Don't buy a Maine Coon cat on Gumtree

I am just skimming through Maine Coon cats for sale on the UK Gumtree website while typing this to see what people are trying to sell to the public and the result is frankly shocking. There is no attempt to reassure the owner that the supposed Maine Coon cat has a pedigree and is registered with a cat Association. There is nothing to suggest that these cats are genuine, purebred Maine Coons. 

The first one is definitely not a Maine Coon and looks like a regular brown tabby (see advert below). The seller is asking £200 for a quick sale. They want a quick sale because they are not selling a Maine Coon cat. I would bet my bottom dollar that this is a misrepresentation and the seller wants to make a fast buck in selling a random bred cat. The seller's grasp of the English language is very poor. I don't know whether this indicates that this person is not British and is perhaps an immigrant to the country. Thais is a possibility but I don't know. Here is part of the advert:

Don't buy this cat for £200. Adopt him for free and love him but he is not a Maine Coon.

Gumtree should be ashamed of themselves. They should stop this immediately. There appears to be no Gumtree policy against selling animals online on their website. My search immediately brought up a petition to stop "facilitating cruelty. The only way to do this is to completely ban the sale or giving away of all animals [on Gumtree]". I thoroughly agree.

My research also indicates that Gumtree allows the sale of cats on their website provided the adverts meet 'PAAG’s industry standards on the sale of animals online'.

This is the Pet Advertising Advisory Group setting out their minimum standards. I visited their website and their guidelines state that advertisers must provide a photograph and that the most common issue is the sale of under-age kittens. There is nothing on their website which refers to misrepresenting moggies as Maine Coons. 

I love moggies and I have always adopted moggies from rescue centres but it is illegal to misrepresent a moggy as a Maine Coon in an advert and the purchaser of a cat that is advertised like this can sue for misrepresentation and get their money back.

But the problem is that some purchasers of these cats don't know the difference between a purebred Maine Coon cat and a moggy. You take a good-looking tabby, moggie with strong features and an unscrupulous seller can try and sell that cat on Gumtree as a Maine Coon. This is what is happening a lot.

'Caveat emptor' is the byword for private purchasers on Gumtree. This mean "buyer beware". If you don't get full documentation with the so called 'Maine Coon cat' which means evidence of pedigree and registration with a cat Association such as the GCCF, which is the premier cat Association in the UK, then you should not buy the cat. 

And you are going to require records of full vaccination and I would also insist on micro-chipping and ideally the cat should be neutered or spayed at the right age. Do not proceed unless you have everything in place and do not make assumptions that the seller is scrupulous and honest.

Finally, the cat should be checked for health by a veterinarian if necessary and if not, the seller should promise in writing that the cat is healthy in a signed contract. You must have a signed and dated contract. If the cat proves to be unhealthy you can sue for breach of contract. This means taking full contact details from the seller. And I would not purchase a cat without visiting the owner's premises and spending time with the cat.

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