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F.I.P. Interesting discussion or Not???

As alot of you would be aware we have only been breeding for going on 12 months and in that time have bred a litter of kittens of which 4 out of the 5 have been P.T.S. with F.I.P.We have desexed both the parents to this litter and changed a few things that impact on our kittens environmentally to reduce the chances of F.I.P. in the future.We are now selling the last of the kittens fathered by our ex stud and also a litter by our young boy. I was so unsure what to do, they are all robust healthy kittens without so much as a sticky eye but still the thought of selling them makes me feel sick.I am just wondering how much other breeders inform potential purchases about F.I.P. I have been responding to emails by letting people know that our kittens CARRY THE CORONA VIRUS and that they should do some research or speak to their vet, I also provide some informative websties, and stress the potential risks. To date I have had a really positive response from everyone and this approach has not affected the outcome of enquires, if anything I think that I can sell my kittens and not be scared of getting THAT phone call.

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  • There is a lot of debate about wether catteries should stive for corona feedom or not. If you try to acheive freedom from corona virus the potential problem is that they could go down hard on their first exposure to it which is likely in their first home. The other side to things is that the majority of kittens get exposed to it at the cattery of origin but that genetics and sheer good luck protect them.
    Im in the out breeding for genetic protection and I only have pregnant or feeding adults in the house to limit any exposure to infection of any germs to the kittens. I also limit any contact between litters until after their first vaccinations.
  • Hi Janelle

    I think being upfront with the new owners of your ex-stud's kittens is the only thing you can do. Most people are reasonable once it is explained to them and it certainly beats getting the phone call and then having to explain yourself.

    The last paragraph in my kitten agreement talks about the potential for FIP, and yes I also talk to potential owners about it when they come to visit the kittens if they decide the want to purchase one. I also send them the Pedersen interview with my Kitten Agreement and ask them to get back to me if they have any questions.

    The Pedersen interview is so well written and easy to understand and it highlights the reality of FIP in purebred cats. I like yourself have had positive responses and have sold kittens to people who have lost kittens to FIP previously. Those that have already been affected seem especially appreciative of the fact that as a breeder you are knowledgeable about it and have taken steps to try to reduce it happening. No one can guarantee their kittens against FIP if they sell FCoV + kittens, that is a fact we can't get away from.

    It is great this litter are looking strong and healthy and I sincerely hope they escape the fate of the previous litter.

    Gill
  • There are so many diseases that can be relevant to inform about. I don't take on a general approach to inform about FIP in particular. I inform about what I belive is most relevant for each and every litter (and individual kitten). If any kitten have had an URI I tell the potential buyer and inform about potential complications in the future. If a kitten has a heart murmur I inform about that and so on.

    I do make it clear that I am very concerned about my kittens health even after they have moved and that I want the owners to contact me if the kitten gets ill. I make it clear that they can contact me about anything. If they wonder about deworming, vaccinations, food, tips when travelling etc. I simply try to make it clear that I'm available for any type of questions. So far I've had good contact with my buyers and I believe they do feel they can turn to me whenever they feel the need to.

    That's my approach.
  • I had a phone call from a lady named Katey this morning, may have been me she spoke to, I did breifly explain about the FIP but didn't go into any great detail. I asked if she would like me to forward her some information e.g. the Pedersen interview and I will.

    If people are not given the opportunity to make an informed decision when purchasing a kitten, then how can they be make fully informed decisions as a responsible owner. Or not realise that their kitten may have FIP and spend $1000 on vets bills only to have their kitten die.

    Here is what I email/tell people if they enquire about purchasing a kitten.

    I don't know if anybody has spoken to you about the risks involved in buying a kitten from a multicat household, cattery. (Registered or not)


    Our kittens will carry a harmless virus called the "Corona Virus" this virus in rare cases (5%) may mutate into "Feline Infectious Peritonitis" which is fatal.


    One of the triggers can be if the kittens immune systems are compromised if they become stressed. e.g. Because of worming, vaccinations, leaving their family, travel, desexing, etc, etc. There is no way of telling which kittens might develop FIP, but given that you need to assume that a large majority (over 80%-90%) of kittens/cats that come from multicat households will carry the virus, then there is always a risk. This is a link to a website with good basic information about FIP www.dr-addie.com/


    Please take the time to research a little about FIP or speak to your Vet so as you have a knowledge about the potential of purchasing a kitten and then it developing FIP. Although it is thought that there is a 50% genetic component to which kittens the virus mutates in, there is also a huge environmental impact. This is the reason that we choose not to desex our kittens at a young age. This is also the reason that it is always best to try and purchase a kitten locally as an interstate flight would be scary for a little kitten that has just left its mother and litter mates.



    The more people that ring or email us about kittens and are informed about the potential risk involved in purchasing a kitten the better.

    Personally I don't care how many breeders I upset, FIP has been a taboo subject for too long and people need to stand up and be accountable to their clients.

    I had a lady who I spoke to indepth about FIP (she is a nurse, so no dummy) and she is now ringing around looking for another kitten and has stated that I never mentioned FIP to her (which is untrue) she also said that I told her it was illegal in QLD to early desex kittens......this is an email that I sent to her

    Hi *******

    Because of the stress the kitten goes through being desexed at such an early age, we choose not the desex our kittens early.

    Once again this is because of the impact stress has on a kittens immune system and the mutation of the corona virus to FIP.

    Janelle





    By the same token a breeder from the Mid coast of Qld told her that every kitten our Stud had produced has died from FIP, Untrue. If people want to scare potential owners then telling them that sort of rubbish is sure to worry them.

    As everyone would be aware I was more than happy to share my story about FIP, equally happy to desex cats that cost us a considerable sum of money.

    What a shame not everyone is as forthcoming with the truth, I notice that whenever FIP is mentioned that the silence that follows is almost deafening.

    I am thinking that a good number of Devon breeders have way way too much time on their hands, I am only worried about breeding healthy happy kittens and couldn't care less what people think of me.

    I just hope that everyone is ready to answer any questions about FIP that potential clients have, because once they come in contact with me they will know some of the facts about the Corona Virus and will know that breeders are talking nonsense if they guarantee that the kittens they purchase from them won't die from FIP.

    Enough said :)
  • Well said Janelle!!! It is so important that people understand this discussion in context. After what has happened to you in the last 6 months it is totally appropriate and the only ethical thing you can do to explain the risk of FIP. Your post is very clear and anyone who reads it will then know exactly where you stand on this issue and there can be no further misunderstandings. It is amazing how things get twisted in translation and therefore it is always wise to get it straight from the horses mouth. I don't think many people could really understand what it is like for you at this point in time and I think you have done an admirable job of managing it the way you have.

    There is a great deal of misinformation out there and some breeders are actually very poorly informed when it comes to FIP. I don't wish it on anybody but you can't breed cats and not know the basic facts about this disease and what to do to reduce the risk of it happening, and you have a responsibility to inform potential pet owners. If it got to the point of being sued I suspect many would not keep breeding.

    The latest interview with Pedersen on Steve Dale's radio program a few weeks ago highlighted how common FIP has become, and I quote " one in twenty pedigree or rescue kittens will die from FIP". This is the US figure and it is all relative but that is a mighty scary thought. It is the biggest killer of pedigree kittens once they have gone to their new homes, it is just irresponsible not to inform new owners of the potential.

    I know what you are saying Jodie about scaring people and that is something to be aware of and I think it depends on your situation as to how much emphasis you give it. I don't tell people about FIP in my first communication with them as at that point it is not known if they are going to purchase a kitten. It is however in my kitten contract and I do discuss it with them when they visit to see the kittens. This time around I will be mentioning that it is a new untried mating pair and with every new mating there is an unknown genetic combination that may have the potential for FIP. That is fact and until they find a test that allows us to identify genetic susceptibility none of us knows what the outcome will be.

    Telling kitten buyers about FIP does happen in my early communication with them if they own other young cats or kittens as I won't sell to households with other kittens or where kittens are being sourced from different places and in that case I do explain it as people deserve a reason why I won't sell to them. I strongly believe in pet owner education in relation to FIP and they do need to be informed about the risk of FIP if they intend mixing kittens from different catteries. I make a point of never mentioning problems with other catteries and don't except in exceptional circumstances recommend other breeders. I always advise people to go and see for themselves what conditions the kittens are raised in, ask relevant questions and make up their own mind.

    Progress with discussion about FIP is starting to happen thanks to new breeders like Janelle who have been there and are willing to share their experience with others. I started the FIP list to try to get more open dialogue happening and it is heartening to see some of the newer breeders are willing to put their thoughts out there. Janelle in particular has had the most dreadful time and has shown great courage with her openess about what has happened. She certainly has my respect and support.

    Gill
  • I'd say that's it's a good idea to separate a queen with newborn kittens from the other cats, for many reasons. There are more diseases than FIP to worry about and the queen can get stressed out with other cats hanging around when she's just had babies. However, in a small cattery such as yours I don't necessarily think a pregnant queen should be isolated from the others. I currently only have two cats in my cattery and would I separate the two they would be very stressed out.

    You need to look at each and every individual cattery. What's suitable in one cattery might not be in another. What's good for one cat doesn't have to be good for another.

    If you have a small, peaceful group of cats it might be more stressful to brake it up than to keep them together and stress is what you wanna avoid.

    Jodie Bryant said:
    One question, is it a good idea to seperate a pregnant queen from the rest of the house in the lead up to birth? (like a couple of weeks)Does this help reduce corona virus levels before the kittens are born? I only have a very small number of cats, 2 queens, 2 desexed and 1 stud (who is outside the majority of the time and when in, he has his own tray that is cleaned after).
  • Hi Jodie

    You have very constructive things to say and it is also evident that you are smart enough to do your homework and I don't think your post was rude. So much with the issue depends on your experience with it and so much of the time it is not a happy one. That is probably it brings out such strong feelings I suspect.

    I think Matilda made a good point in relation to the individual cat and the cat dynamics in your household. If you have no URI's don't have too many cats living together then you just have to make a decision based on that. I think I have pretty much the same number of cats as you do. With my girls I separate them a few days before the birth and there they stay for a number of weeks while they are feeding the babies. If they were stressed I would remove them earlier but they don't seem to worry about the others. My girls are separated at night regardless as they sleep in our bedroom in the front of the house and the other cats are at the back.

    If they were stressed I would remove them earlier but that has worked for us to date. They do need to come out of the kitten room for a break occasionally and mine will go outside (enclosed pergola and enclosure) and enjoy some fresh air and then go back in again. I have been lucky in that my girls never seem to want to stay away from their babies for too long. I do try to stop the mums using the other adults litter trays when they come out of the room, so I have a tray for them away from the others as my girls just refuse to use the tray in the kitten room especially in the early stages. As it works out they are pretty much separated from the time of the birth until the kittens are well weaned.

    As far as the kittens go they are always separated from the other adults and on that there is no compromise.
    I think Ripley is due around the same time as your girl. She is due on the 28th December so hopefully they won't be early or need any intervention. This is Ripley's fourth litter and she has been fine to date.
    Gill

    Jodie Bryant said:
    I completely agree Gill and Janelle. I just re read my post and thought I sounded a little rude which I didnt mean to and I apologise if I did.

    Janelle, what you tell you kitten buyers is very easy to understand so I dont think it would have been you, or maybe this person just really didnt understand. I told her that it is great that the breeder has taken time out to talk about it, i havent had a response back but will update if I do.

    I also dont agree with other breeders passing on such comments to kitten enquiries, about other breeders and I'm sorry Janelle that you have had to endure this. I have never seen the need to slam other breeders and I know when I was first making enquiries into becoming a breeder myself, was shocked at the number of people running down everyone else, half of which they didnt even know. Its great that we are talking so openly about FIP, I have learnt so much from here and various other boards, lots of information from links from Gill. Hopefully I have put some good practices from this information.

    One question, is it a good idea to seperate a pregnant queen from the rest of the house in the lead up to birth? (like a couple of weeks)Does this help reduce corona virus levels before the kittens are born? I only have a very small number of cats, 2 queens, 2 desexed and 1 stud (who is outside the majority of the time and when in, he has his own tray that is cleaned after).
  • I wish I felt that confident Jodie, I always worry about the birthing part. This will also be her first litter after her injury in July, she is pretty much completely normal but does have slight stiffness in the back leg. It doesn't restrict her at all in her activities, she can still leap on top of the kitchen cupboard and run and play as normal so I hope it won't have any impact.

    The specialist vet that treated her told me there was no problem with breeding with her as it had no affect on her reproduction function. I get that part obviously but I wonder if she put on lots of weight with a big litter whether it would be an issue. She is already getting very big and is only three weeks so I am very conscious of watching her weight gain.

    By the way if anybody is interested the interviews on FIP with Pedersen and Addie from Steve Dale's show in the US are up for anybody who would like to listen. I have also summarised some key issues on the AustFIPSupport list.

    Interesting and both hold opposing views on a number of things.

    Gill

    Jodie Bryant said:
    Thanks Gill. I have the kitten room under construction! I wasnt sure how soon before birth I maybe should be seperating Diva from the others or reducing her access to all the trays. She will have the kittens room exclusively with the kittens although she will be allowed out to have a break. I dont think she'll be much of a stressed cat, shes very calm and placid and takes to new situations well.

    She is due just before christmas, but may go over and have christmas bubbies. We'll see! Hopefully we wont need any intervention either. Diva seems quite relaxed about it all, maybe seeking a little more attention from just me and eating like a horse! She was a slim girl but has gained a little. Very excited but also filled with trepidation!

    Hope Ripleys pregnancy is going nice and smoothly, she must be an old hat at this game now!
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