Adopting a cat from a pet store: why is it a bad idea and will be banned?


Who has never fallen for a cute little fur ball in a pet store? This pretty little kitten that we immediately want to hug, cuddle, pamper.

In addition, it is locked behind a glass, it is bored there and it would be much better with us to purr … Yes, the pet stores play on the sensitive chord of adopters. But is it really a good idea? Not really.

Adopting a cat from a pet store is a bad idea

No, you don’t have to go crazy and we’ll explain why buying a cat from a pet store is a bad idea.

A cat adoption should be a thoughtful act

In a pet store, everything is done to induce compulsive buying and very few sellers will slow you down or warn you. However, when it comes to a cat or any other animal, adoption must be a thoughtful act. This is not the latest pair of fashionable shoes, but a sentient being with intelligence.

You will have the responsibility of a living being for several years, and the little kitten will grow up, then it will grow old. What will you do with it next summer when you have to go on vacation? Are you sure you can assume it all your life?

Unfortunately, the numbers speak for themselves. Over the summer period 2021 (between 1er May and August 31) 11,669 cats were taken care of by the SPA (Société Protectrice des Animaux), and mostly kittens.

Breeding conditions not always optimal

Pet shop kittens often come from so-called factory kittens, where females chain litters and are considered commodities, rather than sentient beings. The kittens will leave as quickly as possible in the pet store and will sometimes travel thousands of kilometers before arriving in their showcase.

Often, they are taken from their mothers far too early, before being totally weaned, not to mention the socialization which is almost non-existent in such conditions.

Behavioral problems

Kittens should normally arrive weaned in a pet store. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. A cat can be the victim of serious behavioral problems, such as problems with cleanliness, scratches and bites.

In addition, these kittens are not used to human contact. They need to be in contact with humans in order to be socialized. Unfortunately, only sellers could do this, and while they would like to, they just don’t have the time.

Health issues

Although they must be vaccinated and have a certificate of good health, these kittens spent the first months of their life in promiscuity, with relatively poor hygienic conditions.

Combine that with the stress they undergo from being locked in a plexiglass cage, where they are watched by amazed passers-by knocking on the glass. The noise is constantly ringing in their ears and they have no idea “real life”.

If you add to all these factors a mostly incomplete weaning, you meet all the conditions for the development of diseases, infections, chronic stress …

What happens to the “unsold”?

It is a fact that adult cats are unsaleable. But then, what happens to them when stores fail to place them? Well, we don’t know. Pet stores refrain from communicating on the subject.

But you can imagine that the managers will not take them home so that they have happy days. At best, they will be delivered to the SPA, where they will be added to the thousands of cats already waiting for a family.

Even if you want to adopt a cat from a pet store so that it escapes its sad fate, because you have a big heart, don’t. You will only encourage the system and you cannot save them all anyway.

Why is the sale of kittens going to be banned in pet stores?

In December 2020, MPs submitted an amendment to the law against animal abuse. The text was adopted in January 2021 by the National Assembly and definitively adopted in November 2021 by the Senate.

This text intends to act against the impulse purchase of pets and thus limit their abandonment. The future first-time owners will have to sign a “certificate of commitment and knowledge”. In addition, a period of seven days of reflection will be imposed between signature and adoption.

From 1er January 2024, pet stores will no longer be able to offer cats for sale and the display of kittens in the window will no longer be tolerated. However, pet stores will be able to offer abandoned cats for adoption in partnership with associations.

In summary, you can really do a good deed by adopting a cat in a pet store from 2024, and we find that this is a legislative evolution that is going in the right direction for our furballs!