swedish cat care laws

Why Swedish Cat Care Rocks: It’s The Law

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

There are cat lovers all over the world but every country has different animal welfare laws. One of our blogger friends Camilla from Sweden is guest posting today about cat care laws in her country. She claims the laws are better than in the U.S. but there is always room for improvement and it’s difficult to police many of the laws. They have additional rules both for breeders, shelters and cat boarding. I’d say the Swedish laws are precedent setting and a good model to follow i.e. Sweden bans declawing. The images posted are Camilla’s stunning show cat Charlie Rascal.

Visit Camilla’s blog Kjelle Bus AKA Charlie Rascal

Animal Welfare Laws in Sweden

swedish cat care laws

Welfare of cats.

You shall treat your cat well and protect it from unnecessary suffering and diseases.

Your cat shall be kept and cared for in a good environment and in a way that is good for the animal health and provides opportunity to behave naturally.

If your cat become ill or are injured , you should promptly ensure that the cat get´s necessary care.
It´s important that you keep your cat clean and that you groom the coat.
Cat´s that are foreign to each other or are aggressive shall not be brought together unattended.

Caring for cats

Cats should be checked on at least twice a day. This is particularly important if they are indoor cats.
Young, sick or injured cats shall be checked on more often.
Outdoor cats shall be offered food at regular times, at least twice a day. Also barn cats and stable cats should be given sufficient supervision.
You shall ensure that your cat get the social contact it needs through company of other cats, animals or people.
swedish animal wefare laws- charlie rascal cat

Food and water

The food you give your cat shall ensure that your cat gets an adequate and balanced nutrition.
You shall also make sure your cat doesn´t become over or underweight.
If you have several cats which are fed together you shall ensure that everyone has opportunity to eat in peace , without interference from each other.
Indoor cats must have free access to fresh and clean drinking water.
Cats that are entirely or partly outdoors, make sure that the cat gets access to water at least twice a day and that it doesn´t freeze immediately in the winter time.

Stimulating environment

If you have a indoor cat only, you must ensure that your cat have resting places on different levels, hiding spots and opportunity for clawing.
It´s particularly important for indoor cats to get activated.
It´s not allowed to have a cat tied on a leash indoors or outdoors. You may of course use collar/harness and leash to give your cat the opportunity to experience the outdoor´s but not unattended.
Charlie Rascal-kjellbus cat blog

Transportation of cats

A cat carrier shall have at least the following space:
– Length 0,5 meters
– Width 0,3 meters
– Height 0,35 meters
You shall make sure the carrier is secured safely and that the carrier is designed in such way that the cat can get shade and is well ventilated. It´s not allowed to transport cats in the car trunk if you can´t see them from the inside of the car.

If your journey takes more than 6 hours you shall provide your cat with a litter box and offer water at least every 6 hour and food with a maximum of 24-hours intervals.

If the rules are not followed

You can get a ban on keeping and take care of animals.

You can be sentenced to a fine or be imprisoned for up to 2 years.

Worth mentioning:

It´s NOT allowed to remove the claws so the cat can´t scratch.
You must have a permit from the provincial government if you have 10 or more cats that are older than 12 months.
Cats may not be sold in pet stores, at markets or similar.
Cats must not be used as prizes in lotteries, contests etc.

Public employees like Care assistants may break the confidentiality law and report if they see animals that are not well cared for.

What law(s) do think are the most noteworthy?


  • Bob

    My wife is a vet and we live in Sweden. She has to put cats to sleep on a daily basis. Why? Because the Swedish mentality is not to neuter them so there is a big problem with unwanted kittens/cats. Just today she had to put two 4 year old (perfectly healthy) cats to sleep. The owner was asked to sign a release paper so they could be rehomed via a charity but she refused and insisted on euthanasia. I’ve lost count how many times I hear of kittens being destroyed.

    Also, It’s becoming a trend that people buy a summer cat. This is a cat they take to their summer house and when they leave they leave it behind to fend for itself and become another statistical stray.

    Sweden is a great place to live but every county has it’s ‘hidden’ dark side.

    • Steve

      Hidden side is right!! My wife and I have loved and cared for one of our cats for 20 years. He developed a deep set infection that led to CKD and dehydration. We had been taking him to one vet in Värmland who carried out multiple blood tests but could not or would not even attempt to treat him. Put him to sleep was their solution. We subsequently took him to a ” big” practice in Karlstad who took him for ONE night and decided after taking bloods that he should be put down. We decided to take him back to the UK that day, and he is now on the mend having been given a long course of Anti b’s and vitamins. Sweden has a lot to learn me thinks.

  • Flynn

    A great guest post. De-clawing in the US and other countries that still carry it out makes me despair. A vet’s vocation is to care for animals so why why why do they still mutilate them!

  • maggie

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if declawing were illegal in the USA? Also abandoning cats.
    I’ve heard the argument that vets would rather declaw than see the cat surrendered to a shelter or euthanized because someone’s furniture is in peril. Just sick.
    Maggie (who just replace her family room couch for the third time in 10 years…)

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    Thanks for the run down on the Swedish laws. This is a great start and indicates a high level of respect for cats and other animals but alas a law is only as good as the enforcement there of. Maybe one day we will have true “Animal Cops” and tough laws on treatment and care and proper enforcement and punishment. New York City and Houston Texas are two good examples of change.

    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  • Annabelle

    Those of us who love our cats do all of these things and take good care of our cats. It is really those who are unable or unwilling, or who don’t care are the ones who should be taken to task for their mistreatment of animals. I don’t know how you can enact laws that will fix stupid.

  • da tabbies o trout towne

    total lee rockin kjelle !!! anda awesum grate guest post two day az well, itz nice ta see yur countree cares so much for animal welfare…..♥♥♥♥♥

  • Kathryn

    Ched and Mao say: I think Mom was brought up in Sweden. And can you send more Swedish cats for Mom so we can haz anudder brudder. If not, then a sister would be a nice change.

  • Sammy

    WOW……their concern for animal care is obvious with their laws – Charlie is a good friend and I know he’s the perfect example of a very well cared for and loved kitty. Thanks to Miss Camilla and Charlie for “telling it like it is” in Sweden!

    Hugs, Sammy

  • Austin Towers

    That is so good! yes, there needs to be legislation in every country about this! Some of those apply already here in the UK, such as not selling in pet stores and declawing, but there is still a way to go!

  • Fuzzy Tales

    I’d be curious to know if the courts follow through on charges and sentencing. I’d also be curious to know what laws are like for outright animal abuse. There are very outdated laws here, but most of the time heinous crimes against animals get a slap on the wrist (IMO), maybe a ban on owning a pet for some time. Never serious and lengthy jail time that I’m aware of.

    I think Sweden and other Scandinavian countries are quite advanced in their social laws and programs, far more so than European and North American countries, at least in many ways.

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