Answered by Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Kharsa
What are the rulings regarding the purity of domesticated animals?
All praise is due to Allah.
Domesticated Cats: Permissible and Pure
Domesticated animals that a Muslim is permitted to own and keep in their house are household cats. Regarding them, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “They are not impure; they are one of those who move around you.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi] This hadith indicates the purity of domesticated cats, with further details as follows:
1. Handling Cat Food and Water: If a cat drinks from water or eats food, it is disliked (makruh tanzihan) to use the remaining water or food if other water or food is available. Otherwise, there is no dislike in using the remaining water or food. Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) stated: “What a cat or chicken has left of drink is disliked (markuh tanzihan), according to the correct view, provided there is an alternative. Otherwise, it is not disliked to use it, such as when a poor person eats from it.” (1)
2. Impure Excretions from Household Cats: Any urine or other impurities that come out of it are impure. They must be avoided, and any area or clothing that it touches must be purified. Imam Ibn Abidin stated: “The urine and feces of cats and mice are considered impure according to the sounder opinions, and it renders water and clothing impure.” (2)
3. Places Where Household Cats Rest: If a cat sits in a clean area, sleeps in it, or lies on a garment and does not excrete anything, it does not make it impure. The place or garment remains pure.
May Allah grant us and you a deep understanding of the religion and make us among those who are pure and who purify themselves, for He is the Bestower of that and the One who is capable of it.
(1) Ibn Abidin, Hashiyah Ibn Abidin, 2:50.
(2) Ibn Abidin, Hashiyah Ibn Abidin, 2:358.