Shopping in pet stores was an obvious choice for families seeking to bring home a new furry companion, yet things seem to be changing quickly. A number of groups across the nation are pushing for prohibiting the selling of cats and dogs in pet stores, and some may say with justification.

Pet stores, some of them, are infamous for buying kittens from callous breeders—kitten mills or puppy mills—with the goal of boosting profits and cutting costs. Puppy mills usually get a lot of attention. Nevertheless, kitten mills are widespread in the US as well and pet stores often count on them as their preferred suppliers.

What is the problem concerning the sale of cats and kittens in pet stores? Many animal activists are speaking out against it, as they cite concerns over their source, the potential to perpetuate irresponsible breeding practices, and the health risks associated with inbreeding.

You might be tempted to buy a cute kitten in a pet store, but it’s hard to know for sure where they came from. While the staff may tell you that the little furballs were raised humanely, there is no way of knowing that for certain. Adopting one of these cats certainly gives them a good home, but it’s important to remember that the problem lies with their origin – not in their new home with you.

Mill-bred cats are most often kept in wire cages that provide them no chance to work out or interact with other cats and people. In some cases, they’re cramped and unpleasant at best; at worst, they’re truly frightening. When animal welfare reps and police officers raid their breeding centers, the creatures are usually discovered existing in deplorable conditions.

While you are providing a better home for that kitty in the pet shop, you must bear in mind that your money goes to these heartless breeding mills. Dr. Lorna Whittemore (BVMS) of Excited has pointed out the repercussions of this on kitten behavior: “Kittens’ socialization period usually falls between 2-7 weeks of age and if it’s spent in a kitten mill, the babies fail to pick up necessary life skills and this could have a lasting effect, manifesting as stress and behavioral problems.”

It’s key to consider that when kittens are purchased from a pet store, it reduces the chances of shelter kittens finding their forever homes. Rescue shelters should always represent the first choice for adopting a new cat companion, but responsible breeders offering loving care to their animals and carefully choosing potential owners may also be an option.

Many places have put bans in effect. Different kinds of bans are being enforced in countries, states, and cities across the globe. Governments everywhere have adopted regulations that restrict certain activities or behaviors.

The state of New York has recently joined the growing list of states and localities that have put a stop to the sale of kittens in pet stores, which will take effect come 2024. This movement was started by California, which became the first state to implement such a ban back in 2017. Since then, Maryland (2020), Illinois (2021), Washington (2021) and over 380 localities across the country have all followed suit. Britain also introduced similar measures for third-party sales of cats or dogs under six months old in 2018.

What is the overall impact of bans? Bans are expected to have a range of effects on social, political, and economic levels. They can influence people’s behavior in various ways, leading to improved safety regulations and increased civic engagement. In addition, they could cause disruption in certain sectors while providing opportunities for others. Ultimately, the outcome of bans will depend on how they are devised and implemented.

Banning the sale of kittens from pet stores should, ideally, motivate potential owners to adopt from shelters instead, or a reliable breeder. This ought to, theoretically, put these cruel mills out of business. In these areas or regions citizens will now have to coperate directly with the breeder or an accredited rehoming center. veterinarian Dr. Luqman Javed (DVM) also encourages people to do their part: “It is suggested that individuals pressurize local officials and congress representatives to conduct further tests on breeders/mills to ensure that only those that fulfill specific guidelines are allowed for breeding and selling animals.”

It appears to be a wise decision to prohibit not only kittens, but puppies and rabbits as well, from pet stores. Taking this step is an excellent beginning point for the benefit of pets in general; however, there is much progress yet to be made.