Fluffy Felines Without The Sneeze!

Allerca, a San Diego company, claims to have bred the first cats that don't cause allergies! For cat lovers who are allergic, this is good news.

However, expect a significant price tag for these furry felines. In fact the price of an allergy-free cat will likely soar well beyond the cost of a kitten at the local pet store - even purebred cats don't have this kind of price tag. Those who want to buy a cat from Allerca will be looking at $3,500 to pre-purchase an allergy-friendly kitty. It could then take over 2 years to actually get the allergy-kind cat in your hands. Each customer that orders a cat is actually reserving the next available kitten.

Do you want your allergy-friendly pet sooner? Well, you can fork out almost another $2,000 in order to get placed on a priority list. This could get you a kitten by 2007.

Initially, Allerca was planning to create a genetically-modified feline, which would be allergy-free. However, the company eventually resorted to old-fashioned breeding, and managed to breed out the gene that creates the cat's allergenic proteins.

There doesn't seem to be real proof of Allerca's claims, and thus far the company has also maintained silence on the science behind these new cats. However, this hasn't kept the company out of hot water: Allerca is being sued by Transgenic Pets, another company that claims Allerca stole their ideas for both the business and the allergen-free cats.

Allerca has been asked about their pricing and payment approach for their cats, especially given the long wait times from payment to delivery of a pet. Allerca has indicated that they expect customers to commit to their animals, since the animals cannot be simply re-stocked.

In the meantime, the company is working on putting together a solid group of breeding felines, so that they can ensure the right genetics in every single feline that they breed. Looking ahead to 2007, that will mean Allerca should have between 400 and 500 allergic-friendly kittens to sell. However, the number of available allergy-friendly kittens should increase rapidly to 5,000 in the year 2008.

News Release, June 8, 2006

Union-Tribune, SignOnSanDiego.com

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