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Two critically ill kittens illustrate the dangers of buying online, warns cat charity

15 April 2019

Buying cats or kittens from private sellers online is a risky business says Cats Protection after they were contacted by the owners of two very sick white kittens asking for help.

The charity’s Bridgend Adoption Centre in Wales recently took in Daff and Dill who were sold for £360 the pair and advertised as being eight weeks old. When the new owners got the kittens home, they quickly realised that something was wrong as they were still trying to suckle and had raging diarrhoea. They took the kittens to the vet who advised them that they were in fact around five weeks old, had a huge burden of worms and one was slightly jaundiced. The vet also advised them they might die so they called on Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre for help. 

“We were really shocked at how ill they were,” said Sue Dobbs, manager of the centre. “The little girl Daff was particularly bad as she was very cold and very lethargic. As well as diarrhoea, the kittens went on to develop flu and we soon discovered they were deaf too. It took four weeks and a lot of energy and money to get the kittens back to full health.”  


To offer cats the same welfare protection as dogs, Cats Protection is urging the Government to consider regulating cat breeding so that potential buyers are able to go to a licensed cat breeder.  It welcomed the recently announced Welsh Government consultation considering how best to address issues related to cat breeding and selling and is also calling for an update to the law on selling cats to reflect the modern age - recognising that the majority of kittens and cats are now advertised for sale online.  The charity is asking that this should include a ban on the commercial sale of kittens under eight weeks which could have prevented Daffan and Dill from being sold at such a young age.

 “Our branches across Wales still regularly tell us harrowing stories of kittens bred and sold that are very sick,” said Madison Rogers, Advocacy & Government Relations Officer. “It’s vital that the breeding of cats is regulated and the law on selling cats in Wales is updated to avoid such tragedies.”

“By choosing to adopt, rather than going to a breeder, you are caring for a kitten that already needs support instead of bringing another one into the world,” said Madison. “It’s also beneficial for you because you’ll have peace of mind that your cat or kitten is a healthy pet.”

                                                                 Daff and Dill made a full recovery
Thankfully Daff and Dill have made a full recovery under the care of the team at Bridgend and are now happily settled in their forever home.  All cats and kittens adopted from Cats Protection are health-checked, wormed, vaccinated against cat flu and enteritis, neutered where appropriate and come with a free period of pet insurance.  To find out more about our adoption process, please click here

This year Cats Protection’s cat care assistants - who help look after cats like Daffan and Dill at Bridgend Adoption Centre - are being funded thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have raised £404 million to-date for similar good causes.