Can I (a 13 year old) buy supplies for a cat by myself with no parent there? Or do I have to bring my older sister (an 18 year old) with me to get them? Or do my parents have to go with me?


As long as your money is green and you aren't buying something prohibited to youngsters (booze, cigarettes, etc.) I doubt any store is going to refuse your business.

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    Though, I'd hope that at a pet store, pets are not likely sold to youngsters without a parent present, no matter how green the money. Woof, meow? ;-) – Chris W. Rea Jul 16 '10 at 0:17
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    At least in the US, the concept of buying pets at a pet store is increasingly rare. In fact my city is about to pass an ordinance outlawing it in many cases. – JohnFx Jul 16 '10 at 1:27
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    In any event, the OP did say she was wanted to buy supplies for a cat. I'm assuming kitty litter and cat food are probably not going to raise any eyebrows at the pet store. – JohnFx Jul 16 '10 at 18:30
  • With the caveat that the 13 y/o would have to pay cash. If she tries to use her parents credit card, that might raise some eyebrows. – myron-semack Jul 20 '10 at 14:23
  • Actually, it is more complicated, IIRC, there is case law that requires the vendor to only sell things to a minor that would be seen as usual. If he would by supplies for 100s of pets, the vendor may not be able to keep the money if challenged. On the other hand, if the sale is for supplies of a usual pet in normal numbers (1 or 2) for a week, or a month than the sale could probably not be challenged. – txwikinger Aug 4 '10 at 18:48

My 12 year old routinely makes purchases with cash or a gift card (either a store's card or a Visa/Amex card that acts like credit card but is a gift card) and has never had an issue. Clothing, make-up, bath items, etc. I understand in some areas you need to be over 18 to buy certain markers, spraypaint, or other propellant items that can be fatal if inhaled. I see little issue with buying pet supplies, but it wouldn't hurt to have your sibling nearby if you think there will be an issue.


I had a cat growing up--most of the time I was the one who got her supplies. It was never an issue.

  • I downvoted this because it is not an answer, there is no timeline, and it has nothing to do with the question of whether this person can buy things. – Joe S Jun 7 '18 at 15:05
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    @JoeS "Growing up" implies that I was not an adult--thus it's an example of a teenager buying cat supplies. Practical evidence of doing what the OP is asking about. – Loren Pechtel Jun 7 '18 at 19:13
  • If you are 18 then you "grew up" from 2012-2015, if you are 68 you grew up from 1962-1965. Laws differ based on the time period, and in fact laws have changed even since 2015 on this matter. Practical evidence in not what the OP is after, the OP is after whether they can do it now. – Joe S Jun 8 '18 at 13:03

Perhaps a technicality, but minors do not have the legal capacity to bind a contract. Making a purchase from a store is a contract. I'm not a lawyer and there may be case law to the contrary or that creates exceptions, but my understanding is that purchases made by a minor may be void if later challenged.

JohnFx's answer is true from a practical sense. But if you get turned away at a store, understand that they're probably just being careful to avoid headaches later.

  • @RPL Thank-you! I was wondering if there was something I'd missed. :-) – Peter K. Jun 7 '18 at 19:53
  • I got my first job at the age of 14, bought a car at 17, bought lots of stuff as a kid. Buying something at a store with cash is not entering into a legally binding contract in a fashion that is prohibited by minors. – Glen Pierce Jun 8 '18 at 13:58

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