Yes, you can sell a cat online, but it’s not the best idea. Since you can never know where the cat will end up or what they will be used for (bait as dogfighting, food for other animals, etc.), it’s usually not recommended or advised to do with extreme caution.
Can You Actually Sell and Get Money for Your Cat?
Under certain conditions, it is legal in the United States to buy and sell cats.
You could purchase specific types of cats to breed them as purebreds of their species and show them off at competitions. These cats must be raised under strict medical supervision and with a thorough understanding of their needs and nature.
In this way, selling cats is legal, but there need to be valid reasons for it, and you’ll need a license. Getting cats free from Craigslist and selling them to the highest bidder is mostly illegal.
If you’re considering selling because you have too many kittens, you should reconsider and find a no-kill shelter where you can place this cat. Some people buy cats online for all kinds of horrible purposes, and you have no idea who you’re selling this cat to or what they’ll do with it.
There are ways to sell responsibly, but it carries a risk.
If your only concern is making money, you should be aware that unless your cats are purebred show breeds with the necessary documentation, you probably won’t be able to make any money from selling them. You’ll probably have to pay someone to take them off your hands.
Having said that, people frequently sell their pets on Facebook. This is not to say it is bad, but there are good and bad ways to do it.
A good way would be to create a post explaining why you can’t continue to raise the cat and encouraging friends in your network to share the post. When someone connects, you should ask questions to determine how responsible they appear.
You could sell a cat on websites such as Craigslist as well. There are also apps for selling and buying pets, with a rehoming fee for a dog or cat. This price is typically below $100 to discourage people from looking for free pets to sell or for unethical purposes.
The situation is slightly different if you’re a breeder looking to sell a purebred kitten, but you still need to “vet” the buyers very carefully.
Regulations About Selling Cats in the US
The regulations about selling pets, including cats, vary from one jursdiction to another, but here are some general insights.
- Licenses for Breeding and Sale. In many places, especially in the U.S., individuals or businesses that breed cats for sale usually need to have a license. This helps ensure that breeders adhere to specific welfare standards. Selling pets without the appropriate license can result in fines or legal action.
- Flipping Pets from Adoption Sites. “Flipping” pets—acquiring them for free or at a low cost and then selling them at a profit—is often frowned upon and can be illegal in some places. There have been cases where individuals obtain pets from platforms like Craigslist or from free adoption events and then sell them. This is considered unethical by many animal welfare advocates, and depending on local laws, can be illegal.
- Valid Reasons for Sale. Some jurisdictions might allow private pet sales if it’s a one-time event, like selling a litter of kittens. However, regularly breeding and selling without a license is usually not allowed.
- Contracts from Breeders or Shelters. Some breeders or animal shelters have contracts that specify you cannot resell the animal. Breaching this contract can result in legal consequences or fines.
That said, it’s crucial to check local and state regulations if considering selling a cat or any pet. Local animal control agencies or legal websites usually provide relevant information, and it’s a good idea to check this information to be sure.
Is Selling Cats Humane?
The biggest issue with being solely concerned with profit is that you never know where that cat is going. Selling cats or kittens risks attracting owners who:
- will use them as fighting bait
- will use them as food for other pets
- will put them in a hoarding home
- won’t fix them and will make things worse
- will declaw the cat
To be on the safe side, cats shouldn’t be sold online because many end up in horrible situations. Some cats live in terrible conditions, while others are killed in many (inhumane) ways. There are other alternatives for you.
It’s not just about the potential dangers; selling a cat without proper vetting can lead to long-term behavioral problems in pets, making them harder to integrate into their new homes.
On the other hand, there are a few instances in which selling a cat is both humane and ethical. If you are struggling to make ends meet, the pet is most likely an additional cost you cannot afford and will suffer as a result. It is the right decision to rehome (and sell) a pet you can no longer care for.
But there are ways to ensure the cat goes to a responsible owner.
How to Make Sure Your Cat Goes to the Right Owner?
Regardless of where you’re selling the cat, ask the service/platform you’re using to assist you in finding the next owner. Platforms typically set adoption criteria and offer after-adoption follow-up services to ensure your cat has a good life after leaving you.
You could put up posters and upload photos online. When someone contacts you, ask many questions about how they plan to care for the cat. This does not guarantee that they will do those things, but it does ensure that they are aware of them.
For example, you can ask whether they intend to take the cat to a vet for vaccinations and boosters. This is especially important for a kitten because your adult cat has likely already been vaccinated.
You can inquire whether they will allow the cat outside. In most cities, a responsible owner will not do this, but there may be a safe outside area. As for you, ensure that you provide complete medical records to the new owner. This not only instills confidence but helps in the cat’s seamless transition
Ask whether they’ll be spayed/neutered. Most responsible owners will fix their cats.
Assist prospective buyers in making the transition as smooth as possible. Give away 1-2 bags of cat food your cat is used to, along with a description of your cat’s personality or daily routine.
You can also set the price. Charging a fee for the cat is your way of ensuring they go to a good home. Cats usually cost less than dogs. However, if you want to justify the cost versus a “freebie,” you can clean them up, make sure they’re healthy, and take them to the vet.
What to Do Instead of Selling Your Cat?
Look for a local rescue organization. They’ll assist in finding homes for them and ensure that anyone adopting them has good intentions. Take your cats to your local Humane Society, or search “cat adoption charity” in your area for other options.
Many kittens are raised by rescue organizations, which ensure that they are well-fed and receive necessary medical care, such as spaying and immunizations. They are also socialized to interact with humans and other pets.
The local rescue will be able to find them good homes. They have the resources to screen prospective adopters.
Many shelters have foster programs in which they advertise, vet, and process adoptions, but the cats live with you instead of in the shelter.
If you’re willing to be their temporary foster home until they’re adopted, they could stay with you for 8-10 weeks. The rescue may cover costs for the foster person if you go through the rescue, such as initial vet visits, essential vaccines, deworming, and spay/neuters. You could also ask someone to foster a cat.
Keeping them with their mother for ten weeks ensures they are correctly socialized with people and other animals. Ideally, wait 12 weeks before separating.
Depending on the shelter, you’ll have to pay a fee of about $25-100. If you want to give your cat to a shelter or rescue group, think about rehoming it through a service that doesn’t cost you anything. This may also be less stressful for your cat.
Alternatively, ask your friends and family if they want kittens, but you should be cautious and only give the cat to those who intend to take care of the animal.
Can you sell your cat to Petsmart?
PetSmart doesn’t sell cats. All the cats at Petsmart are from an animal shelter or rescue group. They team up with local shelters to provide a space where cats who need homes can meet various people for adoption.
Is there an app to sell your pet?
There are a few apps, such as Pets Store (Google Play) and Pets Home App (on Google Play and App Store). If you must sell a cat, it is often best to offer it to a friend or create a post on social networks such as Facebook and make sure your cat goes to someone you know.
At what age can you sell your kittens?
Kittens should be with their mother until they are 12 weeks old. According to TICA, a suggested time is 14 weeks, but 12 is the bare minimum. Even if you’re hand-raising the kittens with no mother around, you should still wait at least eight weeks before giving them away.