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Whatever Became of that Allergen-Free Cat?

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: Science and Technology, health, cats, allergies, hypoallergenic, Allerca, Plenty, The Scientist,

allergy catBack in 2006, we raised a collective eyebrow when we read in now-defunct Plenty that a San Diego company had plans to breed cats with a modified Fel d 1 gene that would render them hypoallergenic. These cats were slated to cost allergy-beset consumers nearly $4,000, and while the company was taking orders, kittens were still a year out, so cat lovers had some waiting to do.

The Scientist now reports that one of the first of these cats to be delivered hasn’t turned out to be all that hypoallergenic. Murray, a gray tabby, caused an early allergic reaction in one of his owners (which eventually tapered off), but guests still can’t tolerate the feline. Allerca, the company that sells the genetically modified cats and dogs, stands behind its claims, and says it warns customers that Fel d 1 is not the only allergen cats produce. Still, here’s the hitch: To get a refund, you have to return your pet. (Murray’s owners have decided they’d rather live with him, allergens and all.)

Sources: The Scientist, Plenty (as archived on Mother Nature Network)

Image by a tai, licensed under Creative Commons.

sandy abrams_2
7/17/2009 12:00:05 PM

Unfortunately many people don't realize that they have alternatives to either harmful drugs or expensive cats and dogs. There are nutritional alternatives that work amazingly well. I had allergies literally 365 days a year, went from 1 medication to another through the year as each lost effectiveness in a few weeks. Then I cycled through them again. Since I found out about the alternative, I don't even have to have antihistimies in the spring or fall when allergies are the worst, and I can now enjoy cats with litle to no problems. Sandy Abrams sabrams@earnlink.net