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Question Re: Illness and Money...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
If you sell a kitten who caught an airborne illness (i.e., cold--Bordetella), would you have a problem with the buyer asking for you to cover the expenses incurred by him/her, knowing that the illness came from your cattery (and then affected the buyer's current cat)?

I've paid nearly $200 for a vet visit for my resident cat due to him catching the cold/ Bordetella from the kitten just brought home less than a month ago. (The money went for the check-up, bloodwork, x-rays and medication--all due to the vet's attempt to make sure there were no other issues causing my cat's vomiting.)

Tomorrow, I pick up more antibiotics for my adult and a two-week's course for the kitten.

What, if anything, should I ask for monetarily from the breeder? Paying for a purebred is a BIG expense for me; I didn't expect to shell out more than amount for the kitten's check-up and rabies vaccination.

Thank you,

Jenk
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
Of all the people to ask about this situation, I thought that breeders would have some input. Anything.
post #3 of 18
Well, I think it really depends on the entire situation. When you buy a pure breed cat from a breeder, there is usually a contract with specific information.
How long was the kitten in your care before showing signs of illness? What does the contract state about vet care?
What I would do, and what another breeder would are SO different.
Let me know what the contract said, and a timeline for what happened, and I will give you any advice possible
post #4 of 18
Jenk,

I'm not a breeder, but when we bought our Russian Blue it was in our contract to get a vet check very soon after bringing her home. . . like within days. This was to protect both of us. The contract stated that her health was guaranteed. What that would mean in actual terms I don't know. (eg maybe the breeder would replace if kitten had severe problems or pay for vet care for minor ones?) Anyway fortunately our kitty was perfectly healthy and it never became an issue.

I'm thinking along the same lines as Sandie about the timeline and what was stated in the contract. . .How soon after did your kitten become ill after leaving the breeder? Did kitten go directly to your house and not visit any other place where kitten could have gotten bug? no airplane ride? or vet visit where there are lots of germs? How soon after kitten came down with illness did your adult boy become sick? (they didn't come down with it at the same time) Do you know for a fact that the cattery had cats with the same illness?
post #5 of 18
I am a breeder, and in my contract it states that under no circumstance am I responsible for vet bills.

It also states that the kitten MUST see a vet within 3 days, and if anything is found I must be contacted w/in 5 days and NO treatment is to be done until I am notified (unless it is an emergency sitaution).

Should you choose to keep the kitten after a vet had said that this animal will need vet care than it is your responsibility. If you wish to return it I will fully refund the purchase price if it is w/in 8 days of purchase.

Of course, congenital diseases are another thing, but this clause is for URI, mites, fungus, etc.

Does the breeder know about the treatment that had to be done? Is there a clause in her contract about what to do in a situation like this?
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK, here's the breakdown of events:

1. The breeder knew of the illness but said nothing until we arrived for the kitten (by which time I couldn't walk away without the kitten, or my husband would've skinned me alive for driving the 3+ hours).

2. The contract says the breeder is not responsible for medical bills after purchase; but I feel this situation is unique; she knew about the illness and withheld that info. until we arrived; I knew nothing about kitty colds and thought all would be okay; I never expected additional expenses due to an illness borne within *her* home.

3. We had the kitten inspected within the required 72-hours. The vet agreed that she is getting over a cold.

4. The breeder admitted in an e-mail that the kitten must have brought illness upon our older cat (from same breeder).

5. It never crossed my mind until last night to ask to be reimbursed for expenses incurred due to this illness.

6. I've spoken with a co-worker who is a breeder; she said I have every right to ask for reimbursement, regardless of the contract. After all, I paid *good* money for a *100% healthy* kitten. And while I don't begrudge the breeder for her cats spreading a cold like wildfire, I don't feel that it's MY responsibility to shell out another $200 on top of the money I've spent on the kitten.

And that is the entire story in a (large) nutshell.
post #7 of 18
I don't know anything about kitty colds or Bordadella, so the breeders can help out here. Is Bordadella the equivalent of a human cold?

Using the "common man" approach (meaning using the yardstick of an everyday common person) did the breeder use good judgement? or was she negligent by not 1) telling you ahead of time, and 2) not warning you to keep the cats separated for a certain amount of time?

Assuming Bordadella is like a regular human cold, I wouldn't necessarily tell a healthy young friend who was coming over that I had a cold, though I would warn my elderly parents to not come over because a cold may turn into a severe health problem for them.

But if Bordadella is more like influenza, I definitely wouldn't invite even healthy friends over to my house, much less elderly parents. THAT would be negligent.

If Bordadella is really more like a cold, and your adult boy had a unique complication that normally never occurs as a direct result of Bordadella, then I don't think the breeder should bear the responsibility of a fluke thing, y'know?

Again it would depend on if she used common sense or was negligent. . .
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
...But if Bordadella is more like influenza, I definitely wouldn't invite even healthy friends over to my house, much less elderly parents. THAT would be negligent.

If Bordadella is really more like a cold, and your adult boy had a unique complication that normally never occurs as a direct result of Bordadella, then I don't think the breeder should bear the responsibility of a fluke thing, y'know?

Again it would depend on if she used common sense or was negligent. . . [/b]
My understanding is that Bordetella is a form of URI (cold). It hit my adult hard enough to make him throw up five days straight (his cough was so severe, that it subsequently made him gag/ vomit).

I can't say that his symptoms are necessarily "unique," but I was allowed to drive nearly 3.5 hours to the breeder's home, where I was informed of the illness running through the cattery.

I realize that kittens catch/ pass colds quite easily, but I had a right to know beforehand, so that I could've made an informed decision (i.e., wait a few more weeks before picking the kitten up, etc.). I mean, I drove a whole day and spending time and money (gas and food) and everything. I really am upset about the situation.

And, no, the breeder did not tell me to keep the kitten separated from our cat, although that was my intent prior to getting the kitten. Still, at the kitten's check-up 48-hours later, the vet said that the virus is airborne from the moment the kitten is brought home. Again, something I wasn't informed of BEFORE picking up the kitten.

I have a friend who rescued a Persian from a shelter. He had a cold when she went to get him; so she informed the workers; they automatically took him off "adoptable" status and isolated him for 10 days of treatment. If a shelter is willing to do that, why wasn't I at least forewarned of the cold running rampant through the cattery?
post #9 of 18
I had a similar experience when I adopted Tibby, when I took her to the vet they found that she had worms. So I called the lady I got her from just to let her know because it was a non cage shelter so I'm assuming that things are easily transfered between the cats. When I told her she said she was so sorry and offered to pay for the treatment. I told her that it wasn't necessary since it wasn't that expensive to treat and because her shelter recives no gov't funding she just works on donations and her own income I wanted her to spend the money on the other kitties in the shelter. About 6 months after I adopted Tibby I learned that she had a problem with her eyes, they vibrate constantly making her unable to focus, she can see but she is what would be considered "legally blind" in a human. Again upon hearing this the lady and the shelter apologized and told me that if I wanted to return Tibby she understood and would give me a healthy cat. Of course i couldn't help but laugh and I told her it didn't bother me if Tibby couldn't see she would always be my baby. But I think that if your kitten was already sick at the cattery then they should help you pay for the medical expenses.
post #10 of 18
You do have the option to ask her to pay for medical bills. However, it's not likely she will agree. If she is irresponsible enough to send a sick kitten to a new home, she's probably just in it for money.
If you decided to take her to court, you would have to make sure that in the contract it also states that you were getting a healthy kitten. You have proof from the vet and an e mail stating that the kitten was in poor health when you brought it home.
If there's nothing in the contract about a healthy kitten, then the contract states that she is not responsible for any medical bills after the kitten is sold.
Hopefully she will agree to give you the money for medical bills, and the whole thing will be resolved.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Maui
I don't know anything about kitty colds or Bordadella, so the breeders can help out here. Is Bordadella the equivalent of a human cold?
Not in my opinon. Here is a link with some details -

http://www.felinebb.info/index.asp?lan=EN

this same organism, if I have understood it correctly all these years, causes Kennel Cough in dogs. It is contagious, it can be serious...note the comment about bronchopneumonia & kittens on the page in the link above.

I would read that contract very carefully...if in any place, it states the kitten is guaranteed healthy, then it is void (but I'm not a lawyer) because she admitted at the time of picking up the kitten, that it was not healthy. I'm sorry but I'd never have accepted the kitten, especially not with a contract that offers you no protection what so ever.

If I were this breeder, I'd never have sent the kitten...if I did it not realizing the kitten was contagious, not realizing there was a health problem in my cattery, I'd pay the kitten's vet bills and be apologizing heartily, AND be closing my cattery until I had my cats healthy again!

just my opinion, I hope your new kitten, and your other cat will be okay, (there is even a bordetella vaccine out for cats now, came out several years ago)
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
...I'm sorry but I'd never have accepted the kitten, especially not with a contract that offers you no protection what so ever.

If I were this breeder, I'd never have sent the kitten...if I did it not realizing the kitten was contagious, not realizing there was a health problem in my cattery, I'd pay the kitten's vet bills and be apologizing heartily, AND be closing my cattery until I had my cats healthy again!

just my opinion, I hope your new kitten, and your other cat will be okay, (there is even a bordetella vaccine out for cats now, came out several years ago) [/b]
A few more things to clarify...

The trip was 8 hours; my husband didn't want to go in the first place and grumbled both legs of the trip. If I'd said, "Hey, let's go home *without* the kitten," he'd have flayed me alive. Secondly, the kitten did not cough/ sneeze while we were there. (At that time, she thought her cats had a regular cold, not Bordetella specifically.) And I, being a novice about feline illnesses, had no concept that a cold could be more (i.e., bacterial-based Bordetella).

As for acting irresponsibly, I believe she withheld info. mainly out of fear. She admitted that she was so upset about the ordeal, that she considered closing her cattery for good.

You're not the first person who's told me that you'd have offered to pay the vet bills. I work with a woman who breeds cats; she said, if she were the breeder in this case, she'd have offered the minute I told her that my adult was sick. Well, at least I asked; and I've learned a lot more about kitty colds.

Thanks,

Jenk
post #13 of 18
Reguardless of her telling you before you got there or not...if you bought the kitten knowing it was sick then I feel it is your responsiblity. I hate that she did that to you and I can sympothize because my hubby would be just like yours. I am going through some of the same ordeal BUT I knew these cats were unhealthy when I bought them but I couldnt just leave them there becaue I KNEW she wasnt going to do anything to help them!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by fancycaddy
Reguardless of her telling you before you got there or not...if you bought the kitten knowing it was sick then I feel it is your responsiblity. I hate that she did that to you and I can sympothize because my hubby would be just like yours. I am going through some of the same ordeal BUT I knew these cats were unhealthy when I bought them but I couldnt just leave them there becaue I KNEW she wasnt going to do anything to help them!
I agree, and I don't. Like that makes sense... Regardless of a contract, you shouldn't allow a buyer to make an 8-hr. round-trip drive without informing her of the circumstances (allowing her to decide whether to wait or pass up the purchase). And it's true when I say that my husband would've strangled me. As it is, the illness that struck our adult cat (causing the vet bill) has caused more than enough friction in our marriage.

If I'd left without a cat that day, the row it would've created in our marriage would've been worse; and we'd *not* have made the drive a third time for a kitten; my hubby would've said, "No way!" Heck, I'd have said the same thing, at that point.
post #15 of 18
Being a breeder I feel a great deal of responsability towards the people that buys kittens from me. If the kitten is infected with a virus or a bacteria and it's proven to come from my cattery I will pay the vet-bills. No question about it. Most breeders I know would do the same. And most breeders here in Sweden are insured for that so it's not really a problem.

If I were you I would have a lawyer check the contract.
post #16 of 18
Thats true you shouldn't allow someone to make a trip like that thinking that they are getting a healthy kitten...she should have NEVER let that kitten leave....I am so sorry to hear about your situation and I hope in time it turns out to be well worth it...hopefully you atleast got a wonderful kitty
post #17 of 18
Well, I guess I wouldn't care if my husband got mad at me for not getting the kitten. The moment I found out it had a cold, I would have left the cattery without the kitten. Or if I would have chosen to get the kitten anyway, I would have kept it seperate from my other cat. But personally, I wouldn't want to purchase a sick kitten, and I'd never ever consider purchasing from this particular breeder again. In fact, I would let as many people as possible know what type of breeder she is, and that she was willing to sell you a sick kitten, without any previous knowledge.

What if this kitten ended up dying from it's illness, after you spent all that money for it? You would have ended up, being out of the money, as well as vet bills ect ect.

If it was like a human cold, I would have treated it, the same way I treat myself being exposed to a cold. I would NOT go to my friends house, if anyone in that household had a cold. If I didn't find out until I got to my friends house, I would leave immediately, and that go wash my hands at a gas station. I don't want to expose myself to getting sick, and I don't want to expose any of my cats to getting sick, either.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
I would let as many people as possible know what type of breeder she is, and that she was willing to sell you a sick kitten, without any previous knowledge.
Actually the buyer was notified of the cold at the time of purchase. Granted, she should have been told before hand, but telling everyone that the breeder sold the buyer a sick kitten, without telling her of a possibility of illness, is slanderous. She was warned of the possibility. That doesnt mean the breeder should have sold the kitten but she did, she warned the buyer, and the breeder had a written agreement with the buyer, that states the breeder is in no way responsible for any medical bills. This is why it is important to carefully read what you sign, the breeder is not responsible to pay for the vet bills, and if you do get anything from her you are very lucky.
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