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Did I pick a poor breeder?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm a long time reader of the site but have never posted.

So this is a quick overview of my dilemma. My SO and I have been looking to get an Exotic Shorthair as we feel the breeds general disposition will work well with our adopted tortie (she is very laid back for a tortie). So we chose a breeder and a kitten halfway through December.

So originally us getting the kitten was delayed due to him getting a URI (not uncommon so no flags went up in my head). But for the last 3 weeks we haven't gotten him because he has had constant diarrhea. We're told that the vet has done tests and there isn't anything physically wrong with the kitten so it is most likely the cats diet. The breeder now tells us that she has switched the cat over to Iams Hair Ball dry food (which doesn't really make sense to me) and that she will let us know if it clears up.

Am I being overly paranoid? I feed my cat Merrick's wet food and Eagle Pack dry and from what the breeder has told us her cats eat lower quality foods then I am comfortable with. Would it be a bad idea to take the cat now and work on his poopy problems ourselves (not that I think the breeder would allow this anyways) or should we just be patient and see how things go.

Overall we just would like our kitten as soon as possible, and I know some of this paranoia is due to my lack of patience somewhat. We have already named him and have become quite attached so I'm not looking to "dump" him just to get an Exotic ASAP but having never dealt with a breeder before I was just wondering if something like this is typical.

Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 8
It's never easy to judge from a description alone, but I would be much more alarmed if she was happy to let a kitten go while it had digestive issues - the fact that she is holding onto it and working on the problem, and sounds to have good communication with you, is more of a positive than a negative. A bad breeder wouldn't care whether you got a kitten that wasn't 100%, and wouldn't bother going to the vet or switching foods to see if that resolved the issue.

I would hold on and see if the food change solves the problem - kittens often have sensitive stomachs, and also if he's been on antibiotics for the URI that can cause upset tummies. Iams isn't a dreadful food, it wouldn't be my first choice but it's not the bottom of the barrel either - and if the kitten does better on that food, then it is better for him than a more expensive brand, no?

As long as the breeder stays open and honest with you then don't panic, raising kittens does not always go 100% smoothly or according to plan. If the kitten continues to have problems, if you lose trust in the breeder or if something seems 'not quite right' to you, then do reconsider - it's difficult not to be sentimental, but try not to let your heart rule your head - you need a balance of both to make the right decision And above all you want to be bringing a healthy kitten home with you.

ETA: I would see if you can find out what type of URI they had - there are some strains of cat flu that can lurk in the system and cause ongoing health problems, so do be sure to ask the breeder about that. Also make sure that there is a health guarantee in the kitten contract, and be sure to honour any conditions from your side, such as arranging your own vet check within the first few days.
post #3 of 8
Up to you - how close does the breeder live to you? I think I'd do a little more searching for the right cat/kitten and breeder. IMO when you purchase a cat, you expect him/her to be healthy with no underlaying problems.

Yes kittens can get sick, but this sounds like a possible ongoing problem. Go with your gut feeling - I'm sure you will find a better choice. I'd pass on this one.

And since you are not interested in showing and only want a pet, there are other choices.
post #4 of 8
Hello to you!

I know how exciting it is to finally get a kitten that you've been waiting for, and now how frustrating it is that you don't have him yet. I think it's very wise of this breeder to let you know that there have been problems (URI) and that he's being treated before he goes to a new home. The antibiotics for the URI could have caused the diarrhea, and it really is best to try to treat that before letting him go. The Iams Hairball formula has a higher fiber content and will help a lot of cats get through the diarrhea since it has extra fiber.

I have had kittens develop a URI the week before they were going to go to their new homes and then develop diarrhea and will not let them go until everything is clear. There is so much stress when a kitten goes from the only home they have known to a completely new environment. I do have a health guarantee stating that the kitten is healthy and insist (included in my contract) that the kitten see your vet within 3 business days so that you know, and your vet knows, that the kitten is healthy.

Please be patient with the breeder that you have chosen. It does sound like they are trying to do the right thing for the kitten and you as the new owner.
post #5 of 8
I would ask the breeder if they'd mind you getting the kitten checked by your own vet before you take it.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's input. It seems like reactions are a bit mixed, but mostly it confirms that it's probably something worth waiting out. I didn't know that IAMS Hair Ball is higher in fiber, so that's good to know!

Thanks again!
post #7 of 8
Don't worry about the Iam's hairball. My bengal breeder also recommended it for the loose stools. And she feeds it to all her bengals including her show ones. So that wouldn't send up a red flag at all
post #8 of 8
i am under the same situation with my persian, i purchased him and he has ringworm, UTi, parasites... the breeder has paid me 90$, which i have so far forked out 2000$ in vet bills, let alone the money for the cat. not sure what to do either. dont want to take little one back. the breeder basically refuses to acknowledge that terry came to me this way.
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