Do You Refund When Your Kittens Die From FIP?

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by pipje, Jun 24, 2013.


  1. Soupie

    Soupie PetForums Senior

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    Insurance cover seems to be better over here and indeed or the small cost per month I encourage my owners to insure. If a kitten died and insurance covered their purchase price then they should not also be refunded by me as it would mean fraud in the insurance companies eyes - ie being paid twice for the same thing.
     
  2. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    I can't see how there could be an all encompassing 'must'. There are so many variables and each case would have to be considered individually. Unfortunately there are breeders who repeatedly sell kittens which succumb to FIP. It could happen to any of us, once is unfortunate, twice is extremely unlucky and any more than that starts to verge on the downright irresponsible. To say it's a disease which can't be helped isn't strictly true if a breeder has a continuing problem. They do have a responsibility to minimise risk and it is possible to eliminate FCoV from a household. No FCoV = no FIP - at least not originating from the breeder.
     
  3. pipje

    pipje PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the info on insurance, Soupie. I know PetPlan doesn't cover that at all but I'll check others to see. It would be quite handy.

    Havoc: It is a MUST for the 6 months after purchase due to EU regulations (the hierarchy is EU before the laws of your own country) and there is jurisprudence where buyers have won and breeders had to pay not only the cost of purchase price but also vet bills and the cremation. After the first 6 months of purchase, buyers can still sue but the burden on proof lays on them.

    In the local discussion, some of the local breeders just said that it was like a moral obligation to refund buyers even if a kitten dies from FIP at age 1 and made it seem as if if one chooses not to, it's like they are a bad breeder who only cares about money. As I said, I don't think this is a moral obligation and I don't see why the breeder is the one who has to swallow the punch (I mean, first we make zero profit. The manufacturing cost price of an iPhone is like $190 and it is sold or over $500 so Apple can for eg. afford support, repairs, and so on. Breeders do not. Secondly, a kitten replacement in my case probably costs more than the actual purchase price so neither would be a good option for me). I did mention about FCoV testing but was told that this is a dreamworld I was living in - aparrently it is practically impossible to control unless one wants to live in a lab etc. Oh and my most important point is: it's just like... do you (owners) want to own a kitten or not?! If you aren't willing to take the risks of owning a live animal, then just don't get one instead of running to the breeder asking for a refund if something happens (of course if this happens shortly after leaving the breeder, yes)... I am a pet owner myself and I never once considered my breeder to be liable for my cats (unless of course he/she knowingly bred from cats with HCM/PKD/whatever genetic diseases).

    Anyway, I don't really mind/care (it was new to me though)- I was curious about the opinions in the UK (and also Australia where spotty is!). I would like to test my cats for FCoV but Cosmills says blood is the way to go and I don't really think I want/should send my cats for a blood test all the time. It is stressful and they absolutely hate it. The faeces test was do-able I thought. And then as everyone said, there's the problem of negative kittens being exposed to other cats in the new household.....

    All in all though, the chances of FCoV developing to FIP is significant but still small (10%). This has not happened to me yet, I am not a big breeder so the odds are possibly even less (also because less cats, easier to keep things clean etc.) but always best to prepare early so as to ensure proper 'management'.
     
  4. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen PetForums Member

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    Generally I just follow Swedish legislation which states that any illness/defect that occurs within 6 months after the kitten was sold is considered to have been present before the deal=the breeder has to refund or pay for the vet treatment. However, if the breeder can prove that the illness/defect didn't exist before the kitten was sold he/she doesn't have to refund/replace. In practice most breeders never bother trying to prove that the "fault" occurred after the kitten was sold.

    Swedish law also states that a buyer can make a complaint up 'til 3 years after the deal, but after 6 months the buyer has to prove that the fault existed before the kitten was sold.

    This is what I generally follow, then of course there can be circumstances where I may choose to do otherwise.
     
  5. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    I'm guessing that in your country all cat breeders are then automatically considered to be commercial entities. Here they are not and private sales do not have the same protection.
     
  6. MCWillow

    MCWillow PetForums VIP

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    Just to clarify, the bits in red, are what some new owners could come back with, if you raised those points with them.

    They spent a lot of money on something they dearly wanted, only to have it snatched away in a couple of months. Working on the premise that the kitten doesn't leave the breeder til 3 months of age, if it dies at 7 months of age, they have only had it 16 weeks - £500 (or whatever the cost) is a lot of money for something you only keep for a few weeks when you are expecting to keep it for years.

    Personally, I wouldn't ask for a refund. I haven't even got mine insured for the purchase price - if I lost any of them, the last thing on my mind would be claiming back what I paid for them - and I would just feel 'wrong' somehow to claim it.

    Holly was diagnosed with a heart murmur at her first vets appt with me, and the vet said 'you should take her back and get a refund' - no way - wasn't going to happen, I'd only had her a week, but she was my baby, she wasn't going anywhere!

    I did let the breeder know, as I thought I should, but it never crossed my mind to take her back and get my money back.

    So the red bits aren't my personal opinion, but I can imagine, that some people would think along those lines.
     
  7. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    This is where it all becomes very difficult. I'd lost touch of the emotional investment until a couple of years ago when a family member bought a new puppy. It really hit me just how quickly owners are completely bonded and how much of a wrench it would be if anything went wrong. I was besotted within an hour and wasn't even mine :) There are times I see posts on here and I want to scream 'take it back' but I know it will never be an option.
     
  8. pipje

    pipje PetForums VIP

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    That is correct. All the above would fall under a business-consumer sale (which is why it is unfavourable to the breeder). The problem however is that while most breeders breed as private individuals (hobby breeders), the line between business and hobby is a very, very thin one and is up to interpretation (so a cattery could not have a business registration number but if someone decides to argue this, the cattery could indeed be found to be one).

    What they look out for: Does the cattery charge money? Yes. Does the cattery have a website? I would say many do. Does the cattery advertise? Yes, possibly on websites like Pets4Home etc. Does the cattery state that they breed with healthy animals? There are some that do. Does the cattery state to be A-free, B-free,C-free (e.g. PKD-free, FCoV-free etc.) catteries? Some do. These are some of the 'signs' they (the judge or so I've heard) look at to determine if it is a business or not. I think we can say that most of us hobby breeders/ private individuals fit te above
     
  9. pipje

    pipje PetForums VIP

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    MCWillow: My post was also more focused towards older cats (so not that the kitten gets ill immediately after purchase. It is generally accepted that if the kitten dies 6 months after purchase so that would make them around 9 months old from FIP, that the breeder would usually just refund it -or prove that the problem didn't come from them); lets say 10 months old and up.

    The heart murmur thing however, that's another dangerous ground ergh because if it's a genetic condition, it could be determined that it was already there when buyer bought it.

    *sigh* Honestly, at this rate, I'm really very unlikely to continue breeding. It is so scary, like a pack of cards which could crumble anytime:/
     
  10. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    There are regulations here for dog breeders once they expand beyond a certain number of breeding animals but not for cats. I believe there was time our tax system decided to target cat breeders and decided they couldn't, in the main, be a business. Although a business doesn't have to make profit it became pretty clear that pedigree cat breeders only ever made a loss ie it was a hobby as hobbies cost money. There are a few breeders I can think of who do sail very close to wind on this subject. They have separate, kennel like accommodation for their cats and are clearly running as a commercial enterprise, very different to someone with a couple of breeding queens which share the owners house - and probably their bed :)
     
  11. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen PetForums Member

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    When it comes to if a cattery is considered a business or not, at least in Sweden tax legislation doesn't matter when it comes to the legislation that protects buyers rights. Here the tax legislation basically always define a cat breeder as a hobby project, not a business. One of three major criterions you have to fulfill in order to reach the tax legislation definition of a business is: you have to have a purpose if earning money on whatever it is your doing (breeding cats).

    But, when it comes to consumers rights the legislation doesn't care if you as a breeder make money or not. Here the only concern is if your breeding program seems to be run professionally and basically all are considered to be run professionally since you have a continuos activity in the cattery (let's say one litter a year), you advertise, you plan the activity etc.

    So tax legislation and consumers rights are different things here and usually a breeder is considered to run a business when it comes to consumers rights, but we're not considered running a business by the tax legislation.
     
  12. pipje

    pipje PetForums VIP

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    cerridwen sums it so much better than I did! hope everyone (in the eu) understands it now:)
     
    #32 pipje, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  13. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    They are separate entities here too but one can be quoted as evidence with regard to the other. Unless and until such legislation can encompass every moggy owner who also has a litter a year and sells the kittens then it will be considered on a case by case basis.
     
  14. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    For clarity, I am not suggesting that consumer law is not EU wide. I am saying that the words
    which are contained within the act are what seems to make the difference. There is obviously no EU wide law which defines a 'business' where cat breeding is concerned and that is what causes the difference from country to country.
     
  15. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen PetForums Member

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    In Sweden moggy breeders are included as well. Not spaying your female and letting her breed continuously is considered planned breeding. However, these breeders rarely charge much (if anything) for their kittens so there's no real economic risk to buy a moggy kitten. Usually a breeder isn't judged to refund more than what the kitten acually is worth or to pay vet bills that exceed the sum the kitten was sold for.
     
  16. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    Consequential loss is provided for in the Sale of Goods Act here - when and if it is judged to apply of course :)
     
  17. Cats cats cats

    Cats cats cats PetForums VIP

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    I'm not sure where I stand on the morality issue but personally, if I lost one of my babies, the last thing I would be concerned with would be hounding the breeder for a refund, it just seems .......wrong :eek: my babies are not TVs , they cannot be replaced.

    For this reason, I have chosen not to insure their purchase price , receiving a cheque from Pet Plan for their "value" would upset me greatly :eek:

    But then, I am a bit soft :D

    Some of you may know that my Mr Smokey Pants has a growth deformity in both front legs causing his legs to bow significantly. I did contact the breeder but only because I felt she should know that smokey was going to have to have major surgery.

    She immediately offered to take him back and offered me another kitten. I of course said no, I love him, crooked legs and all :)
     
  18. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't always consider it 'hounding' though I do know what you mean. There are people who breed kittens and sell them when they know full well they have a solvable problem within their household and I consider that to be negligent. One of the reasons I have for not giving more detailed answers to the discussion on consumer law is that there must be bad breeders who read this forum as well as all the good ones and I am not of a mind to give them a packaged defence on a plate.
     
  19. Cerridwen

    Cerridwen PetForums Member

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    As a breeder I have to say that I would absolutely not feel "hounded" or be offended if a kitten buyer contacts me about a sick kitten and wonders about the possibility of refunding. First of all I want to know if I have an infectious or genetic problem in my cattery. My cats are precious to me, it includes the ones I've sold. It would be impossible for me to have kittens at home for 16 weeks without them getting to me. I don't want to breed sick cats and I don't want sick cats.

    In order to be able to breed healthy cats I need to know what happens to the cats I breed. If they become ill I need to know. Not everything will affect my breeding program or my housing, but you never know.

    As for refunding, I'll gladly refund if the "fault" comes from me. Infectious or genetic.

    No kitten buyer of mine should feel weird about contacting me about things like this. I'm very clear on that when I sell kittens. I want honesty and I want to help all I can if any problems occur: illness, rehoming, behavioral problems or whatever.
     
  20. Cats cats cats

    Cats cats cats PetForums VIP

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    Sorry, maybe I didn't explain myself well ...... I would of course tell the breeder because its very important that they know like you say :) asking for a refund however wouldn't even cross my mind.
     
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