by Jessica Maine
(Kealakekua, Hawaii U.SA)
Recently I bought two Persian kittens….Immediately I noticed the chronic tearing and asked the breeder about it.
She let me go to vet after vet, spending lots of money and time to try and “fix” it to no avail. After four months of “nursing” I found out this herpes condition is non-curable, contagious and could lead to more chronic problems like respiratory issues , eye diseases and even blindness.
The breeder still acts like I did something wrong and her kittens are “healthy”. I sent them back to her but she will not give me back my money or stop breeding cats with what I am now finding out is an increasing problem; feline herpes virus in most catteries across our nation…what can I do to help the unborn kittens?
Please help me with a solution. Thanks.
Jessica Maine in Kona, Hawaii
Hi Jessica.. thank you for visiting and sharing, It is disturbing. I was not aware that the feline herpes virus was so widespread in catteries in the USA. It is a nasty and highly contagious disease that can be fatal or it can be relatively mild.
The fact that it is highly contagious may account for it being so widespread. How have you found out that it is so widespread in the USA?
It can also cause damage to the tear ducts which is particularly bad for a modern type Persian as they already have tear duct problems due to over breeding (“ultra typing”) resulting in tear duct overflow without the herpes virus problems – see Persian Cat Health Problems.
As breeders quite understandably wish to keep quiet about any inherent or underlying health problems the problem tend to not go away. Another typical example is the prevalence of HCM (a heart disease) in Bengal cats. We don’t know how widespread it is because breeders keep quite about it.
In the long term it would be better for breeders to speak up and air this sort of problem as it will get fixed properly. Keeping serious issues under wraps just makes things worse in the long term. Breeders are not well organised, though, in my opinion. Cat associations should do more as far as I am concerned to organise their member breeders and manage methods for dealing with this sort of cat health problem.
As far as I am concerned the only thing that you and I can do is to publicise it as you have done here on PoC. This is not an attack on breeders – far from it. It is a way of supporting the domestic cat, preventing unnecessary suffering and actually improving breeding standards. This is good for breeders.
However, we need to be accurate. I would therefore ask you to please substantiate your statement that feline herpes virus is widespread amongst catteries as you state.
You might like to make a comment about this breeder (polite please) on this page: Praising and criticising cat breeders.
Update..the following days:
Breeders: test your cats for herpes virus PLEASE!
Website and other input suggests that there is widespread problems in catteries across our great Nation of the incurable and contagious herpes virus. I am begging the breeders to test their cats and only breed the ones who do not have it.
My vet charges over $200 to test each cat but isn’t it worth it to know you are a responsible breeder? I think it is criminal to continue on with breeding the cats who have it. One day, and it doesn’t look too far off, we won’t have any cats without it. Does anyone reading this know of a cattery who does not have it? This is scary stuff!
Jessica in Hawaii