Selling Healthier Cats. Promoting Cat Welfare.

Pet Shop

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is about a way to get people who sell cats to be more responsible and more concerned about cat welfare. People who sell cats are usually hobby breeders (selling purebred, pedigree cats from home) and pet shop owners who sell random bred cats in the high street (shopping malls).

On the basis that pet shops are going to be around for the foreseeable future, it is good to think of ways to improve the welfare of cats sold at shops.

As far as consumer rights go, buying a cat is like buying a dishwasher or any other consumer product. The general law that pertains to transactions of this nature apply. For consumer goods,  manufacturer’s guarantees are common. They may last a year or two. If a dishwasher does not work or breaks down early on the buyer usually has a right to compensation depending on the contract and the law.

However, when you buy a cat, it is difficult to apply the same rules because a cat is not a mechanical or electronic inanimate object. You’ll need a vet to certify your new cat is ill and the seller will probably say the cat was fine when she was sold. The situation will often lack clarity, which is a distinct barrier to enforcing the contract.

Achieving compensation can be tricky. Some cat sellers are very good and will help. Others, especially pet shop’s, are less likely to be helpful. They can get away with selling unhealthy animals. This encourages poor breeding standards and animal welfare.

The general consumer protection laws are inadequate for transactions concerning cats and animals, it could be argued.

This is where the current Governor of Illinois has stepped in and signed off legislation that protects consumers of cats and dogs in Illinois that are discovered to be very ill. It takes effect on Jan 1st 2014.

People who buy a cat or dog from a pet shop that dies with 21 days can get a full refund or replacement. Also veterinary care costs expended by the buyer could be reimbursed by the seller1 if the vet certifies the cat or dog was ill when bought.

That sounds horrible and it is horrible. But it does promote cat and dog welfare. This is because this law favours the buyer. The buyer is given special rights when buying a cat or dog. This will have the consequence of sellers becoming more concerned about the health of their cats and dogs in order to avoid paying compensation.

The law should filter back up the chain to the breeders who will have to raise their game. That must have been the objective. Illinois is the 21st state to introduce such a law. Good news. The next stage is to stop animals being sold at pet shops.

Ref: (1) – called the “puppy lemon law”

Picture (modified) by Phillip Pessar

6 thoughts on “Selling Healthier Cats. Promoting Cat Welfare.”

  1. As awful as it all sounds its probably a good thing when looking at animals as products. Luckily ‘quality’ for these products means better health otherwise it could get worse, not better.

  2. “CRAWFORD MARKET(MAHATMA JYOTIBA PHULE MARKET)” is the oldest pet market in Mumbai and also the first place in Mumbai to have had electricity in the city.”Mittoo”, India’s most famous Alexandrine Parakeet was purchased as a nestling from a pet-shop in Crawford market in 1992, today 21 1/2 years old at my residence.It was from this market that i got introduced to cats as pets in Mumbai.My first cat “Trixie” was in a pathetic condition in its cage and the owner gave it to me free of charge, a rare offer by pet market dealers.Taking the cat home and later to a vet i am proud to have given this kitten a new lease of life and it flourished in our house-hold for 12 years(1995-2007).Sadly, the pet shops in “Crawford Market” are badly maintained, the pets kept in small cages,especially the cats.The very fact that i revived a dying kitten speaks volumes of the care taken by petshops towards their living products.Agreed, all petshop owners are not in the same bracket but most pet shops in Mumbai’s “Crawford Market” treat their living wares as disposable products, a part of business losses if some of their salable pets die.On the demise of “Trixie” in 2007 i purchased “Matahari” from one of the pet-shops in “Crawford Market” paying an astronomical U.S $350 and the rest is history.To date, my cats are comparatively healthy and Matahari has been with me for 6 years while her kitten, now a tomcat named “Matata” has been with me for 4 years.Ultimately, i personally feel that “PET SHOPS” treat their living products as a commodity having no emotional attatchment to the pets they trade,strictly business deals.

    • Great photo of your very impressive Alexandrine Parakeet. They are smart birds aren’t they?

      It seems that your pet shops aren’t that much different to ours really. Ours might look a bit smarter but bottom line they still treat animals as commodities without prioritising health and welfare.

      It makes me sad to think of the cats in cages in the market. Although I have to say I think I would find the market very interesting to visit.

      You are a skilled cat and animal caretaker who can make them well again. Not everyone is like that.

      • Michael, “CRAWFORD MARKET” in Mumbai is a big tourist attraction in Mumbai(Bombay) where everything from commodities,poultry,meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and least of all pets can be purchased under one large market roof.It is very similar to your “BURROUGHS MARKET” in Central London, only difference , much dirtier with stray cats and dogs at various locations in the market, not a “First World” market scenario.A visit to Crawford market is essential to get a taste of authentic Mumbai(Bombay), the normal market place and city.


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