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Hi guys,

So I recently found out (recently as in last night), that the breeder I thought was reputable and raising her kittens in a loving way, is not so reputable and I'm freaking out.

I've recently put down a $300 deposit on a bengal kitten that I would love to take home, but after reading some information about the breeder scamming and purchasing cats illegally about 6 years ago, I started to get really nervous. I messaged a few other people who have purchased kittens from her within the last 2 years, and many of them have issues. One in particular came from her place with ear mites and sneezing problems, with the sneezing problems never completely ending. He also ended up developing HCM later on, although this is not the breeders fault.

Is there any way for me to get my deposit back? I know they are usually non-refundable, but I would not want it back if I did not hear such awful things about people's experiences with her. I am not going to purchase the next member of my family from a home that I am not 100% about.
 

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You need to read your contract - what does it say about refunds? Researching after putting money down is a very expensive lesson. If she's registered with official agencies, perhaps threatening to report her may get her to refund your money.
 

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You need to read your contract - what does it say about refunds? Researching after putting money down is a very expensive lesson. If she's registered with official agencies, perhaps threatening to report her may get her to refund your money.
That's the thing. She is registered with TICA, TIBCS, and the CCA so I thought I would be fine. I'm sure not all of her kittens are sick or there would be more reports on her, I just know I am not willing to take the risk. Do you think I should visit the cattery ASAP/ speak to her vet about the conditions of her cat?
 

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Have you not visited the cattery before?
 

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Visiting the cattery's a great idea! You can find out the sitch for yourself. Like the weather, never take anyone's word for it, turn om TWC!
 

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The one cat with persistent sniffles likely has feline herpes - if that's the case it's very highly likely all her cats are at least carriers. That in itself doesn't mean she's not responsible though, as herpes is very common and usually no more serious than an occasional kitty cold.

That being said, I'd also suggest reading the contract - and preparing yourself for the possibility that you've just lost $300.

I would not suggest getting a kitten from her if you've gotten more than 2-3 bad reviews, much better to cut and run than end up with a sick cat for it's whole life.

And HCM would be her fault, it's a genetic disease. A reputable breeder would be doing testing on her cats to make sure none were carriers. https://www.google.ca/search?q=hcm+cat&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=DP8PV93QCtC4jwO1o4GQCQ

IMO - don't bring home the kitten. Do better research and try again, asking about health testing, issues in the breed and her lines (bengals are VERY prone to digestive issues and anxiety, many breeders wont send one to a single cat home because they're so high energy) , and how she's preventing health issues.
 

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Not to disparage what you've found out, but where have you found the information about her alleged scams and disreputable practices?

I've learned that things on the internet must be taken with a grain of salt, and sometimes bad reviews/posts are the result of an angry customer who had not ACTUALLY been mistreated/gotten a bad product, but wanted someone to blame for things that went wrong after they received their product/pet.

I personally would not adopt the kitten if you are having any doubts, but would strongly recommend visiting the cattery yourself and making your own conclusions rather than trusting the internet entirely.

You can also contact the official agencies yourself and see if any official complaints have been lodged against this breeder.
 

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The one cat with persistent sniffles likely has feline herpes
I spoke to one family in particular who said when she brought her kitten to the vet sooner than 48 hours before being home, and he said that her kitten had both a virus and ear mites. Apparently he didn't have HCM during the initial check but a couple of months later it was there.

I think you are right and that I should just cut my losses. I am not mentally or financially prepared to take care of a cat that is ill before even bringing him home from the breeders. Thanks a lot for giving me advice.

Not to disparage what you've found out, but where have you found the information about her alleged scams and disreputable practices?
Thanks for replying. There are several rip off reports and kitten fraud reports from her stealing 4 cats from a Norwegian breeder, as well as them publicly harassing this breeder over social media. After messaging other families, I guess it just confirmed the bad feeling I had. It is better I found out now than after bringing him home. I don't think visiting the cattery will make me feel any better about her at this point. I'll just have to accept that I lost that money.
 

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HCM is a genetic disease - but heart issues can manifest as a kitten grows. The fact that he didn't have a murmur or issue at the initial vet visit doesn't mean it wasn't the breeder's fault. HCM is genetic - is WAS the breeders fault.

In any case - it seems to me you're out of luck. It's a tough lesson to learn for sure, but in some ways that's better now than after you get a kitten that has genetic issues or diseases show up down the line.
 

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Have you actually met the kitty concerned? Your own instincts are the main thing (although I admit that I have never actually bought a cat). If it is long distance then I'd personally cut my losses - if I'd bonded I'd take the risk but there is no right or wrong here.
 

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I still think you should request a refund. Perhaps you can cite finding out about the kitten having HCM as your reason. All you can do is ask.
 

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I still think you should request a refund. Perhaps you can cite finding out about the kitten having HCM as your reason. All you can do is ask.
I've contacted her and told her my concerns, and she seems to be in complete denial that there have ever been complaints about her cats. She is making it seem like I fabricated health issues, and she is demanding the information of the people I have spoken with. She seems defensive and a little bit rude, and yet is still refusing to send me any testimonials. There is no way I will be getting my deposit back for this one.

I may still go visit her cattery next weekend when I am home, but I am fairly certain I will not be purchasing a kitten from her. I think it is smarter for me to take the word of those who have had issues with their cats and to trust my heart on this one. If her way of addressing concerns from people by speaking condescendingly towards them, then I am better off with another breeder.
 

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I would not suggest visiting if she's denying there are any concerns. Send her the website with the complaints, and ask what she would do to assist you if you had concerns after taking a kitten home. If she brushes you off, or offers an exchange kitten, etc then RUN.

If you visit there's a strong likelihood you'll bond with the kitten. Puttingyourself in the position of meeting her at her place, seeing an adorable kitten, and then not taking it...would be very difficult. It happens to buyers all the time, and in fact some 'breeders' (aka puppy mills) take advantage of the sympathy factor to sell their puppies/kittens. You feel like you're 'rescuing' the little one, but in fact if you give her any more money you're essentially using that money to tell her you agree with her practices.

You mentioned being 'out of the province' before - if you don't mind me asking, which province? I'm in Canada too (Edmonton, AB), and I might be able to help you find a reputable breeder, or rescue, if your heart is set on a bengal.
 

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Unfortunately I'm located on the other side of the country in Halifax, but I'm returning home to Ontario. I was looking at some of the catteries in Alberta, and some of them are just awesome looking. It's a shame shipping costs as much as it does.
 

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I wouldn't get one shipped anyways. I know some breeders and buyers are ok with it - but I'd want to visit the cattery in person, meet the kittens, etc.

Besides, there's got to be good ones in ON!? It's a big place.
 

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In Halifax you're not far from Massachusets, and when you're in Ontario you won't be far from New York state or Michigan. So you'd also have the option of buying from an American breeder (although, there should be somebody in Ontario).
There's also a Bengal rescue group not far from Ontario, Great Lakes Bengal Rescue, if you ever consider an adult cat. I don't know whether they'd adopt out of country, mind.
Great Lakes Bengal Rescue, serving midwestern United States
 

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There are a lot of good Bengal breeders in Ontario. Check the TIBCS website and do diligent research.

If you do consider a kitten from the USA, you will have the added costs and hassles of importing it. Bengals MUST go through CITES....I believe it is about a $200 licensing fee and the US Department of agriculture will have to physically examine the kitten and all its paperwork before it can leave the country.
 
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