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Health guarantees on a kitten

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Do you mean for all health issues or genetic health? Most contracts only give a 72 hour health guarantee for infections and then yes, a year for diagnosis of genetic defects. Some might guarantee for longer, mine guarantees against death from genetic defect for five years with appropriate diagnosis and necropsy by a certified veterinary pathologist.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
My contract also says 72 hours for health/infectious type issues and recommends a visit to a vet within that period of time, but I have extended it for up to a week for certain situations. My contract covers genetic issues (HCM, etc.) for a year, but as Brigitte mentions, claims must be substantiated by tests and/or necropsy.

It's also important to know what that means - for instance, if you have a cat that is diagnosed with HCM the breeder will most likely offer a replacement with the caveat that you return the original kitten, unless it has died of course. Cash refunds do not occur too often, but these things should be specified in a contract and if they're not you need to ask about them.

In my experience, most people don't pay too much attention to the terms of the contract - I guess they just can't imagine anything bad happening to a kitten, even though I ask them to read it through and ask questions before signing... Fortunately I've not had to deal with this sort of problem, and with any luck none of my kitten owners will ever find themselves in such a situation where they have to pull out their contract and read it through again...
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Agreed, Patti. People too often sign contracts and don't read them carefully or think what the terms actually mean. The fact that most contracts do NOT give a cash refund is something that seems to come up again and again when a kitten dies and the buyer is reluctant to take a replacement from the same cattery. And yes, the having to return a kitten to get a replacement is a sticking point for most...even for me, I've had contracts adjusted to reflect that I wouldn't return a sick kitten.

With Rescue we ask adopters to initial each point of the agreement, I'm thinking about getting to modify my own cattery one to the same format as then maybe they WILL read each point that they are agreeing to by signing the whole...
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Oh and one last thing, a health guarantee and a contract are really only as good as the ethics of the person signing it...if a breeder doesn't make good on a refund or replacement, what in reality does that mean? You can take them to court and go through a lot of expense and hassle... but sometimes this will only mean the judge awards you a small monthly payment and then you have to chase that up again and again. It is wise to realize there is a limit to the security of ANY contract when it comes to this kind of thing (for both sides of the breeder/buyer situation).

I know that sounds cynical, but it's good to realize that contracts are not infallible. And they can only cover so many situations that might arise...beyond that it can depend on the individual breeder's generosity or sense of what is "right"...
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
With Rescue we ask adopters to initial each point of the agreement, I'm thinking about getting to modify my own cattery one to the same format as then maybe they WILL read each point that they are agreeing to by signing the whole...
That's a really good idea Brigitte, I may have to consider this as well.
 
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