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Should I ask for money back from breeder?

(14 Posts)
Canshopwillshop Wed 04-Feb-15 08:14:34

4 months ago we bought a Bengal kitten from a local reputable breeder. A month or so after getting her she started sneezing and coughing and then developed a bad eye infection. After several trips to the vet, tests revealed that she was suffering from both calicivirus and chlamydia. The chlamydia was treated with 3 weeks of antibiotics but the calicivirus is not treatable and willaffect her for the rest of her life. In particular, we've been told that the virus will affect her teeth and she will probably have lost all of them by the time she is 8.
Obviously we are quite upset about this diagnosis especially as she had been vaccinated against both these viruses. The vet says she would have contracted the viruses from her mother/litter mates pre-vaccination.
I have emailed the breeder to make her aware of these problems as it is clear that the breeding stock must be infected. I am now wondering if I should ask her to refund the £300.00 paid for our kitten to cover the vets fees? We decided not to insure her as she was supposedly fully vaccinated and is an indoor cat.
I am not being heartless just thinking of the money by the way - our kitten has become a much-loved family pet. We adore her and will ensure that her life is as comfortable as possible despite having this horrible virus hanging over her head. I just think the breeder should take some responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in.

strawberrypenguin Wed 04-Feb-15 08:27:57

I'm sorry your kitten is poorly but I don't think you can ask for a full refund and expect to keep her. You could see if the breeder is willing to give you a partial refund but I don't think you'll get anywhere to be honest. Hopefully the breeder is as reputable as you were led to believe and will stop breeding the cats carrying the virus.
You really should have insured her of course but that's all very well in hindsight! See if can insure her now some will probably do it but a pre existing illness might not

strawberrypenguin Wed 04-Feb-15 08:28:54

Be covered and/or will push the cost up a lot. Hope your kitty is OK.

Canshopwillshop Wed 04-Feb-15 09:26:48

Thanks Strawberry. I take your point about insurance but we were not being reckless when deciding not to insure. Obviously with any type of insurance, you have to weigh up the risks and benefits and as our kitten (and our older cat) are both indoor cats and are fully vaccinated, we decided that they were very low risk (and we are fortunate enough to have the money to cover their vet fees). You do not expect to buy a fully vaccinated cat and then find out they have the illnesses they are vaccinated against.
We also have a dog who is insured.
I might contact a few companies to see about insurance for a pre-existing condition but I suspect it won't be worth it.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 04-Feb-15 13:47:36

Things to consider before you make a claim
Vaccination only covers some strains of calicivirus as it constantly mutates.
Incubation of calicivirus is 2-6 days so if you had had the kitten a month there is no proof it is the breeder.
Did the breeder give you 4 weeks free insurance when you purchased the kitten? If so they may feel that have covered the obligation.
Finally £300 seems dirt cheap for a Bengal kitten and that fact alone would make me suspicious that maybe they are not the most scrupulous of breeders.

elspethmcgillicuddy Wed 04-Feb-15 13:49:39

Did you sign a contract with the breeder? Most breeders now do one. Check it, it may make this clearer.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 04-Feb-15 13:58:40

Final thought vaccination against chlamydia is not designed to prevent infection, but to reduce severity of symptoms of the disease as it is not a virus, but a bacterial disease.

RubbishMantra Wed 04-Feb-15 14:04:38

I agree with Lone, £300 seems awfully cheap for a pedigree cat. That in itself would make me suspicious.

Is your kitten GCCF registered?

Quitelikely Wed 04-Feb-15 14:08:09

It's one thing asking for it back and another thing entirely actually getting it back.

I agree with others who said that the price you paid for a pedigree was rather cheap and therefor suspicious in my mind.

Canshopwillshop Wed 04-Feb-15 16:01:12

Thanks all. I have notified the breeder but have decided not to press for any refund. Her response has been measured and reasonable and has restored my faith in her and allayed any concerns about her business.

Lonecat - the breeder said the same as you that not all strains of calicivirus can be vaccinated against. I did some further research and found this out myself and it's for this reason that I am not taking it any further.

I did do my research before buying the kitten and actually £300 is a reasonable amount to pay round here for a Bengal. Our older cat is also a Bengal (from a different breeder)and he was only slightly more expensive. I think they are more common than they used to be and the price reflects that.

buttercupbear Wed 04-Feb-15 16:03:31

£300 for a Bengal would also make me suspicious!

Canshopwillshop Wed 04-Feb-15 16:05:54

Rubbishmantra - yes, she is registered.

Qwebec Thu 05-Feb-15 16:18:23

IME breeder do not offer refunds when you keep the animal,
Each time I heard of a pet having a problemthe breeder offered to take the pet back and then either refund or exchange for an other kitten or pup. Of course, by the time you discover there is a problem you are too attached to your furry baby to accept the offer.

I wonder what happens to the animal in the case that people return it...

Davros Sat 07-Feb-15 16:56:14

We paid £300 for our Bengal kitten. She is now 7 years old. I describe her as "a breed but not a pedigree", does that make sense? She is definitely a Bengal but she doesn't have a special certificate and, between us, she hasn't got the finest markings!

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