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.
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