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No-Sneeze Kittens:

If Allerca can deliver on its promise to breed a hypoallergenic cat, I may have to reconsider my aversion to felines. Welcome to the world of "lifestyle pets."

Mikeyes (mail):
This is not exactly news as hypoallerginic dogs (i.e. hairless) have been around for centuries. Of course, that would make one ugly cat.
10.6.2006 11:12am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
How ridiculous. I read somewhere that the people who get the allergies to cats, dogs, and other animals are the ones who are not allowed to be around the animals during early childhood, but instead are kept in hermetically clean home environments by fanatically overprotective parents. I am not arguing there is no market for a hypoallergenic cat (capitalism always exploits demand for a product), but rather none of the people I have known throughout my lifetime who have hung around horse barns have ever had allergy problems related to animals and therefore would not need this added expense.
10.6.2006 12:25pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
JA, you still have not asnwered whether you are the JA who was my torts prof, but if so, this world of "lifestyle pets" was the subject of a directed study I completed with J. Thomas McCarthy on genetically engineered anmal patents. That was about 1988-89, and they were already working on genetically engineering and/or cloning horses, cows, dogs, cats, monkeys, oil-eating bacteria, etc. -- a fascinating subject. With horses, I belive the goal is for people who can afford it to be able to either clone a favorite horse that has passed on or genetically enigneer in or out physical and/or mental attributes to *build* the perfect superior performance competition horse. not too far a stretch to designer children.
10.6.2006 12:29pm
KevinM:
The "manufacturer" claims that, like all responsible pet owners, they will spay their cats. Law and economics types: Can you think of some other motive the company might have to spay their product, which will sell for many thousand dollars per unit?
10.6.2006 12:59pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
This raised my eyebrows:
Ms. Chytrowsky, who says she is normally quite allergic, had no symptoms even though she allowed Joshua to sleep in her bed. "I fell in love with him," she said. "He is a real stud — well, he is a stud, really."
Joshua is a cat.
10.6.2006 1:32pm
Bryan DB:
Let me hit multiple topics here...
JA: I don't think there's any question they'll deliver on the promise. As I understand it, they've already succeeded, and it's just a matter of getting the cats to the folks.

Mikeyes: hairless doesn't work for cats. The allergenic protein is in their skin and saliva. Maybe a spitless cat would work...

KevinM: The motive is clearly the dollars. Same reason Monsanto won't let you re-plant the seeds from Roundup Ready plants. Where's the profit margin in reproductive hypoallergenic cats if two owners can just get together and breed more of them?
10.6.2006 1:35pm
Bryan DB:
JA:
http://www.allerca.com/html/pricingreserve.html

Note that the waiting list is quite long, but a Premium Placement Fee of $1950 will get you near the front of the line, so that the wait is only a few months.
10.6.2006 1:37pm
Spartacus (www):
There is quite a wide gap between being allowed "around the animals during early childhood" and being "kept in hermetically clean home environments by fanatically overprotective parents." While I never owned a cat or dog as a child, I frequently visited my relatives who had both cats and dogs. I was always allergic to both since early childhood, although I did not live in a hermetically clean home--like many allergy sufferes I am also allergic to common household dust, which there was plenty of in my unhermetic home.
10.6.2006 1:47pm
Syd Henderson's Cat (mail):
Bryan: Hairless does work for some people, but not the severely allergic. Devon and Cornish Rexes might be better for the mildly allergic than Sphynxes. For one thing, they're easier to take care of.
10.6.2006 2:16pm
Steve P. (mail):
With horses, I belive the goal is for people who can afford it to be able to either clone a favorite horse that has passed on or genetically enigneer in or out physical and/or mental attributes to *build* the perfect superior performance competition horse. not too far a stretch to designer children.

Umm, really? Does the fact that we cage genetically-modified cows, feed them, and then kill them for food mean it's 'not too far a stretch' before we do the same with people?
10.6.2006 2:29pm
Stephen C. Carlson (www):
Their monopoly will eventually disappear when someone lets the cat out of the bag (so to speak).
10.6.2006 3:49pm
M:
From what I understand Siberian cats are hypo-allergenic. I have a friend who is allergic to cats but found that this breed lives up to it's non-reactive promise.
10.6.2006 5:14pm
BobH (mail):
Mountain lions are hypoallergenic cats. Well, not exactly -- but if you sneeze, they eat you.
10.6.2006 6:44pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Umm, really? Does the fact that we cage genetically-modified cows, feed them, and then kill them for food mean it's 'not too far a stretch' before we do the same with people?"

An impermissible analogy -- to compare horses with cows is to compare apples with oranges. Especially since horses can be companion animals and equine disabillity service horses vs. cows, which are mere livestock.
10.7.2006 3:52pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
On animal allergies, exactly as I said above,
10.7.2006 5:08pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Ok, the link got truncated off. Here is the link referenced in the above post: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061007/sc_nm/allergies_pets_dc
10.7.2006 5:09pm