US company offers hypo-allergenic cats
Deutsche Presse-Agenteur dpa
Monday September 25, 2006
Los Angeles- An American company on Monday began offering what it touted as the world's first hypo-allergenic cats - felines specially bred without the specific gene protein that causes allergies in sensitive humans. The cats cost some 4,000 US dollars and can be ordered over the Internet for delivery in early 2007.
The animals were developed by scientists at the San Diego-based company Allerca using natural breeding techniques. According to company spokesman Stephen May, scientists identified the protein "Fel d1" as the cause of allergies and then found a female with extremely low levels of the protein to start its breeding programme.
In clinical tests, her kitten, named Joshua, did not trigger allergic reactions in people who are usually sensitive to cats. Allerca believes that allergic cat lovers will pay a small fortune for the special pets.
"In times of need and passion, whether it's depression, whether it's something traumatic, nothing substitutes the love of a pet. You can't put a price on it," said May.
The kittens will be sold spayed or neutered and will also come with a micro chip installed as pet insurance.
© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur dpa