Hypoallergenic cats go on sale

Taken from the BBC web site.

What are claimed to be the world's first specially bred hypoallergenic cats have gone on sale in the US.

US biotech firm Allerca says it has managed to selectively breed them by reducing a certain type of protein that triggers allergic reactions.

The company says the animals will not cause the red eyes, sneezing and even asthma triggered by cat allergy, except in the most acute cases.

Despite costing $3,950 (£2,104), there is already a waiting list to get one.

Allerca first started taking orders for hypoallergenic cats back in 2004.

No genetic modification

It tested huge numbers of cats trying to find the tiny fraction that do not carry the glycoprotein Fel d1 - contained in an animal's saliva, fur and skin - which often prompts an allergic reaction in humans.

Those cats were then selectively bred to produce the hypoallergenic kittens now on sale, the company says.

The company's Steve May told the BBC that it was a natural, if time consuming, method.

""This is a natural gene divergence within the cat DNA - one out of 50,000 cats will have this natural divergence,"" he said.

""So candidates - natural divergent cats - were found and then bred so there is really no modification of the gene.""

The BBC's Pascale Harter says there could soon be a global market for the kittens - in the US alone 38 million households own a cat, and around the world an estimated 35% of humans suffer from allergies.

6 Replies

  • I want one! but only if they are really not going to put me oin hospital. I love cats.


  • Me too but i think i would need to win the lottery first to be able to afford one!!

    Are these the ones that have no fur?

  • I'd rather have a hypoallergenic rabbit.

  • apparantly it's not the fur that people are allergic to but the saliva. Because cats lick themselves clean the saliva goes onto the fur and makes people think it's this they're allergic to. These hypoallergic cats have been bred so that their saliva proteins (the things that cause the allergy) are minimal or of the hypoallergic kind, if there's such a thing as a hypoallergic protein.

  • Hormones also play a part -as they do in human asthma.

    Despite buying a selectively bred cat whose genotype has been ‘designed’ not to trigger asthmatic symptoms, the hormonal status of the cat will affect sensitive/sensitised folks. Many people suffer from asthmatic symptoms when coming into contact with unneutered male or female cats regardless of the saliva, pedigree, and/or length and type of fur of a cat. (Although fine haired breeds like Siamese and Burmese seem to be the worst for triggering asthmatic symptoms)

    I’ve often declared my unconditional love for cats in the past, - even now – despite life threatening allergy, and now fostered cats. (DOH once asked if he grew fur and purred would I give him more attention. Didn’t want to answer that question!)

    It’s a lot of money to pay for a ‘maybe’ choice.

    But still love all cats, - little or big, (cheetah’s are my favourite big cat), posh or not!

    Hopalong it’s the Sphynx cat that is totally hairless. It looks so sorry for itself. Must know it lacks the fur to keep it warm.


  • i really love cats and would like to have one as well. I had to give up on my cat because the parents forced me too, coz of my problems... :(

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