coronavirus quarantine time

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    Dear Dr. Jeff,

    Your site is very informative. I purchased a Ragdoll kitten, supposedly 16 weeks of age, on Nov 27, 2006. My personal vet said by its teeth and body size it looked to be more like 12 weeks old. It had to be euthanised one week later at recommendation of the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA. The breeder said they killed the kitten unnecessarily. I had a post-mortem done which upheld the hospital’s diagnosis of FIP. Breeder gave me another kitten on Dec 31, 2006, supposedly from a friend of her’s cattery. This kitten, also a Ragdoll, was born on Oct 25, 2006.

    When I brought the first kitten home, it did have diarrhea. Breeder said these kittens stress out easily and that was the cause. It was eating up a storm and drinking plenty of water so I believed the breeder. When I bought kitten, breeder said to have it checked out by my vet within a week so if anything was detected, I could return the kitten. All my vet noticed was it was a little underweight and probably a little younger in age. My vet gave it its first shots as breeder doesn’t believe in giving shots to kittens under 16 weeks of age. My vet also dewormed kitten. This visit to vets was 3 days after I bought kitten from breeder. Two days after my vet gave it the shots and dewormed it, kitten felt warm, dry nose, but still eating and drinking, and still with diarrhea. I have had pets get immunization shots before and have been told this process can create a fever. It can also create a fever in children when they received immunizations and flu shots can also cause fever. So on Sat/Sun when kitten felt warm I didn’t think too much about it. On Monday, kitten was still eating and drinking water, but at 3 pm in afternoon had an episode of explosive diarrhea and became lethargic. My husband and I rushed it to the above named hospital, 3 miles from my home, where they did tests and said it would be dead in a couple of hours and best thing would be to eusthanise it. On the way to the hospital, I felt kitten was dying. The membranes of the eyes were closing up and it’s mouth was hung open but it was conscious. I called breeder next day and she was livid. She said I should have driven cat to her house and she would have treated it for probable Coccidia. I told her I was having a post-mortem does as this was only way to prove FIP, which the post-mortem did. Breeder still denies the disease in her cattery (of which is croweded, 8 x 20 foot finished room in split house basement with about 20-25 cats/kittens and 2 rabbits that cohabitate with the kittens. I was so upset over loss of the kitten I waited a month to get another one from her. She said she performed FCoV titer on the 3 kittens she had left from same litter and their titers were negative. But I thought it was interesting she gave me a kitten from a “friend’s cattery”, probably feeling if I got another one that died she’d be liable. Supposedly, the breeder has extensive cat knowledge, was 3 courses shy of graduating from Tufts University. Hmmmmm.

    Sorry to make this so long and I do hope I hear back from you but the story goes on. I also have a 14-3/4 year old, very healthy looking, lively, never sick a day in his life flame point Himalayan cat. He’s docile and that is why I wanted a Ragdoll as they are supposed to have good dispositions. My Himalayan is a lot of maintainance, a lot of fur, born w/o tearducts so his eyes need a lot of care, so I didn’t want another Himalayan even though they too have great dispo’s. About 7-10 days after kitten died my cat, Darias, threw up and had diarrhea for a day. So 2 weeks later I had him tested and he was seropositive for coronavirus, which vet said he may have had since he was a kitten from his cattery and just came down with a brief bout of it from exposure to kitten.

    My question is, how long to I isolate the new kitten from Darias, who could be shedding virus in his litter forever from what I have read. I have kitten set up in an entire empty bedroom all to himself. I was thinking to keep him there until 16 weeks of age and then put my Darias in our finished basement during the day some days and removing his foot and litter dishes and wet mopping my wood floors and kitchen floors (we have no rugs) with a disinfectant…..just so the kitten eventually can explore the house. I know he will eventually get the coronavirus from my cat but if his immune system is developed he should be able to fight it off as FIP is a mutation process, as you know, that happens only in certain kittens, possibly genetically disposed or something like that.

    I paid $650 for the first kitten, could not get a refund, got the second kitten. My husband was quite upset that I was about to walk away from the whole thing, losing all that money, and he insisted I get my money’s worth and get another kitten. I am going to have this one tested at 12 weeks for antibodies to coronavirus and if it has it, and dies within 1-2 years if it mutates, then I will take the breeder to court, and at this point I think my chances of getting the original money back are better.

    The second kitten came to me very scared, very stressed out, hiding in the tiniest spots for a day until we removed everything in the bedroom that he could hide in, including the box spring and bed! We don’t want to allow him to hide. We play with him and hold him throughout the day. He is now much more relaxed, playing, purring, cuddling, but still jumps and startles easy with noises or sudden moves, but, he has no diarrhea! He does have a crusty slight accumulation in corners of his eyes which I removed once so far with Q-tips and he slightly squints his left eye at times, not all the time. So I am hoping this is just conjunctivitis and when I take him to vets for the titer I will have this checked out. He does feel warm, but I have read kittens body temps are around 100.2 to 102, and he is alert, doesn’t appear ill.

    Thank you so much for any input you can give,


    Diane Porter

    Dr. Jeff Feinman


    My question is, how long to I isolate the new kitten from Darias, [/quote]

    Hi Diane-

    In this situation I think it’s more important to get your new kitten used to the new household. As you know, FIP is due to a *mutated* Coronavirus. IMHO, the disease of FIP can only be transmitted to others that are already imbalanced (immunologically).

    In my practice I advise early homeopathic and lifestyle treatment. This would include integrating the new kitten into your home without further delay.

    Dr. Jeff


    first of all, my question would be if this “supposed” breeder was a member of a catclub, like CFA, Tica etc.

    i don’t know how it is in the usa but here breeders who are member of a catclub (and so can give out pedigrees with their kittens) are upheld to vaccinate the kittens they sell for panleukämia and Calici- and Rhinotracheitis virus ( RCP ) at least once. I my self would never buy any kitten from a breeder that would not have been vaccinated against these diseases at least once. I can understand someone doesn’t like to vaccinate, but if you are a breeder and selling kittens, the least you can do is to vaccinate your kittens through homeopathic nosodes, which some breeders do.
    But not vaccinating sold kittens at all, sounds very doubtfull to me.

    seccond, the moment a kitten has diarea, you should not have your kitten vaccinated untill it has cleared up, and is healthy in every other way.
    In fact the breeder did not once but twice give you an unvaccinated kitten home with diarea to begin with. That is unforgivable, and getting the kittens at risk for further disease through the extra stress of the rehoming, and not in your interest as you are stuck with a sick kitten.

    Any respectable breeder would have give you a CHOICE after the first kitten died: either (part) of your money back, or taking a seccond kitten.
    Did you get that choice at all?

    i am a bit baffled that you again a 3th time went back to that breeder and got a kitten from her, even after the first 2 kittens died of FIP and had diarea to begin with. And even as you yourself say you are not confortable with the way she keeps her cats, and the amount of cats/kittens she keeps in her house.
    I would think since you have vetreports and post-mortums from both kittens that died, you would have a fairly strong case in any court to get at least part of your money if not the whole sum back.
    Also i would get in contact with [u]the breed-club[/u] were this breeder is member of (if she is member at all of a breedclub) and tell them the whole story.
    And also ask there if this breeder has had any fip casualties or large problems with sick kittens in her own cattery before. If so she would be upheld to stop all breeding for at least 3 months after every case, to quarantaine her cats. (so also no shows, etc).

    To my opinion a respectable breeder does at least the following things:

    sells only kittens 12 weeks or older, not below that age.
    sells kittens at least vaccinated once or vaccinated by nosodes.
    sells kittens at least dewormed twice, and pref. 3 or 4 times also according to the dewormer used.
    sells kittens with a vetreport where it states the vet has checked the kitten upon vaccination and it was found healthy.

    sells kittens with a contract in which it states the kitten was vaccinated and when, what rights the buyer has when a kitten gets sick or dies.
    Also what the breeder can be held accounatable for in these cases. (most breeders give a refund of money, or a partiall refund of money or choice of a seccond kitten if it dies/gets sick within a certain amount of weeks or dies within one year of purchase of an inherited/genetic disease. a vetreport and postmortem has often to be showed in these cases)

    and also if a kitten is sold for breeding and if not within what timeframe it should be altered or not.

    I am very sorry for your loss of the two kittens, and i hope sincerly your third kitten will survive and live a long live.
    but i feel you are a victim of an unresponsible breeder, who has very doubtfull practises in her cattery.


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