If you’re like me, you love animals, but hate the sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion they can cause thanks to allergies. Nothing delights the soul and helps the heart like the affection of a furry friend — but allergies can stop those amorous feelings in their tracks. Serious pet allergies can be very unpleasant and they may even force you to give up your beloved pet.
If you’ve been holding off getting a cat for fear of endless days of allergies, your animal dry spell may soon be ending. Allerca, a biotech firm, is breeding shorthaired cats with a reduced amount of the histamine-initiating protein called “FEL D1.” This protein is linked to the adverse reactions found in people with cat allergies.
You don’t have to worry about these animals being sci-fi, genetically engineered creatures, though. That idea was thrown out and scientists had to turn to old-fashioned genetic testing and natural mating to create these allergen- reduced kittens. After making sure the bred cats were lacking the FEL D1 protein, researchers subjected humans with known cat allergies to the animals.
The clinical trials revealed no itching, sneezing, watery eyes, or breathing problems that the subjects normally associated with an exposure to cats. The allergies seemed to be completely absent. Some scientists have expressed doubt as to whether these cats will be completely allergy safe for all people and some also worry that allergies to these cats could develop in the future. However, Allerca is confident that their kittens will not result in buyers feeling the annoyance of allergic reactions.
You don’t have long to wait if you want one of these designer kitties. They’ll be shipped throughout the United States at the start of 2007. Bear in mind that these cats don’t come cheap. For just one kitten, you’ll be looking at a price tag of $3,950 US. But for the allergy-plagued animal lover, this price may not be too high to pay in order to get a pet they can actually snuggle with.