Our Abys health is our highest priority. The stress, cost and labor in dealing with one or more sick cats can be hard to bear. We spend much time trying to prevent a sickness but even with our best efforts we are occasionally stricken. It would be an unique breeder indeed who has escaped any health issues. We don't know of any.
Cattery wide health problems are rare for us. One of our most recent problems, the parasite Tritichmonas foetus, has been very well documented on this website and we currently devote a webpage to describe our past and current experiences.
In addition to this parasite, we have have had two instances of ringworm. Money and hard work allowed us to eradicate this fungus infection from our home. This experience taught us to be very careful and is one of the reasons why we will not allow visitors into our home who have visited another cattery that same day. We also request that all visitors who own or have had recent contact with other cats to arrive in clean (i.e. no cat hair) clothes.
As a breeder we date back to 1996 and until we had the outbreak of ringworm we escaped any significant illnesses. This was likely because we don't show our Abys so our exposures are minimal.
When we talk about the health issues effecting Abys we have placed we have to state a few necessary caveats first.
1. Once a kitten leaves a breeder's home it can be exposed to health risks outside of the breeder's control so it is sometimes extremely difficult to determine who was responsible when a kitten or cat becoming ill.
2. Tests may not have been available at the time the kitten was purchased so some diseases that could have been detected weren't.
3. We only know how our Abys are faring by the correspondences we receive from their owners so there may be some problems we don't know about.
4. How a cattery was managed in the past probably helps one predict the current and future health issues of their cats but it should also be understood that for even the best catteries a disastrous health event may be just around the corner, something unanticipated can always occur.
Here is our list, broken down into two categories: lethal and non-lethal We've done our best to be accurate. Because we don't closely track the some of the non-lethal health problems we have tried to give reasonable estimates.
Reference Webpage: Feline Health - Aby Specific
FIP: Four owners report the loss of their Abys from this disease. Typically the Aby was young, around a year of age
Kidney failure: Death of one young female Aby
PKd: Death of a four year old male
Accidents have taken three of our Abys. A kitten killed in an owner's reclining chair, an adult Aby killed by a neighbor's dog, and a adult Aby killed by falling from a building's balcony.
Urinary problems have been reported by one owner
Diarrhea\ Vomiting: Hard to quantify because these are common, normally short term maladies in cats so likely all of our Abys will experience both of these in their lifetime. Chronic diarrhea or vomiting is not common. We've had several reports of chronic diarrhea but this condition is probably under reported. There are numerous possible causes, certainly tritrichomonas foetus is one of them. Other possibilities range from common parasites (i.e. Giardia) to Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). Chronic vomiting has not been reported.
Eye problems: We've have had a few incidents of what appeared to be non-chronic conjunctivitis. Those incidents typically always occurred a few days after a vaccination and did not involve the respiratory system. Terramycin was typically prescribed and all Abys recovered.
Teeth & Gum: Difficult to quantify. Teeth and gum problems fairly common in Abys and our Abys are likely just as susceptible as anyone else's. (see Gingivitis, Feline Health - Aby Specific)
Luxating Patella (loose knee cap): One owner has reported this condition but it hasen't been conclusively confirmed. All our kittens have their knee caps checked during their well kitten vet check so this occurrence is a bit puzzling. A second case of a low grade LP was detected by our vet in 2010. It is not expected to interfere with this Aby's activities.
Ringworm: A ringworm infection occurred in our cattery in 2003. This infection was treated and we remained free of ringworm until March of 2007 when a visitor (human) brought ringworm back into our cattery. One litter was infected. The infection was treated and extensive (50) fungal culture testing was performed. These kittens went to their new homes cured of their infection and none carried the infection with them.
Overgrooming: Few (less than 10) and none were extensive (i.e. affecting large areas of the body). Determining the cause is difficult as this condition is very difficult as it can be brought on by anything from stress to allegries.