Company's Hypoallergenic Cat Claims May Be a Scam

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Many cat lovers with cat allergies would be willing to pay top dollar for a truly hypoallergenic cat, so when a biotech company called Allerca announced in 2006 that it had developed such a breed, prospective owners forked over thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to get one. But now an investigative report by ABC's "The Lookout" has shown that Allerca's claims about hypoallergenic cats appear to be a lot of unsubstantiated hype.


A protein known as Fel d 1, found in cats' saliva, is what causes allergies to cats. Simon Brodie, the founder of Allerca (now known as Lifestyle Pets) claims that the cats he developed still produce Fel d 1, but at a different molecular weight that does not trigger allergies. However, customers who bought Allerca's cats say that claim is false, that they still suffered from their allergies. Some owners have even been forced to give away their expensive Allerca cats because their allergies to the cats were so bad.

"The Lookout" gave hair samples from Allerca cats to Indoor Biotechnologies, an immunodiagnostics and biotechnology company specializing in allergy, asthma and indoor air quality. The company's tests showed no detectable differences in the Fel d 1 from Allerca cats, concluding that they were no more hypoallergenic than any other everyday house cat.

The investigative team from "The Lookout" confronted Brodie with their findings. Brodie defended his company, saying he has sold hundreds of cats to satisfied customers. He also provided a DNA report to back up his claims. However, "The Lookout" brought that report and other tests displayed on the Allerca website to the scientists who ran the tests, and the scientists claimed that the test results did not actually support Brodie's claims that his cats are hypoallergenic.

Given the dubiousness of Allerca's claims, potential customers will need to decide for themselves whether it's worth spending the money on one of the company's supposedly hypoallergenic cats.

10 'HYPOALLERGENIC' CAT BREEDS:

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annie070186

Read the article on the breeds of cats that are hypoallergenic. There are 10 breeds that cause less allergic reactions. I bought a Bengal about 3 months ago (willing to risk the allergy because I love animals and needed a companion that wouldn't feel abandoned while I work an unpredictable 5-18 hour days). I purchased her because of personality type and because of her beautiful markings. In the three months she has been in my family I only had issues the first week (the stress of being in a new home and traveling caused her to shed a fair amount). I took my allergy medicine and just had itchy eyes for a couple of days. When the shedding stopped I stopped taking the medicine and it is wonderful. Well I read up on this website about different types of hypoallergenic cats. (Not non- allergenic) These cats have fewer reactions than other breeds. I was very lucky that I happened to pick a furry baby that fits perfectly I to my life.

October 06 2013 at 7:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hhall2079

A local veterinary specialist surgeon who does many orthopedic surgeries I know is allergic to cats, but that doesn't stop him from treating them. I also know a few veterinary technicians that are allergic to cats. One of them even fosters cats regularly. And I know of someone who was allergic to cats, got allergy shots and stopped being allergic. Take the money and spend it on allergy shots instead. It'll treat all your allergies not just one.

July 22 2013 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mathomps

Hypoallergenic actually means very little, if anything. All it means is that most people are not allergic to it. Well most people are not allergic to normal cats in the first place; many indeed are, but not "most" people. My allergy doctor told me years ago that anything advertised as "hypoallergenic" is BS and stay away from it.

July 21 2013 at 9:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
valgaavmiko

That violates consumer protection laws. There needs to be a class-action lawsuit. It's the only way to stop scammers like that.

July 21 2013 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
STAN

all cat owners should be spayed and neutered.

July 21 2013 at 7:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to STAN's comment
linybuggy

It's because if idiots like you Stan that I don't trust most men. Creepo

July 21 2013 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hhall2079

You can't spay and neuter an animal. It's spay OR neuter. Spays are performed on female cats and dogs and sometimes other small animals. And an neuter is performed on male cats and dogs and sometimes other animals as well. What you should have said is all women who like cats should have ovariohysterectomies and all men cat owners should have vasectomies. I know you are probably meaning that cat owners should die out. But some people like cats and some like dogs. Why bash others for something so trivial?

July 22 2013 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bckari

"A protein known as Fel d 1, found in cats' saliva, is what causes allergies to cats"

catcrap. overbreeding cats and dogs are what is causing the problem. get used to it.

July 21 2013 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sci-Fi nut

If any of you people want an animal and have allergies, then go get yourself a dog...there is one out there called a: Havanese, they have no dander and do not shed. I have asthma and been extremly allergic to both cats and dogs all my life, yet for the past 23 years and we have had two of these little fellows and I have not had one issue with either one. When I first met the first dog, I put him in the car and sat in the car with the windows up for 1/2 hour and never had a reaction, he lasted 10 years with us, the second one which is still with us just turned 13 and acts as he did when he arrived here 13 years ago...they are playful, go 10-12lbs, don't bark a lot, just keep them groomed short and you won't have a problem.

July 21 2013 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sci-Fi nut's comment
hhall2079

There is a Havanese cat breed as well.

July 22 2013 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe.corder

I have a cat and I have allergies. As long as I don't rub my eyes. Benedryl works for me!

July 21 2013 at 3:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
StillDezzin

It's 2013, friends. There are numerous OTC and Rx drugs available for "allergies". Many caring people live wonderful lives with the cats they love by taking responsibility for their "allergies" in this way. Try it!

July 21 2013 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
erma721

Julie, yes he probably is crying about his cat. shows he is a caring person. people love their animals and if you would take some time and get to know an animal and open your heart maybe you would have a better life!

July 21 2013 at 2:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
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