Since delivering the first hypoallergenic kittens to customers in 2006, ALLERCA's hypoallergenic cats have established a unique place in the pet
WILMINGTON, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- ALLERCA, the company that developed the first scientifically tested hypoallergenic cat, is celebrating the one year anniversary of the first kitten deliveries to eager customers. Since then, the company has delivered dozens of the ALLERCA 'sneeze-free' kittens that for the first time have allowed severely allergic and asthmatic cat lovers to enjoy the companionship of a furry friend. For Jill Skibba of Los Angeles, an ALLERCA cat was her only option to own anything but a pet fish: "I had been looking for a pet for over a year that wouldn't make my eyes swell, my skin itch and make me sneeze endlessly. I was about to give up having tried just about every breed when I heard of ALLERCA. I now have Sela and couldn't be happier. It's a miracle every time she jumps up on my lap and I am totally fine. No sneezing, not itching! She is loving and just a joy to have in my life!"
Judy Smith of Connecticut was one of the first allergic cat lovers to sign up with ALLERCA, placing her order back as far as 2004. As a cat owning teenager, she found her allergies getting progressively worse as she moved into adulthood. "When near a cat, I usually begin having symptoms within the first 15 minutes; runny nose, sneezing, coughing, trouble breathing, and itchy watery eyes. I could usually tolerate it for a few hours and then I have to leave. It usually takes another hour or more for me to return to normal. I'd take multiple daily allergy medications, which helped, but only enough so I could suffer through these visits for a few hours." Since taking delivery of her ALLERCA hypoallergenic cat, Judy says, "He's just a great cat who doesn't cause me allergies. I am so very delighted to finally be able to live with a cat again."
For Dr. Erik Viiree from San Diego, an ALLERCA customer, the ALLERCA cat was the only option. "This summer we were given the pleasure of receiving Jet, our kitten from ALLERCA. Our home has long been devoid of pets because of my allergies, and although my family was desperate to get a cat, I was trepidatious about as I didn't want a return of my allergy symptoms. For the last number of years, I've been free of allergies and definitely didn't want them back. When I heard about ALLERCA, I immediately signed up for a kitten. I was nervous when Jet arrived, but I haven't had a problem and Jet is now a permanent part of our family."
Simon Brodie, the founder of ALLERCA and inventor of the ALLERCA GD hypoallergenic cat, says having hypoallergenic kittens in homes of allergic individuals is the fulfillment of a long entrepreneurial and technological journey. He first became interested in emerging genetic technologies after the first cat was cloned back in the late 90's, and began exploring how new technology could be introduced to the pet industry. Brodie evaluated a number of projects before deciding on the development of a hypoallergenic cat. "For the millions of feline allergy sufferers, the idea of a hypoallergenic cat had always been a dream, which in turn meant there was a commercial demand." So in 2004 Brodie began to seek out experts in the field of genetics who could help produce this unique cat. "I knew I faced a number of major obstacles and didn't even know if it was possible. But I had so many potential customers committed to buy if I was successful, that I remain encouraged."
The project was officially announced in October of 2004 and garnered worldwide attention. Says Brodie, "I was taken aback with the huge positive response and massive amount of interest. The press did make a thing about the then price of $4,000 (the kittens now sell for $8,000), but those cat-loving, allergy sufferers aware of the cost and inconvenience of allergy treatments required to live with a cat understood that this was a small price to pay." And Brodie kept true to his promise to customers: deliveries began exactly 24 months later.
Although Brodie sold off his interest in the hypoallergenic cat long ago, he remains actively involved and is pleased with how the business is growing. "When a little girl tells me this (her hypoallergenic cat) is the best thing ever to happen to her, then I know we really have something unique and special."
Based on the current waiting list and ever increasing demand, the company expects sales to grow rapidly through 2008. As for new "lifestyle pets," Brodie has developed a large exotic domestic cat called the Ashera, now on sale and priced at $22,000, which already has a year waiting list. A new breed of small dog is in development and expected in 2009.
ALLERCA(TM) is company working with leading technologies focusing on the development of pets that fit with today's lifestyles. More information can be located at http://www.allerca.com and http://www.lifestylepets.com
SIMONBRODIE.COM is the internet home of Simon Brodie, the inventor of the hypoallergenic cat and the founder of a new sector in the pet industry known as "lifestyle pets." The developer of a groundbreaking veterinary diagnostic product, he currently assists entrepreneurs to bring innovative products and services to market. More can be found at http://www.simonbrodie.com
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