For people unfamiliar with the word “haram” it means forbidden to Muslims. The question in the title is asking if it is forbidden under the Islamic faith to sell cats. The responses provided by experts in interpreting the Hadiths1 and the Koran (Quran) are not black-and-white answers because of differences in interpretation. If you seek a clean, clear answer I don’t think you’ll get it. The best I can do is refer to some answers.
Islam Question and Answer
The person who provides answers on this website concludes that it is “not permissible to sell cats, monkeys or dogs, or any other carnivores that have fangs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that and discouraged it, and because it is a waste of money, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wasting money.”
However, in a full discussion of the subject he writes that “the majority of scholars are of the view that it is permissible to sell cats”. As mentioned, the situation it’s unclear.
Also, I don’t understand the argument that he makes that it is a waste of time and money to sell cats. How is it a waste of time? It is a strange argument. What about paying and adoption fee to a cat shelter to cover their expenses? Is that selling and buying cats? Perhaps there are no animal shelters in the Middle East. I think not.
Apparently in some parts of the Middle East the only way to adopt a cat is to buy them. What happens in these places? Islamweb.net provides an answer.
The expert on this site states that it is permissible to sell cats:
…the majority of the scholars, including the scholars of the Four Schools of Fiqh, are of the view that it is permissible to sell cats.
Seekers Guidance website
The experts on this site, Ustadh Salman Younas and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, say that it is permitted to sell cats and dogs in the Hanafi School2. They are referring to domestic cats and dogs. They imply that the selling of wild cats and dogs would be haram or disliked.
Common sense would dictate that in the 21st century it is permissible to sell cats and dogs. I think the interpretation of the Hadiths should take into account modern attitudes and cultures especially if the experts are unsure about interpreting this aspect of the ancient writings of the Islamic faith.
1. Hadiths are a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad which are the major sources of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran.
2. The Hanafi School is one of the four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence (fiqh).