Saturday, October 07, 2006

No-Sneeze Kitties

Huzzah, Huzzah. A genuine boon to a hurting world:

A small California biotech company says it is ready to deliver the Holy Grail of the $35 billion pet industry: a hypoallergenic cat.

Two cats with a mutant gene that
produces a modified protein
far less likely to induce allergies.

At the start of next year, the first kittens — which the company calls “lifestyle pets” — will go home to eager owners who have been carefully screened and have been on a waiting list for more than two years.

Since it announced the project in October 2004, the company, Allerca, of San Diego, says it has received inquiries from people in 85 countries seeking to buy a cat bred so that its glands do not produce the protein responsible for most human cat allergies.

Cats ordered now will take 12 to 15 months for delivery in the United States, 15 to 18 months in Europe. Cost: $4,000. And owners must pass Allerca’s finicky screening tests.

Prospective buyers are interviewed for motivation and warmth, approved as if they were adopting a child. Will they punish if kitty has an accident on the floor or scratches the furniture? Their families and their homes — from carpets to curtains — must also be evaluated for allergies and allergens.

“You’re not just buying a cat; it’s a medical device that replaces shots and pills,” said Megan Young, chief executive of Allerca. “At the same time, this is a living animal, so the well-being of our product comes before our customers. This is not some high-priced handbag that you put back on the shelf if it doesn’t match.”


ericat said...

I do not quite know what to think. or what I do think should I write it?

I would like to watch this and see where it goes. I am a cat breeder and my main goal is healthy friendly but also true to type kittens... then the task. How do you know what is a good home.
My cat children

Iggy said...

As long as the kitties aren't harmed, I have no problem with it. Them being picky about who adopts probably goes too far, but the fact that they do it makes me think that they probably treat the little buggers well themselves.

And I know so many folks who WISH they could have a kitty and can't.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested might like to read this newspaper article on Allerca before sending in money to the company: