How Many Pets (Dogs/Cats) Can You Legally Own in Alabama?

A man carrying a puppy on his shoulder

Alabama has no state-wide laws limiting the number of pets residents can have. That said, each municipality in the Yellowhammer State has the authority to enact its own rules. In other words, the maximum number of dogs or cats you can own in Alabama depends on the city where you reside and the rules there. In some Alabama cities, up to 3 dogs and 3 cats are permitted per household. In others, there are no restrictions to the number of pets residents can own.

So it is advisable to contact your local animal authorities if you are considering adding another furry friend to your family, although I will be sharing some examples with you below. But before that, it is worth noting that Alabama has a state-wide law requiring dogs, cats, and ferrets to be immunized for rabies by a licensed veterinarian.


According to my research, you can own up to three dogs or cats in Huntsville, Alabama. However, the city code makes it illegal to own more than three dogs or cats if the animals are frequently outside of your residence or on your premises. That means you may own more than 3 dogs or cats in Huntsville but you cannot keep more than 3 dogs or cats outside at one time.

In accordance with state law, dogs and cats in Huntsville, AL are required to be inoculated against rabies. Afterward, you are also required by Huntsville law to register your cat or dog by providing proof of a valid rabies vaccination. Then you'll obtain a license for your dog and/or cat by paying a fee of $10 (for spayed or neutered pets) or $50 (for unspayed or unneutered pets).


The city of Mobile does not restrict the number of pets residents can own. However, it does have an animal hoarding law. This law makes it illegal for any Mobile resident to keep animals as pets in such a number that they cannot be properly housed or cared for. Anyone caught committing this offense shall be subject to confiscation of the animals in addition to other penalties. So if you live in Mobile, AL, it is advisable to keep dogs or cats in such a number as you can properly care for.


In the city of Tuscaloosa, AL, the maximum number of pets allowed per household is 3 cats and 3 dogs. These restrictions, however, do not apply to kittens and puppies under the age of three months. Unlike other Alabama cities, Tuscaloosa currently has no pet registration or micro-chipping requirements. However, micro-chipping your pet is definitely recommended, as they will be returned to you if they ever go missing.

Just so you know, the continuous barking of dogs is prohibited within the city limits of Tuscaloosa, AL. By "continuous barking," the ordinance means barking which occurs during the majority of any ten minutes. As a result, you might want to train your dog for obedience or opt for a dog breed that is naturally less vocal.


Sec. 10-150 of the city of Dothan's animal ordinance states that "in no event shall any person keep at his or her premises more pet animals than can be properly maintained in a healthy condition without presenting a health or safety risk or constituting a nuisance to neighbors."

Is Alabama Pet-Friendly?

Alabama is one of the nation's most pet-friendly states with the city of Birmingham being a huge hot-spot for pet owners. In a 2023 article, Pettable ranked Alabama as the 5th best state for pets. Virtually 60% of Alabama households own a pet, according to Pettable. The best city in Alabama to visit with your dog, according to Bhamnow, is Birmingham. Rental properties in Alabama generally welcome cats and dogs, which is one of the factors that make a city or state pet-friendly.

Recent studies by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) show Alabama has the 11th-highest percentage of dog ownership. Specifically, 46.9% of Alabama households own at least one dog. For the record, cat people aren’t as popular as dog people in the Yellowhammer State. According to the AL, only 26.1% of households were reported owning a cat in Alabama.

The most popular pet in Alabama that isn't cats or dogs, according to Insider, is the hedgehog, followed closely by hamsters.
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