How it all started
My experience with the FCK syndrome
For many years, I have breed the cat breed "Maine Coon", the gentle giant.
In 2015, one of my "girls" had a litter of 5 kittens, which developed quite normally. One year later, the second litter came with four kittens (same parents), but I did not notice that two kittens had the FCK syndrome. Better to say, I did not know what the symptoms meant. I noticed that two kittens were breathing very fast and hard; the entire rib cage pulled deep into the abdominal cavity with every breath. Helplessly, I had to watch the two kittens die after six weeks - a world broke down for me.
After this sad experience, I really wanted to find out why my kittens had to die and came across the FCK syndrome. Then I started to develop a corsage, but until 2018 it remained half- finished in the wardrobe.
Between 2016 and 2018 there were more litters (with other parents) and I checked the kitten's chest with each litter. Until the beginning of 2018 all animals were healthy, then came a litter (again other parents) with 4 kittens, of which unfortunately two had the FCK syndrome. In the meantime, I had read a lot about it and hoped very much that I would be able to save the two kittens.
So I took the half-finished corsage, which was not yet fully developed (it was constantly sliding up or down) and sewed and tested on and on until it fitted. However, in this first variant, I had to bottle the kittens because they did not reach the mother's tits because of the limited ability to moove with the corsage. The kitten also could not extract the milk, since the paws in the corsage were horizontal to the chest. After many more hours on the sewing machine, I managed to tailor a perfectly fitting model.
The two kittens have developed quite normally with the corsage; their lungs and hearts now had plenty of room thanks to the enlarged volume of the rib cage. At the age of 14 weeks I handed the two kittens over to a very dear family in Hannover and they are doing very well today.
There are many opinions and theories about the causes of the FCK syndrome (food, taurine deficiency, gene defect, etc.). My guess is that the location of the kittens in the mother's abdomen could play a role. I am very glad that I found a way to rescue sick kittens.