Oct
03
2006

Breathe easy, allergy suffering cat lovers

in

Pet Cat: This particular cat is not hypoallergenic, but Allerca has made other individuals of the species that are.  Photo Courtesy of A. Bellew.
Pet Cat: This particular cat is not hypoallergenic, but Allerca has made other individuals of the species that are. Photo Courtesy of A. Bellew.

Allergic to cats?

Well, it is now possible to cuddle up with one of the furry critters without battling sneezing fits and itchy eyes. A company called Allerca has developed the first hypoallergenic cat.

How do cat allergies work?

Cat allergy sufferers' antibodies overreact to the Feld1 protein that is secreted by the sebaceous glands on the skin of many cats. This overreaction can cause a wide range of problems including mild symptoms of itchy eyes and runny nose, swelling, breathing problems, hives and even more serious problems such as anaphylactic shock.

The cat allergen has been difficult to deal with because it is extremely small, about 10 times smaller than pollen or dust particles. Also, it is persistent. It can remain in the air for several months.

What did Allerca do?

Allerca began its research by attempting to genetically engineer a low allergy cat. They planned to use a biotechnology technique known as RNA inference. RNA inference makes it possible to silence specific genes. Allerca wanted to figure out how to quiet the Feld1 protein gene.

In the mean time, they ended up unintentionally discovering a naturally occurring hypoallergenic cat. They discovered three cats that produce a slightly different version of the Feld1 protein and this protein had no effect on cat allergy sufferers.

Their research has not yet been published in a scientific journal, but Allerca scientists told Nature that they plan to soon. The company has already begun marketing the cats, so you could purchase your own if you like. Although, it will cost you close to $4000. But if you are a hardcore cat lover who suffers from allergies, it might be worth it to live completely cat allergy free.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Joe's picture
Joe says:

I would love to own a cat, but am very allergic. I hope the price for these cats will come down!

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:22am
Marilyn's picture
Marilyn says:

I have a half Mane coon and Kalico Hypo-allergenic kitten she is very cute I always get complements on how cute she is I am pregnant now so I am forced to give her away,I am not looking for alot of money, only a loving home.
Her name is Bella she has all her shots and spaid.
Ph# 778-330-4306 e-mail [email protected]

posted on Mon, 09/03/2007 - 12:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

please let me know if she is still available

posted on Thu, 10/04/2007 - 2:54pm
Isabelle's picture
Isabelle says:

I think its great that people who are allergic to cats can now enjoy having them as pets, because they are great animals and everyone should get to have them as pets if they want!

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 4:54pm
Logan's picture
Logan says:

i think that cats are very nice to have i have 2 my self and if u love them it is worth the 4 grand.

posted on Tue, 11/21/2006 - 8:25pm
Molly's picture
Molly says:

I think that this is cool some peaple think its wrong because they think that they are altering their DNA but their not at all it is just some cats have the hypoalergenic DNA strand and it is naturally in there it was not put into the cat. I don't think that the cat should cost 4,000 dollars because we all don't have 4,000 dollars to throw away. but besides the money factor I think it is really cool that there are cats that are hypoallergenic!!

Molly

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:03pm
Cameron's picture
Cameron says:

I think that this advance in technology could help with other allergens in other animals. With this discovery, scientists may consider other ways to find antivenoms as well. This discovery would help greatly for a cat lover who may want a cat and can't own one because they or someone else is allergic. Although, $4,000 is way to expensive for a cat!!! Otherwise, this is a great scientific advancement.

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:09pm
Pmitchell001's picture
Pmitchell001 says:

I think that it is OUTRAGEOUS to buy a 4,000 dollar CAT. If you love cats that much then you should buy like a toy cat and use your money for something else (education, groceries, etc.). If you buy a toy cat that is very similar to a real cact you could possibly save like $3,900. People should think twice about the decisions that they make nowadays. Now, in a way these hypo-allergic cats can be useful. They should just be sold at a cheaper price.

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Coolieo that means cool!!!!

posted on Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

So why not try a Siberian Boskat, which is known to have a very low Feld-1 protein content in its saliva. Especially the females seem to do ok for people with cat allergies.

These cats cost (in Europe) around USD 350.00 for a kitten. A lot less expensive than the altered cat that would cost you USD 4000.00.

posted on Sun, 10/15/2006 - 1:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Thanks for showing this! I am obsessed with cats, but I can't have one because my mom is allergic to cats. Thanks again!

posted on Fri, 11/10/2006 - 4:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Yola,

What up my peeps?!?!

I LOVE CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 11/11/2006 - 2:55pm
Miles's picture
Miles says:

11/11/06 Dear whoever reads this,

Cats are my favorite animal. I really love them. I am allergic, but I have two anyway! I absulutely love cats so much!

posted on Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Dear whoever,

Cats are my favorite animal and all but one problem... my brother is becoming allergic to them!! He sneezes whenever he is even in the same room as one. I'm really scared that we might have to get rid of both of our cats.Since i am only ten, i'mreally unhappy

Signed,

Anonmous

posted on Sat, 11/11/2006 - 3:08pm
Jokieva Siberian Cattery's picture

I am a Siberian Cat breeder. We now have 6 females, 2 males and 5 babies. I am very allergic to cats, with nose running, eyes ithing and crying and even asthma. With my Siberian cats... wonderful !!! No reaction. All my kittens were and are sold to allergic people and so far, no problem. I sell them around 900$ CAD, depending on colour for pet kitten. I sell them already neutered/spayed, with all their vaccines, registered with TICA.
I think that 4 000 $ is outrageous as so many people cannot have a cat and they do not have necessarily 4 000 $ to spend on a kitten. I think my 900$ covers all expenses I have with my breeders (each of my breeding cats come up to 2 000 $).

posted on Sat, 01/05/2008 - 6:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am really disapointed in ALLERCA. They announced in a newsletter email to a lot of their current clients that they are increasing their price of the allergy free kittens GD to $15,000.00 by November 1, 2008. When they first talked about the kittens on the morning news they were like oh, we want to help people who have allergies be able to enjoy having a pet w/o problems of allergies. Well, I can hardly see how raising the price from $5,900 to $15,000.00 is going to be attainable for the majority of families. I think a lot of it is greed. And it's a disapointment....I thought they sounded different from a lot of companies. I guess all we can hope for now is that some other company will come out with allergy free pets or that Allerca will realize that they really won't be able to help that many. There is NO way that their costs have trippled! If international business is what's causing the prices to go up then let the international's pay it!

posted on Thu, 08/21/2008 - 9:00pm
Military Degrees's picture

Thanks for the resource on cat allergies. Its comforting to know you can still own a cat even if someone has allergies to them.

posted on Tue, 10/20/2009 - 4:45pm
miami-allergy's picture

Nice blog here.. You just have to Limit your exposure to the cat and Don't allow your cat to roam free, Keep the cat away of your bedroom often..

posted on Sat, 12/04/2010 - 5:17am
Sherwin123's picture
Sherwin123 says:

What a great scientific breakthrough. I am a cat lover thankfully I'm not allergic to felines. Its great that other allergic cat lovers can also get a feel of hugging a cat and feeling the love. But $4000 still feels a bit pricey.

posted on Thu, 09/08/2011 - 11:06pm

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