Allerca and their hypoallergenic cats. How does it work? Is this for real? There are so many questions over these cats that will supposedly not cause an allergic cat lover to sneeze or sniffle.
Many scientists and geneticists are still waiting for the scientific proof and documentation. The company refuses to show the proof due to proprietary reasons. In fact, the founder of Allerca, Simon Brodie, said the proof is in the pets.
Let’s see who has these hypoallergenic cats. There is Judy Smith who was in the Boston Globe article that we posted up yesterday. She believes that Kiki is truly a hypoallergenic cat. The other person that claims to have an Allerca cat was in the news in April. This mother of two from New York (pictured here) said that her family can enjoy having a cat without worrying about allergies and health issues.
How about who doesn’t have a hypoallergenic cat and wants one? Or rather who was denied by Allerca because their allergy levels were too high?
An Itchmo reader, Former Allerca Waiting List, said this about Allerca:
Studies have shown that up to a third of people who think they are allergic to cats are actually allergic to dust mites. Allerca has been testing everyone and denying cats to anyone who tests high for cat allergy. It also takes six months for cat dander to build up in a home. Notice that the lady in this article did not say that she was not having any allergy symptoms, just that they were not severe. The only other person to be shown to have an Allerca cat was actually a PR person they presented as a mother of two. Allerca also used to sell a shampoo that could be used to wash dander off of a cat. This would make it easy to create a fake demo cat that could be used to fool most reporters.
We did some research last night and found out that Allerca has denied people when their allergy test results come back unsatisfactory (which means they have a high level of allergy). The company says that they have not conducted trials with individuals who equal a level of high on the test results and the company’s liability protocols preclude delivery of a kitten to any client where the results are equal to high.
From The Scientist:
Two customers who deposited several thousand dollars for a hypoallergenic cat from a company I investigated earlier this year have written to The Scientist saying they were denied kitties, and got their money back.
Lynne Butler, a mathematics professor at Haverford College, received a $5,900 wire transfer from Allerca, Inc after she posted a comment on our website that she had not received her money back, and urged others not to purchase an Allerca cat.
‘I forwarded our correspondence to Allerca; by 4 pm the $5900 deposit was refunded by wire transfer,’ Butler wrote in an email.
Similarly, Paul Williams, CEO of iKarma, received an email from Allerca that his $3,500 deposit was on its way.
Both Williams and Butler say they were rejected for owning the cats because allergy tests from Allerca came back unsatisfactory. Butler’s husband showed moderate to high allergy to cats, while Williams’ came back high. Both customers received explanations from Allerca that read:
The reason behind our decision is based on the allergy levels reported in your sample(s). Specifically:
[ X ] Results indicate a level that includes HIGH
Explanation: ALLERCA GD cats have proven successful with individuals who are generally regarded as allergic to cats; however, ALLERCA has not conducted trials with individuals who equal a level of HIGH and the company’s liability protocols preclude delivery of a kitten to any client where the results are equal to HIGH. Continued research and new trials are expected to positively shift the thresholds and new data is expected by 2008.
Curiously, Steven May, president of Allerca, told me in October that the best score on the test ‘is somewhere between 3 and 4.75, maybe a little above. You’re a perfect candidate for a hypoallergenic cat.’ Yet according to Lynne Butler’s documents her husband scored a 3 on the allergy test, but it was considered too high for an Allerca cat.