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Question for breeders only

AprilAnn

Savannah Super Cat
#1
I have owned my kitten Tank since August of 2012 and it was recently determined that he has FIP. Based on the research I have done, this disease is only found in multi-cat households. Since I have owned him he has never been around any other cats.

I was wondering how common the virus is in catteries!? If you as a breeder found out that a kitten you sold has FIP would you replace it? Reimburse the owner?

I am not certain on what I am even seeking right now. My kitten Tank was my first love as a pet. I just want some professional opinions.
 

Marissa

Savannah Super Cat
#2
I'm no breeder but I know enough about FIP. the disease can be in ANY cat, it's just more COMMON in multi cat households, even then it's not the breeders fault, the disease is a mutation from the corona virus, just about all cats have been exposed to it and many cats are carriers. IMO it is not the breeders fault, some breeders will compensate for the loss, others won't. It's not exactly a genetic disease(at least from what I'm understanding), and it can be quite random so I'm sure some breeders out there could argue it. It's something you are going to have to discuss with your breeder, Im Sure if the breeder is any bit compassionate they will be more than willing to find a solution. It's terrible you have to go through it, I was right there with you awhile back and it sucks. It's tough losing them that way... Hopefully your breeder is willing to compensate. Best wishes for you guys
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I'm so sorry, AprilAnn :-( FIP is a cruel disease and it is heartbreaking to lose a beloved companion that way. I lost a Savannah over two years ago to dry FIP and I still miss her terribly.

I did not blame her breeder, as Marissa has pointed out, the Coronavirus is very common and not just found in multicat households. It seems from the little we know of the disease it is more an error in the immune system dealing with the virus after it mutates in a certain way. This is a virus that randomly mutates all the time so with bad luck it can mutate to the FIP form and some cats are simply more susceptible for reasons we don't exactly know yet. It may be in the case of wet FIP it is an under-reaction and with dry FIP an overreaction that ends up causing the disease.

It may depend on the contract you have with this kitten whether FIP is covered....and then beyond that whether the breeder covers it despite what the contract says. Often the contract can be the "minimum standard" and the breeder can choose to replace the kitten in any case. And it will be up to you if you feel ready or able to take another kitten too.

Additionally, if you plan on approaching the breeder for a replacement or refund, I hope that you have a necropsy report to offer, as generally any replacement or refund in a contract requires that kind of proof. Sadly there are many vets that will diagnose FIP erroneously.
 

AprilAnn

Savannah Super Cat
#4
I am just in denial of all of this. I can't stand to see this happen to him, especially since he is only 9 months old.

I am not sure on how to approach the breeder about this. I also have no idea if my breeder is even compassionate... Do breeders get to the point where it's just about the money, or do they still have a deep love for all their animals? I did send an email on Saturday and I am still waiting to hear back from them.

I don't want to sit here and ask for a refund or a new kitten. I feel that it's rude and demanding, but at the same time I'm losing my baby. Even if they were willing to compensate me with a new kitten I would have to wait 7 weeks because I was told the virus stays dormant and can affect new animals that you bring in the house. Would also have to rigorously clean everything, and 7 weeks would give me enough time to prepare.

But again my question remains... How do I approach my breeder?
 

Marissa

Savannah Super Cat
#5
I am just in denial of all of this. I can't stand to see this happen to him, especially since he is only 9 months old.

I am not sure on how to approach the breeder about this. I also have no idea if my breeder is even compassionate... Do breeders get to the point where it's just about the money, or do they still have a deep love for all their animals? I did send an email on Saturday and I am still waiting to hear back from them.

I don't want to sit here and ask for a refund or a new kitten. I feel that it's rude and demanding, but at the same time I'm losing my baby. Even if they were willing to compensate me with a new kitten I would have to wait 7 weeks because I was told the virus stays dormant and can affect new animals that you bring in the house. Would also have to rigorously clean everything, and 7 weeks would give me enough time to prepare.

But again my question remains... How do I approach my breeder?
I understand how heartbreaking this is and it's really tough knowing what direction to go in. I first would start out going over your contract. Hopefully you got a contract when you got him, see if there is anything in there that could help you out in this situation in regards to her health guarantee, my Bengal boys contracts were very in depth and had exactly what to do. Definitely keep ahold of vet records so your breeder can see them if she wants and have a necropsy report done. Make sure they send out tissue? Samples to be analyzed to 100% just so you have records.

Whether or not your breeder is willing to compensate you is hard to say from my perspective. There are all sorts of people out there, some willing to be there for you, cry along with your loss, and will do their best to work out the situation. then there are others who will feel as though its not their problem, it's the same way with everything else in life.

You do need to try and get in contact with them as soon as possible, you had mentioned that you sent them an email. Maybe if you had a phone number try to give them a call. The sooner you can reach them the better, this way your not sitting here wondering. Just explain to them what you have been through medically with him and tell them the vet is sure its FIP. If I'm not mistaken, I am supposed to contact my bengals boys breeder before they would ever have to get euthanized in almost any circumstance, so if you do have a contract make sure that you do go over it sooner rather than later. Hopefully you do have a breeder who is willing to work with you and is caring enough to do so.
 

AprilAnn

Savannah Super Cat
#6
What do you mean by send out tissue? So far the vets have done blood work and found high levels of globulin. They have done an abdominocentesis and looked at the fluid and its consistency and color are consistent with that of FIP. Also, all of his symptoms are pointing to FIP. What other tests can be done so I have closure and can confirm FIP?
 
#7
AprilAnn- you approach your breeder just like you broke the news to us- with your heart...

TOO many people approach their breeder aggressively when something goes wrong. I don't think that's fair to the breeder. If you've had a good relationship up until now, there is no reason to be aggressive in your initial contact about what's going on. A good breeder is going to be heartbroken with you... And from my POV- whether or not FIP is covered in your contract- a good breeder is going to try to help you as much as they can... This can mean a myriad of things- it just depends upon you and your breeder.

Did you not get the feeling your breeder cared about Tank when you bought him? Although I will admit- I think there are some breeders who are good at faking 'caring' until money passes hands, I think a lot of breeders will care for the lifetime of their kittens- at least in the SV community. We have a lot of good cookies.

(Please note- I have no clue who Tank comes from so this is just my own opinion).
 
#8
What do you mean by send out tissue? So far the vets have done blood work and found high levels of globulin. They have done an abdominocentesis and looked at the fluid and its consistency and color are consistent with that of FIP. Also, all of his symptoms are pointing to FIP. What other tests can be done so I have closure and can confirm FIP?
I believe the only way to truly confirm FIP is through tissue samples or a necropsy.
 

Marissa

Savannah Super Cat
#10
What do you mean by send out tissue? So far the vets have done blood work and found high levels of globulin. They have done an abdominocentesis and looked at the fluid and its consistency and color are consistent with that of FIP. Also, all of his symptoms are pointing to FIP. What other tests can be done so I have closure and can confirm FIP?
The only way to get a 100% answer is only when the necropsy is done and have tissue samples sent. There are tests that your vet has done that can strongly give a good indication of the disease but those tests aren't 100% and your breeder may want a 100% answer. Def talk to the breeder when your in contact with them and see how far they want you to go.