxers, German Shepherds, Huskies, Doberman Pinchers, Rottweilers, and any mix of these banned breeds.

Burlington, NC

In Burlington, NC, each household is limited to two dogs. If you wish to own more than two dogs in Burlington City, you must apply for a kennel license by making a written application to the chief of police. The maximum number of dogs permitted under the license is 6.

Burlington City Code does not place a limit on the number of cats residents can own. However, Burlington pet owners are required by law to exercise proper care and control of their animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance. As required by state law, all dogs and cats in Burlington must be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian with anti-rabies vaccination.

Rocky Mount, NC

In Rocky Mount, NC, a permit is required to own more than two dogs or cats. Rocky Mount City Code requires that all dogs over the age of 4 months be vaccinated against rabies and registered with the city. Cats are not required to be registered with the city of Rocky Mount, but must be vaccinated against rabies. Rocky Mount pet owners are required to keep their animals in such a manner as not to constitute a public nuisance or nuisance to neighbors, according to the City's Code of Ordinances.

Other North Carolina Municipalities

  • New Bern, NC: A total of 7 dogs and/or cats per household
  • Henderson County, NC: No more than 10 domestic animals
  • Asheboro, NC: A Maximum of 5 dogs and 5 cats per household
  • Monroe, NC: Limits households to 2 dogs. No limit on cats
  • Town of Garner, NC: 2 dogs per lot less than 20,000 square feet. No limit on cats
  • Goldsboro, NC: No more than 3 dogs. No limit on cats
  • Sanford, NC: A total of 8 dogs and/or cats
  • Town of Matthews, NC: 3 dogs or cats without a permit
  • Clayton, NC: Limits each household to 4 pets
  • Thomasville, NC: Permit required to own more than 3 dogs. No limit on cats
  •  Waxhaw, NC: No more than 5 dogs per acre. No limit on cats


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

- -
To Top