Hypoallergenic Cats

Did anyone else see that some drug company is breeding hypoallergenic cats?? Somehow they isolated a few cats with a gene that suppresses the protein that makes most people allergic to cats, and they bred it out of theirs. They’ve run some trials with these cats and they really do not set off allergies. Now they’re busily breeding them and selling them for $4000 apiece. After careful screening of the host families (you DO believe that, right?). And of course they neuter them before sending them out – overpopulation control or patent protection – you decide!

OK. It’s actually, a good idea, I suppose. I mean, I have close friends and family that are allergic to cats and it’s been one consideration in whether I would get another. But it’s just weird to think of these cats getting bred at a drug company. I suppose no more so than the company who was cloning pets. I just read in the paper that THEY went under because no-one wanted to shell out $35,000 for a clone of little Fifi. Still…

OK first, there’s the cost factor. Letting your cat run around the neighborhood is one thing, if it really, really wants to (and it’s fixed). But this puts it in the investment category, which really doesn’t seem like the right place for a pet. All kinds of decisions could be wrong, and not with the best interest of the pet or the family, if you’re busy thinking about that $4000 you spent to get the cat in the first place.

Then, what about that idea that we’re sterilizing our world to the point where we’re getting more illnesses and allergies because of it. Wouldn’t this just be another step in that direction? And how about all the poor kitties that will get given up when a family suddenly finds it more convenient to have one of these cats, because the new room-mate, boyfriend, child has allergies?

It’s all more than this tabby can process – Meow!

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6 thoughts on “Hypoallergenic Cats

  1. Hey, there already is a naturally occuring hypoallergenic cat, the Devon Rex. We have two and they are a lot of fun. Very people-centric as they are part siamese. My wife would die with a non-hypoallergenic cat, so Devons fit the bill precisely. And, they are only 1/10 the price!

  2. DewKid says:

    We have three of the non-hypoallergenic variety. I think perhaps your wife would be most uncomfortable here, Daniel!!

    One of our cats, Tibby, has actually been with my wife longer than me! We celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary next Thursday, and his 11 year birthday! :)

  3. Leisa says:

    My Father sent me this article about them.

    SCIENCE | October 6, 2006
    Cat Lovers Lining Up for No-Sneeze Kitties

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/06/science/06cat.html?ex=1160798400&en=a2e64a423eb8ef3c&ei=5070&emc=eta1

    By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
    A small California biotech company says it is ready to deliver the Holy Grail of the $35 billion pet industry: a hypoallergenic cat.

    They are cute cats. Wish I could have one since my dear one is allergic but it is pretty creepy.

  4. freesparrow says:

    I feel quite disturbed by this. We modify an animal so that humans can tolerate being around it? So that humans can have a companion animal that suits them?

    Somehow that does not seem quite right.

    Sorry to have a pessimistic response.

  5. don’t worry – I think it’s entirely appropriate to have a pessimistic response.

    On the other hand, cats and dogs have been bred for centuries to be companions to humans – it’s not as if they existed this way in the wild. This is one of those conundrums of modern life – we eat food that has mostly been bred to be the way it is, and have pets that have been bred to be the way they are – over long periods of time. But if we do it quickly, through genetic experimentation and alteration, it feels uncomfortable, unpleasant, immoral, maybe even dangerous somehow. I think that is interesting (not making a judgment one way or the other)…

  6. freesparrow says:

    Yes, I see what you mean.

    It seems that if genetic modification has been used, then it is questionable use of science. I know that is a value laden statement. Sometimes if feel that the tap of such scientific manipulation is dripping now but in time the washer will wear out and the tap will flood. We may not be able to stop it.

    I live in a country which seems to be suffering because of climatic change so the idea of the damage caused by science, technology and expansion is very present right now. Of course I know that science has been immensely beneficial as well.

    The fact that hyperallergenic cats are being produced by drug companies seems weird, as you acknowledged. It seems an unusual business diversification to say the least! Of course, drug companies are natural objects for suspicion in a conspiracy paradigm, something too easy to fall into.

    Thanks for your blog. I was interested in the Tarot aspects initially but find the other content interesting as well. Tarot blogs give another entry to the tarot community and offer a different experience than forums and lists. There are some excellent tarot blogs now.

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