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hypoallergenic cats and dogs

flipgirl4
November 23rd, 2008, 10:42 PM
I was surfing the net last night and came across this website:
http://www.allerca.com/

This company called Allerca, has created a scientifically proven hypoallergenic cat and dog by crossing certain breeds to eliminate the production of Fel D1, the protein that contributes to cat and dog allergies. Here's an excerpt from their site:

Starting with proprietary genetic testing technologies*, the LIFESTYLE PETS team began by focusing on the particular gene that produces the Fel d 1 glycoprotein. The process uses gene sequencing to detect rare naturally occurring genetic divergences in cats. LIFESTYLE PETS then targeted those divergences that could potentially produce kittens with a change in the structure of the Fel d 1 allergen produced by the gene. Using sophisticated bioinformatics to manage feline breeding programs, the final stage resulted in cats with a divergent gene that produces a different version of the Fel D 1 protein that the human body does not recognize as an allergen - and a GD cat that no longer triggers the autoimmune system of people allergic to cats.


The next stage was to conduct controlled experiments exposing volunteers with known feline allergies to both ALLERCA GD cats and non-GD cats. The results? None of the human subjects exposed to the ALLERCA GD cats reacted in any way. When these same volunteers were exposed to non-GD cats, the subjects demonstrated classic symptoms of a feline allergic reaction, including watery eyes, runny noses, hives and itchy skin.

For 2008, LIFESTYLE PETS will introduce a new hypoallergenic breed, the CHAKAN GD, based on the Siamese (priced at $19,900) and the ASHERA GD, a hypoallergenic variant of its exotic ASHERA (priced at US$37,500).

A standard cat costs around $4000 plus, the next upgrad is $19,900 and the exotic version is $37,500! The reps from this company have been on Rachel Ray, CBS morning show amongst other shows. I found many links but also found some that stated that these cats will develop defects and others that say some people had to be rejected as owners because the cats were not totally non-allergenic.

Kind of freaky but apparently, people are buying them up!

Etown_Chick
November 24th, 2008, 11:45 PM
I'd heard of the cats, without the protein that people are allergic to. Frikken expensive but hey if you really want a cat....with hair..what else do you do?

flipgirl4
November 26th, 2008, 02:26 AM
True enough. The dogs cost from $85K to $120K...it just kind of seemed Jurassic Parkish to me. I can understand getting one but it seems unnatural to me? I don't know....

catlover2
December 1st, 2008, 11:13 AM
Rather than buying one of these very expensive allergy-free cats or dogs at astromical $$$, a vaccine for cat allergies is on the way. Can't come soon enough. I have a son-in-law & daughter-in-law, both highly allergic to cats that only come for short visits---4 hours is about the max indoors, and I have 2 Devon Rex cats that are more hypoallergenic than other breeds.

http://www.personalmd.com/news/a1996121907.shtml

flipgirl4
December 2nd, 2008, 04:44 AM
Thanks for the link!!! That's good news for sure!!!

I did hear that Devon Rex's shed very little. I started another thread about Siberian Forest cats and Russian Blues - apparently, these breeds produce less of the most prominent protein, Fel d1, associated with cat allergies. There a little cheaper at $800 - 1800 (show cats being at the higher range)!

I wonder if cat dander goes up and down during the day? Does anyone know? Because it seems that my allergies get worse sometimes but don't bother me much at other times with my cat. Like right now, he's sleeping on my legs and my throat is tightening up. But he's slept on my chest before and it didn't bother me. Weird.

ancientgirl
December 2nd, 2008, 10:56 AM
I've been allergic to cats and dogs since my early 20's. I'm 41 now and for the last year have slowly been adding to my cat family, starting with one in April of 2007 and finishing with my fifth one this past January.

I don't believe there can ever be a truly hypoallergenic breed of cat or dog. My boss has one of the supposed breeds, and whenever I go to his house, I can only stay a short time and leave wheezing and feeling like I have a 1 ton elephant on my chest.

I think I've grown used to my cats dander. I used to take allergy medication, 3 kinds and now only take a nasal allergy spray a few times a week. I also have asthma which is controlled.

I have days when I have no issues at all. No sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, nothing. But then I have days when I can't stop sneezing. I think it's just your body readjusting constantly. Mine all sleep with me and they have been in every part of my apartment, so cat hair is pretty much everywhere.:laughing:

mimzy
December 3rd, 2008, 12:09 AM
I had heard that those people were a scam. Let me look and see for sure, but I'm almost positive that I saw several articles to that effect several months ago.

(Besides, if you want a hypoallergenic cat get a Bengal. Or for a dog, a Chinese Crested.... they'll be naked, but no fur may equal no allergies!)

Edit: That was fast! Didn't read the articles, but here are the first three pages that popped up when I goggled "Allerca scam"

http://www.digitalchangeling.com/blog/2007/03/allerca-you-make-me-cry.html
http://ikarma.typepad.com/ikarma/2007/06/allerca_lifesty.html
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206184220AAeTDYQ

bubbles007
December 3rd, 2008, 12:33 AM
I was surfing the net last night and came across this website:
http://www.allerca.com/

This company called Allerca, has created a scientifically proven hypoallergenic cat and dog by crossing certain breeds to eliminate the production of Fel D1, the protein that contributes to cat and dog allergies. Here's an excerpt from their site:

Starting with proprietary genetic testing technologies*, the LIFESTYLE PETS team began by focusing on the particular gene that produces the Fel d 1 glycoprotein. The process uses gene sequencing to detect rare naturally occurring genetic divergences in cats. LIFESTYLE PETS then targeted those divergences that could potentially produce kittens with a change in the structure of the Fel d 1 allergen produced by the gene. Using sophisticated bioinformatics to manage feline breeding programs, the final stage resulted in cats with a divergent gene that produces a different version of the Fel D 1 protein that the human body does not recognize as an allergen - and a GD cat that no longer triggers the autoimmune system of people allergic to cats.


The next stage was to conduct controlled experiments exposing volunteers with known feline allergies to both ALLERCA GD cats and non-GD cats. The results? None of the human subjects exposed to the ALLERCA GD cats reacted in any way. When these same volunteers were exposed to non-GD cats, the subjects demonstrated classic symptoms of a feline allergic reaction, including watery eyes, runny noses, hives and itchy skin.

For 2008, LIFESTYLE PETS will introduce a new hypoallergenic breed, the CHAKAN GD, based on the Siamese (priced at $19,900) and the ASHERA GD, a hypoallergenic variant of its exotic ASHERA (priced at US$37,500).

A standard cat costs around $4000 plus, the next upgrad is $19,900 and the exotic version is $37,500! The reps from this company have been on Rachel Ray, CBS morning show amongst other shows. I found many links but also found some that stated that these cats will develop defects and others that say some people had to be rejected as owners because the cats were not totally non-allergenic.

Kind of freaky but apparently, people are buying them up!

ok so they're hypo-allergenic, but have they tested them for anything else? Like what diseases they can get or pass on to humans, and what about violence?

Anything can happen when you mess with something you dont fully understand...

flipgirl4
December 3rd, 2008, 07:52 AM
Thanks for looking into that mimzy. It does seem Jurassic Parkish to me and according to the first link, Allerca doesn't seem to be very responsive in backing up their claims. It amazes me that the guy was on Rachel Ray (not that she is the end all of reliable broadcasting) but on CBS morning show (I think it was that show). It seems this company should be on TMZ!

In the second link, one of the responses talked about the Siberian....apparently, these cats don't produce as much of the Fel D1 protein as most cats do. (I mentioned Siberians in my previous post on this thread) There is a url: www.siberiancatsinc.com which gives more info. I checked out some breeders and one of them actually gives the levels of Fel D1 of each of their breeding cats. The level is passed on by the mother I believe. Another breeder in New Jersey will send you a fur sample - on this siberiancatsinc.com website, it gives you guidelines on how to test for allergies either by using a fur sample or by spending time with a Siberian. It says to spend time with the mother and father as opposed to the kittens. These breeders acknowledge that Siberians are not totally non-allergenic as Fel D1 is not the only protein one can be allergic to and one may be very sensitive to even the low levels of this protein.

It's not the hair that people are allergic to but the protein secreted in a cat's saliva. the reason why it's so prevalent on a cat is because a cat licks itself all over, thereby spreading the protein. A dog does not do this to the extent a cat does.

Wikipedia also states that the Russian Blue may be less allergenic but I have yet to find anything that even suggests that.

Mind you, no one is claiming that Siberians or Russian Blues have been scientifically proven to be hypoallergenic...and they are much less expensive!

I'm also now wondering why this Allerca company hasn't been exposed? If I had spent $5000 on a cat and was scammed, I'd be sure to expose them. And this person only bought the "standard" cat, not the exotic at $37500!

marko
January 20th, 2010, 03:32 PM
This is an old thread but I'd like to revive it.

Aside from the US company allerca that charges 5000+ per cat, There is talk of Siberian cats in general being hypoallergenic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_%28cat%29

I'm skeptical but open-minded...so....Do any members have personal experience with this?

Kay9
January 20th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Re dogs--I believe President Obama adopted a Portuguese water dog because they were supposed to be the most hypoallergenic breed of dog (his daughter has allergies).

I read about the devon rex cat re being the most hypoallergenic (I believe they don't have fur). That is kind of creepy, actually! :eek:

ancientgirl
January 20th, 2010, 06:40 PM
The thing is, it's not the fur/hair, it's the dander, which is a protein that they shed from their skin and I think their saliva has it too.:shrug:

I'm pretty used to my cats already. Just use some Nasonex a few times a week, vacuum often and I'm good.

sugarcatmom
January 20th, 2010, 08:10 PM
I'm skeptical but open-minded...so....Do any members have personal experience with this?

A co-worker of mine bought a Siberian for his highly allergic wife about 4 yrs ago, and she hasn't had any problems with him (the cat, I mean).

marko
January 21st, 2010, 11:12 AM
A co-worker of mine bought a Siberian for his highly allergic wife about 4 yrs ago, and she hasn't had any problems with him (the cat, I mean).

Thanks so much SCM! This is the exact type of personal experience I am after.

catlover2
January 21st, 2010, 03:09 PM
I have 2 Devon Rex cats and they do shed very little. Sometimes they're called the "poodle cat" as they have a soft short wavey coat, but my sil is still allergic to them. Even the hairless Sphynx cat is not non-allergenic to some people because of the allergen in the saliva. But in the hairless Sphynx description of Cat Fanciers' Assoc. it does say:
"Some people who suffer from cat allergies can tolerate living with Sphynx cats. However, depending on the type and severity of the individual's allergic reactions, there are still people who cannot live with this breed."

I don't know about the Siberian cat being non-allergenic; the breed description of it in Cat Fanciers' Assoc. doesn't not mention anything about this breed being non-allergenic, nor is there any mention of it in the siberiancatworld.com website , but in Wikipedia it says:

"Hypoallergenic qualities of the Siberian coat have been noted and commented on for almost ten years. While there is little scientific evidence, breeders and pet owners claim that Siberians can be hypoallergenic to many allergy sufferers. Since females of all feline breeds produce lower levels of Fel d1, Breeders often suggest that allergic families adopt female cats. If you are allergic, it is wisest to check your reactivity directly with the parent cats from whom you plan to adopt a kitten. Many people believe that the breed produces less Fel d1, the primary allergen present on cats."

So it would be best to go to a Siberian breeder and spend an hour or so with the cats to see if there is any reaction if you're allergic.

marko
January 21st, 2010, 04:07 PM
Thanks - I have also heard some people say that BENGALS are hypoallergenic.

I think at this point it's common knowledge that the allergen resides in the saliva and is spread onto the fur through grooming. IF certain breeds produce less of the allergen, it's logical that some people may have reduced reactions or no reactions at all. It really will depend on the HOW allergic the individual person is and does the breed in question actually produce a reduced amount of the allergen. But to say that any breed is hypoallergenic and that's that...to my mind this is false, unethical (unless you can prove it 100% of the time) and a product of 'marketing'. For this to be true - the cat would have to produce ZERO amount of the allergen. I have never heard of such a claim to this day.

At least this is how i understand it. Anyone with more insight should feel free to correct me on this matter...

This is why I'm after the personal experiences...it's all just hearsay imo UNTIL we hear it from someone we trust... "That's how the light gets in" (Leonard Cohen lyric :) )

Thx! Marko

sugarcatmom
January 21st, 2010, 05:47 PM
But to say that any breed is hypoallergenic and that's that...to my mind this is false,

I absolutely agree. Any ethical Siberian breeder should be telling potential buyers that allergic response is individual. Apparently my co-worker was encouraged by his cat's breeder to visit several times and to even take home a baggie of fur and dander to fondle at home before making a decision. Oh, and just for reference, the cat cost $900.

marko
January 21st, 2010, 05:59 PM
I'm glad our thinking is on the same page SCM.

Although 900. is a lot of money, it's better than the 7,000 USD allerca is charging (that's right, they upped the price by 2 grand). Some people STILL are reported to have symptoms with allerca cats...though apparently allerca has a refund policy.

To me this suggests they even allerca cannot produce a cat with ZERO allergens.... It would surprise me very much if many allerca customers were unsatisfied though. You can't stay in business for long selling $7,000 cats if they don't usually do the trick.

marko
January 21st, 2010, 06:11 PM
Also...I'm not convinced that this is really Jurassic parkish.

It seems to me that this may well be simple biology with a hefty dose of marketing. I heard once upon a time that these animals are genetically modified but I see no evidence of this.

To me this seems like pure selective breeding....and THAT's why the results are not foolproof. You are not producing or crossing cats with NO allergen, you are crossing cats with little allergen in the hopes that the offsping will also produce little or reduced allergen in their saliva.

Maybe they are using Siberian cats that are known to produce reduced allergens which is why other breeders can also sell 'hypoallergenic cats' .... and their $22,000 dollar cat looks like a bengal on steroids... some people are saying that bengals are also easier on allergy sufferers.

Again if someone knows anything to the contrary please share. :2cents: Thx - Marko