Buying Purebred Cats in India
Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India - Photo: by Friar's Balsam (Flickr)
I am writing this from the point of view of an outsider. I have visited India but don't live there. If I make mistakes please correct me.
I was searching for information on vaccinations and bumped into cats for sale in India (and Pakistan).
There are many adverts for Persian cats. Sometimes these are stated as being "purebred" and very rarely "certified". Most often the adverts on the olx.in website simply state "Persian Kittens for sale" or something like that.
There is no doubt that the Persian is by far the most common cat breed in India. I saw a Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) for sale at RS24,000. The Persian cats were advertised for around RS10,000. Which brings me nicely to the issue of price.
I am told that the average wage in India is about RS3,000 per month or the average household income is about RS35,000. These figures may relate to 2010 or thereabouts so may be out of date.
Just taking the Norwegian Forest Cat (obviously a rare cat in India), the price of this cat is 8 times the monthly salary. This is an astonishingly high figure and a very expensive cat! In Europe the cost would be something like one quarter of a month's salary. An NFC would cost about £500 in the UK and a the average salary around £2,000 per month (RS156,000).
The first point that comes to mind therefore is that purebred cats are very expensive in India. This probably encourages people to breed them and advertise them on the internet. Some of these people might be unscrupulous because the rewards are particularly high.
These breeders ship by air or road so they expect people in India to purchase without having direct contact with the cat beforehand and without checking facilities or meeting the seller. This is unwise and it brings me nicely to the next point.
Purebred or Not?
There is no cat fancy in India. At 2012 there is no cat association (registry) in India. There should be because there is an nice interest in the domestic cat and purebred cats.
A cat registry would be very useful to both sellers and buyers because both would be reassured that the cat was indeed purebred if it was registered by the cat association.
For a cat to be formally accepted as purebred he or she should have a pedigree that is recorded at a recognised cat association. Such a certificate would add value to the cat and make the sale and purchase transaction more reliable.
Technically, you cannot genuinely state with certainty that a cat is purebred without proper certification from a cat association.
People in India are buying very expensive cats that might or might not be what they are described as being ("Purebred Persian") in the advertisements.
I find this a bit strange. Do people in India worry about this? Are they concerned?
India has a strong economy. It seems likely that the purebred domestic cat will become more popular. It might be sensible to set up a branch of The International Cat Association in India to regularise the registration of "purebred cats".
Currency of India: Rupee (RS or INR). Exchange rate: RS10 = $0.2 (USD) or £0.13 (GBP). Or ten Indian rupees are worth one fifth of of a US dollar.
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