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Allergy-Free Kittens Produced 276

An anonymous reader writes "San Diego-based company, Allerca, said that using a technique known as genetic divergence, it has 'bred the world's first hypoallergenic kitten, opening the doors and arms of millions of pet lovers for whom cuddling a cat has, until now, been a curse ... After identifying the genes of kittens with proteins that provide less of a reaction in humans, they selectively bred litters over several generations to end up with an allergy-friendly super cat.' The company says its customers are expected to take delivery of their $4,000 hypoallergenic kittens in early 2007."
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Allergy-Free Kittens Produced

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  • by pboulang ( 16954 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:44PM (#15507633)
    oops, they forget to mention the lawsuits against the owner, no actual product scientifically tested, and the expose done by local San Diego TV.. I'll take two..
  • yro? (Score:5, Funny)

    by novastar123 ( 540269 ) <chris DOT claus42 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:46PM (#15507639)
    How exactly is this Your Rights Online? unless said $4000 cat is a blogger, it has nothing to do with online as i see it.
    • Re:yro? (Score:2, Funny)

      The $4000 cat is actually spyware.
      Watch out when it walks on your keyboard.
    • The company only takes orders from their website, which you'll have to pay an extra $.78 per visit unless you either have the Comcast Super-Happy-Family-Platinum-Edition-Xtreme-Speed plan or are using Googlenet.

      Of course, if you're spending $4000 on a cat, you won't be missing those 78 cents.
    • Re:yro? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Bob of Dole ( 453013 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:01AM (#15507685) Journal
      I have a right to not sneeze at your cat!
      Especially while online! I don't want to have to clean my monitor...
    • Actually, with the recent development of cats [youtube.com], scientists have started to use the felines as an energy source, powering a lot of servers. This new breed of cats helps a lot of the allergic sysadmins who can utilize the animals not only for power, but for security as well. You might not notice it on the frontend, but on the backend - more cats equals more servers. And more servers gives people the ability to express themselves.
    • How exactly is this Your Rights Online? unless said $4000 cat is a blogger, it has nothing to do with online as i see it.
      Zonk missed the Science section due to some YRO-related problem.
    • In Soviet Russia, kittens are allergic to YOU!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:46PM (#15507641)
    Why would you pay $4000 for a kitten that could be dead if only one person masturbates?
  • by zanglang ( 917799 ) <zanglang.gmail@com> on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:47PM (#15507644)
    OMG Kittens!
  • ...financing?
  • For my $4000.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:53PM (#15507665)
    I'm sure they will be delivering them spayed and neutered. But for my $4000, I'd want one that had all its parts... And if one got out into the wild, would they pull a "Monsanto" (Monsanto demanded and got fees from farmers who ended up with genetically altered crops from cross polarization, not because they planted them)
    • The case is pretty clear. I don't have a link to it, but the farmer's field, that he said was contaminated by windblown encroachment, turned out to be over 80% Monsanto seed, not just Monsanto at the edges.

      He knowingly reaped seed from last year's crops and replanted it. Which was against his license agreement.
    • Monsanto demanded and got fees from farmers who ended up with genetically altered crops from cross polarization, not because they planted them

      They definitely weren't cross polarized, but maybe they weren't cross pollinated [reason.com] either...

    • Of course the cats should be delivered spayed and neutered. Nobody has mentioned that we still have a HUGE overpopulation problem in this country with cats and dogs. My local shelter has to euthanize 80% of what comes in. There's no need to be breeding cats at all. We have way too many already. This is just more human hubris and greed.

      If we had any kind of thinking lawmakers, all dog and cat breeding would be outlawed until animal shelters don't have to euthanize millions of animals every day.
      • Nobody has mentioned that we still have a HUGE overpopulation problem in this country with cats and dogs. My local shelter has to euthanize 80% of what comes in.

        Well that explains it. With lazy people like yourself who aren't putting in 100% no wonder there are too many dogs and cats. I'm sure if you did your bit and put in an extra 20%, and everyone like you did the same, the problem would go away.
      • Which country is this?

        In the UK, or at least in my part of England, animal charities still say that everyone should have their cats spayed/neutered, even though there is something of a shortage of kittens now and it can be rather difficult to get one. Also, there are very few strays around here.

        That said, I went to Madrid (capital of Spain) last year, and the parks there are full of strays; you see them everywhere like sparrows or something.
    • Re:For my $4000.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by value_added ( 719364 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @04:56AM (#15508255)
      I'm sure they will be delivering them spayed and neutered. But for my $4000, I'd want one that had all its parts... And if one got out into the wild, would they pull a "Monsanto" (Monsanto demanded and got fees from farmers who ended up with genetically altered crops from cross polarization, not because they planted them)

      My guess is that the same rules that apply to normal breeding would apply in this case. I'll speak from the point of view of dogs because that's what I'm familiar with, but I'm sure the same applies to cats as well.

      Typically, when you buy from a breeder, the sale is made at the discretion of the breeder. Put another way, you get the animal (with all the parts) and the papers only if the breeder considers you responsible enough to continue the line and/or are interested and capable of showing the animal. Most breeders won't have anything to do with the general public, so the idea of getting a "pet" (either with or without all the parts) is out of the question.

      The exception, of course, is in the case of where part of the litter is, for lack of a more polite term, substandard. Those animals won't get bred. If the breeder decides not to keep them around as a pet, they will be given to or sold to an interested buyer who is already known to the breeder (most breeders will maintain waiting lists that span years). The animal will be spayed or neutered beforehand, and the papers will be provided. In certain circumstances, an exception is made and the animal is let go without being spayed or neutered under an agreement that the animal will not be bred, and the papers are withheld indefinitely, or until such time that the new owner provides evidence that the animal was spayed or neutered after the fact.

      The above doesn't apply to backyard breeders, puppy mills, pet stores, etc. so all bets are off as to what you get, or what the rules are. With respect to the article, my guess is that anyone breeding cats specifically for hypoallergenic qualities is looking to sell them as pets only and definitely wouldn't want them going out the door with all their parts.
    • Monsanto: delivering quality products since agent orange....
    • They can't, because these cats are not the product of genetic engineering, just traditional breeding. There are already "natural" cats with this hypoallergenic property- you're paying $4000 for a guaranteed that your cat will have it.
  • by shird ( 566377 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:58PM (#15507677) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't it be much easier to just have a Bonsai Kitten [bonsaikitten.com]? No mess, no fuss, no allergies. And you can store it neatly on the shelf.
  • by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
    It would be nice to play with a cat without being miserable. However, I think we should be trying to breed healthy and smart pets instead of designer stuff like this. I'd rather have a smart mutt than one that is stupid and gets sick all the time. Yeah, I realize my ideal pet could be considered "designer". Also, YRO??
    • So a data dog [wikipedia.org]?

      • As someone who is a big fan of Pembroke Welsh Corgis... and who doesn't give a crap about anime...

        I am freaking SICK of meeting fat people with corgis named "Ein". We get it, you're a nerd. If you have to do something nerdly, don't make it so obvious. Name your dog after your D&D character or something.
    • I'm Allergic to Cats .... It would be nice to play with a cat without being miserable.

      How about this one [burkesbackyard.com.au]? Older technology, but it's only half the price...

      • It has some hair so it is not the absolute solution. It is considerably less messy than a persian or angora but still can cause allergies.

        By the way, no need to go that far.

        Siamese do not shed a lot of hair either and they are cheaper. Based on my extremely unscientific observation of my old Siamese (it lives with my mom nowdays) they do not cause allergic reaction in many (not all) people who are supposedly allergic to cats.

        They are also much more fun. Especially the males who are usually very friendly "Un

    • Amen! I've been saying this for years. Look at the amount of variance we've developed in dogs through selective breeding over the years. If we'd had a sustained program of selecting for intelligence, we could have really intelligent dogs by now. They could be very useful. Imagine the blind or the deaf having such dogs. Also it would be cool if you could tell your dog to go to the corner shop and get you a paper, etc. Has that ever been done? Instead of teaching commands like heel, come by, etc. Teach the d
  • Patented Cats? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dduardo ( 592868 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:03AM (#15507695)
    I know the producers the genetically modified plants don't like people planting their proprietary seeds. Are people allowed to breed these genetically modified cats?
    • Fortunately there seems to be no mention of actual patents except in the article flag. If there really were any patents pending, the mere thought of the ethical implications should be a rallying cry for patent reform:
      • Breeding + examining the "results" = (still just) breeding, like it has been done for thousands of years (and for the religiously inclined, with the blessing of our Lord: Gen 1:28 [biblegateway.com])
        How should using a genetic test for a known gene (i.e. the obvious step to take, instead of looking e.g. at the c
  • People.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by demogorgonx ( 785903 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:06AM (#15507700)
    They aren't always going to cost $4000. Just at first.
  • Keeping me warm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skywings ( 943119 ) <skywings_w@yahoo. c o m> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:08AM (#15507706)

    For someone who has grown up never having a cute,furry pet, this is something I strongly welcome. I have allergies to most things and cats are certainly one of them. There is the constant sense of envy as friends talk about what cute things their kittens have done or how proud they are that their cat has caught a few mice. You can't really say the same sort of thing about fish. Now don't get me wrong, I still care for my fishes very much but I guess that there isn't really the same sort of attachment you would get with a warm blooded mammal.

    I would be willing to pay up to $4000 to buy such a kitten, for if I was to get a regular cat, I'd probably be spending as much in medication.

    • . . .how proud they are that their cat has caught a few mice.

      Ahhhh yes, now you too will be able to experience the joy and wonder of stumbling barefooted toward the bathroom in the middle of night and stepping on three quarters of a mouse.

      • Mine are particularly fond of jumping into the bedroom window, making a very distinctive "MRRFLLL!" sound, then dropping the live mouse (or one time, rat) on our bed while we're trying to sleep.

        I get it, I get it, they're showing me what great little hunters they are... but yeesh.
      • Actually, our callico is fond of giving us Rabbit Asses. Never the front half of bunny... always, and only the ass.

        Our fat one brings home frogs, toads, and slugs. The frogs and toads... he catches. "Honey... do you feel like we're being watched?" "Oh #$% there's a frog under the TV!" The slugs... appear to run him down and catch *him*.

        Our grey one brings home birds and chipmonks, and the occasional mouse/mole.

        Our deaf one doesn't bring home anything, but damn he sure tries. He *does* do a good job of
  • ...until they learn to use your digital camera and you wake up to find them walking along the ceiling.

    Triksies, these ones are!
  • by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:21AM (#15507742) Homepage
    There are some side-effects to the genetic engineering process though, while the cats are both hypoallergenic and cute beyond belief, you must keep them out of daylight, you can never get them wet and you can never ever feed them after midnight.
  • Homer dumps his cat and dog in a burlap sack to breed "a miracle hybrid, with the loyalty of a cat and the cleanliness of a dog."
  • I, for one, welcome our allergy-friendly, super cat overlords. ah-choo!!
  • Allergy free? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shodai ( 970706 )
    Wouldn't allergy-free people be much more efficient?
  • now if they can just engineer cats to 1) not pee on your bed, 2) have better smelling dumps 3) not be totally offthewall insane about 90% of the time and 4) take orders from their owners...

    they just might make good pets.
    • Sounds like you just want a dog :D Sure, number 2 is still a problem, but other than that ...
    • Perhaps you were trying to be funny, but...


      1) I have been around many cats all my life. Never has one urinated on any bed. In fact, with the exception of one that was dying, they none have ever urinated anywhere but the litter box.

      2) Sorry, can't help you there. But a self-cleaning litterbox is great tech (when it works).

      3) But insanity is part of the fun!

      4) Do you take "orders" from your friends? Then why should cats? Cats have a mind of their own. If you want a slave that focuses on you all the t
  • This is the closest to a pussy you will get ;)
  • Instead of pay $4k, go to a Siberian Forest Cat [wikipedia.org] breeder and buy a kitten from them. This breed is claimed to be hypoallergenic [wikipedia.org] because they contain low levels of Fel d1, meaning that if (like me) you are allergic to cats then you should have a fair chance of not being allergic to these. Note that all of the evidence so far is anecdotal, so you should give a visit to test your reaction to this breed first.
  • how many people allergic to cats would pay that price?

    and it it doesn't protect them from encounters with regular cats - like those running around at
    friends houses. a non-allergic person certainly won't buy one.

    is the cat DRM protected? is it allowed to mate and to run around outside?
    imagine a new breed of stray cats with that "feature" ...
    • Probably not. They're not actually GM, you see. They're selectively bred, with gene sequencing used to get a better idea of what they're doing.
  • Save themselves roughly $3700 and buy a Tonkinese. These cats don't shed, and as a bonus they have a great personality.
  • something you cannot get fur allergys off, something you can call your pussy, and something which scratches you from time to time, get yourself a woman and save the 4000 dollars upfront (although women are more expensive in feeding, and fur cleaning costs in the long run)
  • So, is it just me and my fiancee who play "The Sock Game" with our cat?

    Anyone else?

    (For those trying to figure it out, it's not perverted, but just a weeeee bit cruel)
  • that behaves like a dog.
  • When this company first announced their intended offerings, in October of 2004, my father contacted the company [jaquith.org], just as a goof:

    From: Harry Landers
    To: info@allerca.com
    Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2004
    Subject: Cool Cats

    Dear Allerca,

    I don't need a hypoallergenic cat, but if you can come up with a two-headed cat, I'd be very interested.

    Keep me in mind?

    Harry Landers

    He promptly received this reply:

    From: ALLERCA
    To: Harry Landers
    Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004
    Subject: RE: Cool Cats


    You'll be the first, I promise!!!!!!!

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.