FIP In Breeding Cattery Cats

by Kelly

I recently purchased a beautiful Bengal kitten from Bearbrook, December 8 2010. The kitten I had picked was the most lovable kitten in the litter.

At 8 weeks my kitten became sick with bad diarrhea and would not eat while still with breeder.

He recovered and diarrhea went away, however when it came time to pick my kitten up at 12 weeks, he was skin and bones and only 1.5 lbs. He was vet checked and tested for parasites FIV, FELV and they were all clear.

So my decision was to take this small kitten who was now eating again and no longer with diarrhoea or another kitten which we couldn’t hold at all.

The breeder told us that she would feel bad if he came down with FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) when we took him to get neutered. She said all kittens can manifest FIP in times of stress and kittens with weaken immune systems like mine are the ones that get it.

She did say, well if he does die, of course I’ll replace him but I won’t pay for the vet bills. So I took the tiny skinny kitten. Well from day one, the kitten was extremely loveable and ate and gained weight. Gained 2 lbs in 5 days, however diarrhea from day one. Pure water and explosive and the worse smell ever (cleared the room), took him to the vet, and no parasites.

Kitten continued to grow and flourish and finally diarrhea gone Dec 31. Then about same time I noticed he was looking skinny and unkempt, greasy hair again.

On Jan 3rd, I noticed he was sleeping a lot and his gums were white. Three days later his temperature was 104, two days later his belly was fat and he couldn’t breath, one day later he was put to sleep. He had full blown FIP. He was dead almost 4 weeks from the day I first got him.

I emailed the breeder and she said sorry for your loss but I have a 2yr old spayed female that you can have. She is well past the FIP stage. I was blown away, when she said she would give me another if this one died, I assumed she meant a kitten. Was she implying that if I took a new kitten into my home, it would also get FIP since this kitten was here? I did extensive research and this kitten was exposed to the feline corona virus at breeders house. In some kittens this virus mutates to FIP virus and kills. My kitten was classic textbook-came from multi-cat environment, developed diarrhea at 5-8 weeks, failure to thrive and kittens of grossly different sizes in same litter).

There were 8 kittens in 2 litters together, all those kittens where exposed and are at risk of dying of FIP. To tell you the truth, if she would have offered another kitten, I wouldn’t have taken it. I can’t take the heart break of another kitten with FIP. She has the virus at her cattery. And with over 20 cats, will never eradicate it from her environment.

Beware anyone that gets kitten from there. Believe me, you don’t want to watch your kitten suffocate and die an agonizing death. I felt it was my fault for taking the kitten, but the breeder is the cat expert and she knew this kitten had FIP, I didn’t.

I would like my money back ($950) but I know I’ll never see it. I’m also considering reporting her to cat associations but then there is my guilt about taking kitten in first place. Was this all my fault? Just don’t repeat my mistake and stay way from Bearbrook Bengals


Hi Kelly.. thanks for sharing. You article is sure to upset the breeder concerned, however. Have you asked for your money back (you say you will never get it back – how do you know?). What does the contract say? There will be contractual terms implied into the contract under USA statutory legislation that probably allows you to claim the return of the purchase price.

I feel this article should be published because it appears to me to be a fair comment politely made. There is no intention on my behalf to hurt the breeder but I feel that it is very important to discuss these issues. Breeding cats can only be justified in the modern world if it is carried out in a highly responsible manner as there are far too many cats that need a home and which are killed at so called “shelters” or rescue centers.

I changed the title to make this page more searchable by Google by the way.

Please note:

1. Comments in response should be polite and well argued. No “F” words please – just sensible discussion. Rude language and mud slinging will cause the comment to be deleted. Repeated use of rude language will result in the author being banned. Sorry but this has happened before (very rarely, thankfully).

2. Message to Kelly: You have made a submission knowing that it may cause problems. I hardly ever remove articles. I have the sole right to edit or remove articles under the terms and conditions of submissions to this site.

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FIP In Breeding Cattery Cats

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Aug 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

Hi i sold a healthy kitten 8 weeks nice size eating well drinking all as should be , lady brought him. Her vets vacc him at nine weeks then 12 weeks all well kitten doing well.the kitten left with food food vocher kitten pack wormed and 4 weeks insurance . I have mum of 4 years old she has been with my vets of 11 years since she was 8 weeks old , this cat lives on her own and stayed on her own with kittens , i have sold kittens from her before all kittens well, vet record mine very good no illnesss. my cat will be spayed soon as of her age this was her last kitten just because of age . lady phones me says her kitten of 13 weeks has fip vet has drained and sent away fluide , she says as she has only had kitten 5 weeks she wants her money back and its come from my mum cat, but her new insurance will not cover bills she said will pay vet bills. well i am not a unfare person she did not want a replacement kitten , and i dont see how i could have fip here, if i gave her money back i feel it makes me look guity and then she will come for me with vet bills ,she says the kitten is being put down but she needs to know first if i am giving her money back, i dont understand this , i am a very very small hobbie breeder never had this illness, i have 3 children and dont want to pay other peoples vet bills when my own pets are healthy, and as far as i now the pets i sell are very healthy as this kitten was at 12 weeks of being vacc by her vets .

May 12, 2011
Do not blame breeder
by: Sarah

Why is it people like you always think It’s the breeders fault.
There is no test for FIP. Also the virus could have been quite easily picked up in your own household. You need to read more about it. At the end of the day you still took the kitten, so get on with it. No breeder breeds for their kittens too die.

Mar 23, 2011
by: Bearbrookbengals

Kelly: From the very start that kitten was the smallest in the litter and didn’t thrive like the others. You came with your two young children. You loved that kitten because he was laid back. I told you I was concerned about him. I adviced you not to take it.

At the end you allowed the decision to take him be made by a child. When you informed me about the kitten. I emailed you and offered you a young spayed female that was very gentle. You never called me or emailed me one way or the other. I would have worked with you if you had emailed me back or called saying thanks but I rather wait for a kitten. The lack of communication has brought this about.

Mar 23, 2011
by: Bearbrookbengals K

Kelly: From the very start that kitten was the smallest in the litter and didn’t thrive like the others. You came with your two young children. You loved that kitten because he was laid back. I told you I was concerned about him. I adviced you not to take it.

At the end you allowed the decision to take him be made by a child. When you informed me about the kitten. I emailed you and offered you a young spayed female that was very gentle. You never called me or emailed me one way or the other. I would have worked with you if you had emailed me back or called saying thanks but I rather wait for a kitten. The lack of communication has brought this about.

Mar 16, 2011
Melanie Lowry AKA “Annie” sells FIP kittens/cats
by: Rose Marie

I wanted to share I purchased a chocolate tortie himalayan girl for $1,300.00 from Melanie Lowry AKA all the rest of her alias below. of Lollimops Cattery
AKA Annie Westlake of Catinallity Cattery
AKA Annie Westlake of Catinality Cattery
AKA Annie Westlake of Catinallity Cattery Info
AKA Annie of Sugar Kisses
AKA Annie of Persian Kitten
AKA Annie of West Coast Mews
AKA Annie of Precious Persians
AKA Annie of Sandpipers
AKA Annie of Cafe Mocha
AKA Annie of Chocolate Delights

My kitty died at 1 year old of FIP. The breeder did not pay for the medical bills nor even offer a replacement, nor would I have taken a FIP kitten from her, then the breeder had the overbearing pride to sued me for $9,000.00 she won through a default because I was [too ill to the point of death] to attend my own appeal in court. You can read all about her here:

This cat breeder is well known for her bad reputation of selling kittens that die days after purchase of FIP. That is why she is called the black widow of the cat fancy community.

Dont ever buy from this evil person. I am praying daily for her that God changes her life.

Mar 03, 2011
my expierience
by: kathy w

I too had the same expierience with a certain bengal breeder from Franklin Park, Illinois, her name was Sara Sutek. Well Sara Sutek sells sick cats. She misrepresented the kitten over the phone to me. I strongly urge no one to buy a kitten over the phone unseen. When I got there the kitten was not the color she claimed it to be. She acted wierd and didnt want me to hold the kittem for some reason and insisted on me putting it in the carrier right away so we could fill out the papers. When we started driving away I took her out of the carrier and her eyes definitly were infected. I called the womwn and she claimed it was a reaCTION TO ONE OF THE VACCINATIONS AND WOULD GO AWAY. Well I had her to the vets immediatly the next day. They did a stool sample and she had what they call spinners as a parasite that sometimes comes from drinking stagnant water. The woman had bottles and bottles of water that she claimed she had to boil her water for her It obviosly was stagnant. She also had cinjunctivitis and upper respitory. The kitten never got better and her stomach did seem to get bigger. One day she was down when I came home and we took her to the emergency. They said she was too smnall to do tests on and recommended putting her down. The contract stated I had to contact her before making any decisions about the kitten. She failed to hold up her end of the contracxt and the kitten died. I was left broke with no kitten. I understand sometimes bengal breeders form what they call a circle and sell each others cats from one ad. I dont believe it was her kitten and she blocked me from her phone and couldnt contact here. I did call the state inspector and send them to her house and they said it was not the first time they had been called on her.PLASMA

7 thoughts on “FIP In Breeding Cattery Cats”

  1. I recently rescued three babies from the outside, one because the mom abandoned him at about 4 wks of age and I bottle fed him and taught him to potty on his own in the liter box and at 6 weeks I brought in his brother and sister because I had someone that wanted all three kittens. She took my little guy home first, who I now call Trooper because of what he has already been through in his now 7 weeks of life. The lovely couple took him to the vet the next day only to find out he has FIP, I have never heard of it until now and it scares me because my cats were around him a couple of times, my vet is not concerned I will have issues because my two are very healthy cats. When I got the call from the couple that took him, I of course was willing to take him back and reimburse them for the Vet bills which they kindly said no to reimbursing them because it’s a chance you take when you adopt a cat. I didn’t ask for any money for the kittens, I just wanted a good home and pictures sent so I could see the progress they were making sadly enough, because of the one kitten, they were not going to change the other two which I totally understand. I had already taken Trooper to the vet at 5 weeks to get him checked out and dewormed. My heart breaks for this little guy because he is now locked up in a room by himself while his brother and sister are in another room playing together. My cats are in yet another room so they don’t try to go in the room with the kittens. I’m told that kittens are not usually tested until about the 4th or 5th month because their systems are still developing so i’m not sure what to do. All I know, is I am going to try and give Trooper the best life he can have before he gets sick. Right now he is doing great. I am also told that just because he is diagnosed, there is no guarantee the others will have it as well. It may be the reason the mom left him behind, she new he was sick. I won’t be testing the other kittens for a few more weeks so I can be sure to get an accurate reading but all three are very high energy, loving and playful. I know the day may come where Trooper starts showing symptoms of FIP and I dread it but if he was left in the outdoors by himself, he may already have died of starvation after being abandoned so at least he is getting lots of love right now

  2. i lost a male kitten to FIP after having him for only a month i also had purchased breeding rights she did replace him although none of my vet bills were acknowkedged and i also had to pay shipping again on the new kitten now my dear Isabella i purchased a year ago fron this same breeder is sick the vet is not sure she seems to be responding to antibiotic therapy its just wait and see the new kitten seems fine but im not happy out nearly 4000 and have sick kittens that i proly cant breed and the breeder is closing her cattery imagine that!BTW my babies are Persians

    • God, it sounds awful. It makes me mad to read your comment because some breeders just are so unethical but thanks for commenting. First hand experiences are the best for hard information.

  3. I was sold a sick kitten last fall from a Norwegian Forest Cat breeder. Within days of getting my kitten home he began getting very sick. I contacted the breeder and they knew he might get what they called upper respiratory infection and they sent me antibiotics via the mail.

    These antibiotics did not help at all and my kitten just kept getting sicker. When I purchased the kitten I told her that I had a very old cat that I loved dearly. I took the sick kitten to my vet and after extensive blood work I was told he had the corona virus and that he was possible mutating into FIP.

    I paid for show quality and breeding rights. I still had a sizable amount to pay him off. He infected my elderly Bengal cat who has been my friend for 18 years and now she is dying a slow death as well. I have over 1,000.00 in vet bills to date and I recently lost my very expensive kitten and now I am watching my old cat slowly starve to death and suffer incontinence with chronic diarrhea.

    These greedy breeders are suing me for almost 10,000.00. I have no choice but to counter claim for my losses and I wondered if anyone else has held these kitten breeders accountable in court?

    I am not saying that all breeders are irresponsible and greedy people but what gives them the right to keep breeding after they know their kittens could have FIP and die. The percentage of FIP kittens is rising rapidly. I believe “failure to disclose” the presence of corona virus in their cats is criminal and should be prosecuted. That their cats have corona virus is a crime.

    I wonder why people aren’t demanding compensation and accountability. It is not being responsible to breed these sick cats. I am not angry or name calling anyone, I simply want to be made aware before I give them money for a kitten that is infected. At the very least there ought to be a register of breeders known to sell corona virus kittens. It is unethical. These breeders only give a 72 hour guarantee.

    I have just been through a year of hell on earth because of them.

    • Thanks for sharing. Your story was hard to read because I can really feel what you have gone through. It is shocking and I don’t how prevalent this sort of problem is with purebred breeders.

      I also find it outrageous that the breeder is suing you. Have they threatened court proceedings or started them? From what you say they won’t succeed and will suffer loss on your counterclaim.

      I wish you the best. Provided you tell the absolute truth (I believe you are) you can name this breeder without getting sued for defamation because it is the truth.

      I wish you the best of luck and I am sorry you lost your kitten.


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