Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: Upon discussing the issue with some non-madhab following brothers, there appears to be an opinion within this group saying that the purchasing of cats is haram. They cite an opinion of the Maliki school and say that it should not be done.
Is there any prohibition in purchasing cats as pets? And is this ‘Maliki’ position reliable?
Answer: According to the Maliki madhab, it is permissible to sell and buy cats. In the Mukhtasar of Khalil in the first section on the rules of Transactions he says, “It is permissible to purchase a cat or a predatory animal for its skin.” (وجاز هر وسبع للجلد). In the commentary (Hashiya) of Dusuqi, he mentions the words of al-Banani who said, “As for a cat, it is permissible to purchase it to derive benefit from it living or dead according to the apparent understanding of the Mudawanna, and this is what al-Mawwaq explained it as. This is in contrast to the apparent meaning of the author.” By “author” he means Khalil as in the Mukhtasar it says that you can purchase a cat to use its hide and it would leave someone to think that if there was a purchase for other than the hide it would not be permissible. But, as al-Banani clarified, purchasing a cat is permissible.
وأما الهر فيجوز بيعه لينتفع به حيا وللجلد على ظاهر المدونة وبه شرح المواقخلافا لظاهر المصنف
And Allah knows best.