This week witnessed an event that will have some animal lovers cheering: the arrival on the market of long-promised ‘allergy-free’ pet cats. But you might be surprised at how low-tech these cute kitties are — especially considering the almost US$4,000 price tag. The cats are being sold by Allerca, a company based in San Diego, California. It is currently taking orders for deliveries next year.
Founder Simon Brodie says he started by trying to genetically engineer a low-allergy cat, but during the early testing stages the team accidentally stumbled on animals that seemed to be naturally sniffle-free. “Maybe you could say we got lucky,” he says, with the “totally naturally occurring cat.”
That has allowed the company to be first on the scene in what is predicted to be a very lucrative market, overtaking companies attempting to create hypoallergenic cats by transgenic methods.