The growing commercial market is resulting in kittens being bred in poor welfare conditions, with many being sold desperately unwell, leaving new owners with hefty vet bills.
With kittens being sold for anything from £50 to several hundred pounds - often too young to be separated from their mother - the charity is calling for urgent action to update the law on pet sales and clamp down on those who put money before basic welfare.
The law relating to the selling of cats and kittens dates back to 1951 and is no longer fit for purpose. The way pets are sold has completely changed since the 1950s, and far fewer cats are sold in pet shops. The commercial market today chiefly operates through home-based breeders placing advertisements on classified websites that sell everything from fridges to felines.
The commercial breeding and sales of cats and kittens is a growing problem, and updating pet vending laws would be a huge step towards safeguarding feline welfare so we welcome the current DEFRA review of animal establishment licences.
I believe the Government need to bring in regulations which would ban the sale of kittens under eight weeks old, regulate repeat breeding from the family cat and define commercial cat sales. Current legal loopholes which allow breeding for sale to take place unscrutinised, usually from domestic premises also needs to be closed.
I will of course write to DEFRA on this matter.