Angels of Siberia - My Cat, from Angel of Siberia, Died of FeLV induced LymphomaNov 19, 2021
Meredith Abbott — USA
We brought home our sweet Chinook back in February 2019 from Angel of Siberia in Auburn, WA.
A month after we brought Chinook home, he was riddled with ringworm.
In June of 2021, he tested positive for Herpes (which can lay dormant for years).
On November 18, 2021 we had to say goodbye to Chinook after a quick and dirty fight with Lymphoma, caused by FeLV. He was only 3 years old.
Chinook deserved to live a long and fruitful life. Our emergency vet was certain that he contracted FeLV from his mother or other cats at the cattery—since that was the last time he was ever in close quarters with other felines. We never let him venture outside of the home into the neighborhood because we knew there were a lot of outdoor cats roaming about. We would, however, take him car camping and on short little road trips—but again, our emergency vet said it was highly unlikely that's how he could have contracted the virus since we were never around other cats at any point and time. Not to mention the virus is not hardy and doesn't live long on surfaces outside of the host's body.
The latest data shows that for cat to contract FeLV, they need to be in direct contact with other felines for long periods of time in close quarters—like a cattery.
I'm sure, like what I've seen from others on Reddit and different online boards, that Angela would blame us for not properly taking care of our cat, but I can ensure you that we did everything in our power to keep him safe, happy and healthy. And he was. Until he wasn't. It was a combination of an irresponsible breeder and malpractice from our vet at Banfield in Ballard—they simply did not follow the AHAA guidelines for vaccinating and screening kittens for FeLV under the age of 1 year. In fact, Banfield is not considered an AHAA (The American Animal Hospital Association) accredited veterinary hospital. If you take any of your pets there, especially cats, I highly encourage you to consider an AHAA accredited vet, like VCA Hospitals.
Angela had also claimed that all of her adult cats were tested negative for the FeLV virus. But those are her claims, and we never saw any official pathology test from her vet. She had literally written it on a piece of paper and taped to an official-looking document "All adult cats have been tested negative for FeLV". Key word: "tested", not "vaccinated". Most likely because the vaccine can be quite expensive, and with as many cats as she has in her cattery, I'm sure it would be very costly to vaccinate every kitten and adult cat.
I recently attempted to contact Angela's vet from A Pet Clinic of Kent, but have been ghosted. After more research, they are also not considered an AHAA accredited vet hospital. You would think, seeing that this is her lively-hood, Angela would take all of her animals to an accredited vet hospital—either AHAA or AAFP (The American Association of Feline Practitioners).
I write this in hopes that someone looking for a Siberian will consider another breeder. We went with Angel of Siberia because we would not have to be on a wait list—which I now understand is a red flag. Like other posters have mentioned, she has way too many cats in her home, which can lead to deadly diseases and broken hearts. I should also mention that when I asked to see the parents, she only brought out the father, who was terribly matted and didn't look all that taken care of. I should have left then, but the temptation to take the kitten I had in my hand was too much. Chinook ended up being one of the best things in my life. I love him so much, and I can't imagine my world without him.
A Siberian is a special breed of cat. Please make sure to do as much research as possible on a breeder, and be willing to wait for your kitten—it will be worth it.