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Cats and kittens

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When you buy a cat or kitten, it must be:

  • of satisfactory quality;
  • fit for its purpose; and
  • as described.

In addition, any person buying a cat or kitten has the right of an implied guarantee that the seller can sell the cat or kitten. This means that, although this guarantee may not be in writing, the seller still promises that nobody else has any right to prevent the sale.

You can find out more about your rights in the section Introduction to your legal rights.

Pedigree cats

Owners can register a pedigree cat or kitten under 2 separate bodies in the UK. These are the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and the Felis Britannica, which is the UK branch of the Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe).

If the cat or kitten is registered (or registration has been applied for) with the GCCF, then the seller should give the buyer a signed personal pedigree form showing at least 3 generations of ancestry, detailing names, breeds and colours, together with registration numbers. If the cat or kitten is registered with the FIFe, the buyer should receive a certified pedigree from the Felis Britannica.

To change the official ownership of a cat or kitten registered with the GCCF, the seller should give the buyer a 'pink slip', which the buyer should complete and send together with a fee to the GCCF office. In the case of cats and kittens registered with the FIFe, the buyer should simply return the official pedigree together with the fee to the Felis Britannica for their name to be added to the register.

Caring for the animal

Most sellers want to emphasise the need to care for the animal. To address this, the seller often puts terms in the contract of sale that ask the buyer to promise that they'll look after the animal. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to enforce and means very little in practice.

If you suspect that an animal is being treated cruelly, contact the following organisations:

What is the law guide

The Desktop Lawyer law guide aims to present the law to you in a comprehensive yet jargon-free and easy-to-read format. Our law guide is constantly kept up to date with changes in business and family law by our team of in house solicitors, and includes information across all the legal jurisdictions in the UK.

Our law guide is free to use. Where we provide documents related to this area of law, or where they may help you with any legal issue in this area, they will be listed to the right of this message.