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  • Valérie Mounier

How to adopt a cat in France?

There are several options when it comes to adopting a kitten or a cat.


1/ Adopting a kitten:


When you want to adopt a kitten, there are several options you can choose.


You can go to a pet store. There are animal sections in large garden centers and specialized stores in town. The animals come from breeders in the best of cases but sometimes also from international animal trade. Public opinion has been worried about this for years, and the legislative trend that tends to grow its concern for animal welfare has finally voted to close these sales outlets in France as of January 1st 2024. Officially, this restriction aims at reducing compulsive purchases that lead to abandonment. In reality, this type of sale does not correspond at all to the needs of the puppies and kittens which are displayed in shop windows.


You may wish to adopt a kitten through an association or shelter. The kittens that come from this type of structure are usually litters that were conceived on the street. The females are usually found around springtime, pregnant or with a litter. The associations bring them back to their structure or place them in a foster home once the kittens and the mothers are in good health. The associations cover the veterinary costs of the litter. At the end of the litter, they place the kittens for a variable fee.


You can also find your kitten through advertisements on peer-to-peer websites with private individuals. There are 2 scenarios:

Their female cat (which may or may not be a purebred) is not sterilized. She goes outside and returns home pregnant. Most of these pregnancies are not planned by the cat owner. At the end of the litter kittens need to be placed. They are either given away to the entourage or through ads, or sold.

The French law requires the people who make this kind of litters to identify the kittens. Unfortunately, this is rarely respected. They are often placed without any traceability or minimum vaccination.


Chaton British shorthair bleu

Other private individuals purposely make a litter to their female cat in the aim of breeding their pedigree female and make a litter of pedigree kittens. This is allowed in France up to one litter per year in compliance with the regulations of the sale of pets. These kittens must be sold with pedigree. They are therefore declared to the LOOF and must be identified. Vaccination is recommended but not mandatory. The price of these kittens is approximately the same as for a purebred kitten from a declared professional breeder.


The number of kittens from the single-litter system is quite high. The inconvenience can be found in the lower level of competence of the "amateur" breeder. However, legislators maintain this system in order to favor a certain level of genetic diversity.


Finally, you can contact a professional breeder. Any person who breeds with more than one reproductive female is considered a breeder. Breeders with 2 or more breeding females, they are required to fulfill all legal obligations: training, company, facilities...

Most of these professional catteries are very small with less than 8 breeding females. With 8 or more breeding females, the breeding becomes a full-time activity with heavy expenses. These catteries have many litters per year. Few breeders opt for this choice but there are still a certain number of them.


Only professional breeders have the right to sell their kittens without pedigree which seems like a paradox to me.


When you turn to a professional breeder, you can expect a professionalism that does not reduce the passion necessary for the good carrying out of the breeding activity. The professional breeders are trained and above all they are experienced. They are supposed to invest themselves in the selection and to carry out the health tests of their breeding cats. The price of the kittens can vary depending on the breed, the supply and demand and the reputation of the cattery.


2/ Adopting an adult


The adoption of an adult cat is usually done through associations. Adult cats are usually previously abandoned by their owners or rescued stray cats that are sterilized and then placed for a small fee to cover veterinary costs. More and more small associations are being created because social media make it easier to locate an association near you. Large associations still exist.


Through the catteries, it is also possible to adopt an adult cat that otherwise leaves the cattery. It can be of any age, have reproduced, or not. It is the opportunity for families to give a beautiful second life to these adults.


In both cases a financial participation is requested, fixed by the association in the first case, and by the breeder in the second.


Chat adulte british shorthair bicolor bleu et blanc

Now that I have introduced you to the different channels that allow you to find a cat or kitten, I will discuss the adoption process itself.


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