Being a cat breeder may be different from what many people imagine. I know that I do not just interact with people contacting me wishing to buy a kitten or those having a question or concern about a kitten they may have gotten from me a while ago.
On average, I spend two to three hours a day answering cat owner's questions and concerns by email or by telephone. Many times, these are people I've had no previous contact with and who did not buy a kitten from me. However, they have an issue with their kitten and are hoping I will spend time allaying their fears. Occasionally, I feel like I'm the"Dear Abby" for the cat world.
I want to be clear; I AM NOT A VETERINARIAN or even a VETERINARY TECHNICIAN. Therefore, I cannot give medical advice. All I have is my personal knowledge, based on my experience as a pet owner and breeder for over 35 years. I make this clear to anyone contacting me and my website contains this disclaimer.
Many of the calls, are easy to address:
- A kitten they just bought now has some issue such as an upper respiratory infection (URI) and why isn't the medication working?
- The kitten has diarrhea stress of the re-homing or a sudden dietary change?
Sometimes their concerns are more urgent:
- The kitten or cat they have owned for a few months or longer, now has Ringworm; or possibly a more serious, even "life threatening" issue; or
- The kitten or cat died suddenly because of FIP, PKD, HCM, etc.
The first thing I always ask is: "Have you contacted the kitten's breeder and let them know about this issue?" Over 95% of the time, I am told that either they got the kitten from a pet store or the breeder is not responding to their calls or emails. I let them know what usually has worked for me and urge them to talk with their veterinarian about treatments and medications. Sometimes, I refer them to a specific article on my website. They can read the article and perhaps have a more informed conversation with their veterinarian in case their vet may not be familiar with a particular breed issue. Not every veterinarian is an expert on every breed or even every species of animal. Some veterinary practices are limited to large animals or small animals, some veterinarians specialize in feline medicine only.
I do not mind that people contact me and ask for advice or assurance about a kitten they got elsewhere. I am glad to help. I especially enjoy talking with people that are looking for a kitten and answering their questions about the Persian cat breed. Many times it makes for some interesting conversations. For instance, recently I received a call from a man who was visiting in Florida (we live in Ohio). He wanted to know if I would ship a kitten to him after he returned home which was in another country. I explained to him our shipping policy which is limited to the Continental United States. He next asked me if I could "overnight the kitten" to him that night? I almost fell out of my chair from shock! At that point, I told him I could not overnight a kitten!
Like an advice columnist, I try to give my best assistance, educating those that call or visit my website, and I very much enjoy doing so.