In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful


Can Muslims have cats

It is permissible to keep cats in Islam and cats are not naajis because of the following Hadith of cats

It is also well know that  Abu Hurayrah (literally “Father of the Kitten”) was known by that name due to his love for cats.

In a report narrated in Sunan Abi Dawood and elsewhere, which says that a woman brought some hareesah (a kind of food) to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) and found her praying. (‘Aa’ishah) gestured to her that she should put it down. Then a cat came and ate some of it. When ‘Aa’ishah had finished praying, she ate from where the cat had eaten and said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘They (cats) are not naajis (impure), rather they are among those who go around among you (al-tawwaafeena ‘alaykum).’ I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) doing wudoo’ with water from which a cat had drunk.”

It was narrated by Abu Dawood (68) from Kabshah bint Ka’b ibn Maalik, who was married to Ibn Abi Qutaadah, Abu Qutaadah entered and she poured some water for him to do wudoo’. A cat came and drank from the water, and he tipped the vessel for it so that it could drink. Kabshah said: “He saw me looking at him and he said, ‘Do you find it strange, O daughter of my brother?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “They (cats) are not naajis (impure), rather they are among those who go around among you (al-tawwaafeena ‘alaykum).” These two reports were classed as saheeh by al-Bukhaari, al-Daaraqutni and others, as was stated in al-Talkhees by Ibn Hajar, 1/15.


Buying and selling Cats

Majority of scholars view it is permissible to sell cats and some scholars are of the view that it is forbidden to sell cats. The most correct view is that it is Haram to sell cats because of the following hadith

 Abu’l-Zubayr  said: “I asked Jaabir about the price of dogs and cats. He said, ‘The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 1569).

Abu Dawood (3479) and al-Tirmidhi (1279) narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade the price of dogs and cats. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

Some scholars are of the view that these ahaadeeth are da’eef (weak), but their view is to be rejected. 

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (9/269): As for what as al-Khattaabi and Ibn al-Mundhir said about the hadeeth being weak, this is a mistake on their part, because the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim has a saheeh isnaad. End quote. 

Al-Shawkaani said in Nayl al-Awtaar (6/227), refuting the majority who interpret the prohibition in the hadeeth as meaning that it is makrooh and that selling cats is not a noble attitude or sign of chivalry: It is obvious that this is understanding the prohibition in a way that is contrary to its true meaning for no reason. End quote. 

Al-Bayhaqi said in al-Sunan (6/18), also refuting the majority: Some scholars have interpreted it as referring to cats that are wild and cannot be caught. Some claim that this applied at the beginning of Islam when cats were ruled to be naajis (impure), but when it was ruled that their leftover food and water are taahir (pure), it became permissible to sell them. But there is no clear evidence for either of these two views. End quote. 

Ibn al-Qayyim stated that it is definitely haraam to sell them in Zaad al-Ma’aad (5/773) where he said: This was stated in a ruling (fatwa) by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) and it is the view of Tawoos, Mujaahid, Jaabir ibn Zayd and all the Zaahiri scholars, and it is one of the two views narrated from Ahmad. This is the correct view, because the ahaadeeth which state that are saheeh, and there is no evidence to the contrary, so this is the view that must be adopted. End quote. 

Ibn al-Mundhir said: If it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade selling them, then such sales are invalid, otherwise they are permissible. End quote from al-Majmoo’, 9/269 

Do Cats invalidate ones prayer?


Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Prayer is invalidated by a woman, a donkey or a dog; that may be prevented by something equal in height to the back of a saddle [placed in front of the worshipper as a sutrah or screen].” (Narrated by Muslim, 511).

According to one report, “a black dog.” The narrator said: “I said, ‘O Abu Dharr, what is the difference between a black dog and a red or yellow dog?’ He said, ‘O son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the same question, and he said, “The black dog is a devil.”’” (Narrated by Muslim, 510).

Some people mistake these hadiths to include cats and that is a Mistake, We try to have a sutra in front of us when we pray .and try to prevent anything or anyone  passing between us and the sutra. outside the sutra they can pass.

Abu Juhayfah said: “I heard my father narrating that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led them in prayer in al-Bat-ha’, and in front of them was an ‘anzah (a short spear, iron-tipped at its lower end). He prayed two rak’ahs for Zuhr followed by two rak’ahs for ‘Asr, and a woman and a donkey passed in front of him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 495).

Amr ibn Shu’ayb narrated from his father that his grandfather said: “We stopped with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Thaniyyat Adhaakhir and the time for prayer came, so he prayed facing a wall which lay in the direction of the qiblah, and we were behind him. A lamb came and tried to pass in front of him and he kept pushing it back until its belly was pushed up against the wall, then it passed behind him.” (narrated by Abu Dawood, 708; al-Albaani said in Saheeh Abi Dawood, it is hasan saheeh, 652).


Treatment of Cats in Islam

Some people can be very cruel towards animals.

I recently read a story in the newspaper of  an 8 year old  non-Muslim boy From Britain microwaving his neighbours Cat which left the poor cat with severe internal organ injuries.

Many years ago when I was Studying at A British university I would heard stories about drunk non-Muslim students grabing  Ducks from the University pond and placing them in oven  or microwave (whilst they are alive) and laughing.

 There are other stories were you read some times about a  non Muslims hanging his her cat by the tail on the watching line. Resulting in the  poor cat screaming and dying. Allah has put inside people's hearts compassion and mercy for everything. Some people loose that and if they do not fear Allah then then nothing will prevent them from committing their cruelty.


As Muslims we must treat animals with kindness because Allah demands that we treat Animals with kindness and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him has warned us of   severe consequences in the hereafter of mistreating Animals

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A woman entered Hell because of a cat which she tied up and did not feed, nor did she let it loose to feed upon the vermin of the earth.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3140; Muslim, 2242)

We should also teach our children this hadith make sure they fear Allah and understand the consequences of bad treatment of people and animals.

However those animals which are harmful to us we can kill

Narrated by Hafsa who said Allah's Apostle said, "It is not sinful (of a Muhrim) to kill five kinds of animals, namely: the crow, the kite, the mouse, the scorpion and the rabid dog." (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 29, Number 54)

Narrated by Aisha who said Allah's Apostle said, "Five kinds of animals are harmful and could be killed in the Haram (Sanctuary). These are: the crow, the kite, the scorpion, the mouse and the rabid dog." (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 29, Number 55 )

Some people are mistaken into thinking that we must keep cats. Things which we must do are those things which we have been ordered to do by Allah or his prophet peace be upon him. We have not been ordered to keep cats but we are allowed to keep cats and if we do keep cats as pets then it becomes compulsory on us to make sure they do not go hungry. Either we feed them or we should allow them to go outside and hunt for their food.

Detailed Article on Cats

Read more articles about pets in Islam


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