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A new $4,000 genetically designed cat may keep the sneezing at bay

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
What are your thoughts:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15625226/

Katie
post #2 of 18
I dont eat genetically modified foods and dont think we should be playing GOD
post #3 of 18
They are "supposed to be" more hypoallergenic- not allergy free....so theoretically they could still cause problems for people allergic to cats although their symptoms would supposedly be less around this cat than say just a cute little domestic short hair. I personally think it's a rip off among other things, but i'll just leave it at that. I would never pay $4000 for one kitty when there are so many in shelters and other places that need good homes. That's just my opinion though. I just don't think they should advertise them as the perfect kitty for those allergic to cats- they are not 100% allergy free.
post #4 of 18
Atleast they already come speutered so there won't be any BYB of them. Not that I agree with this.
post #5 of 18
Absolutely a bad idea, for the reasons already mentioned.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sims2fan View Post
Atleast they already come speutered so there won't be any BYB of them. Not that I agree with this.
I wouldn't assume that this is because the people producing them has the best interests of the cat population as a whole in their minds - those genes are PATENTED and worth money, hence them spaying/neutering cats before they go.

And my thoughts on it as a whole is that it's a cynical money-making scheme, much along the lines of the agrochemical industry altering crop genes so they can patent them to make money.
post #7 of 18
Well, I'm going to go against the grain here and say I don't actually have a problem with genetically-modified food when the purpose of it is to increase yield or help it survive adverse climates. I don't think we should create mutant vegetables just for the heck of it, but increasing food production and helping countries with less-than-suitable farming conditions improve their chances of feeding people ... yeah, I don't see a problem there. Yes, the companies that create GM foods are in it to make money -- and why not earn money on years of research, which takes money to do in the first place? -- and yes, there's potential for abuse, but I think the gains outweigh the losses.

But that's neither here nor there. I don't see anything particularly wrong with genetically-engineering cats to be hypoallergenic. I'd be devastated if my own allergies increased to the point where I could no longer keep cats without adversely affecting my own health. And as to those people who say "But there are already so many kitties in shelters in need of homes" I can only point out one thing: someone who can afford (and is willing) to spend $4000 on a hypoallergenic cat is highly unlikely to go to a shelter for a pet. Besides, if their allergies already make them unwilling to get a pet who's going to aggravate them, they're not going to go looking in a shelter for a cat that they know will only make them sick. The big concern comes from people who get one of these $4000 hypoallergenic cats not because they have allergies, but because they're a fad item (like buying a toy poodle because some celebrity has one), and then get rid of them when they're no longer cute or faddish. I do also have concerns with the cats' living conditions -- how are they being raised? How are they treated? Is it essentially a kitten mill, or are their lives prior to adoption happy and healthy? Is anybody regulating this? And what screening methods are being used to ensure the cats are given good, happy homes (aside from the owners having the money to purchase them, which isn't in and of itself an indicator of a good home)?

Besides all that, I actually have no problem with playing god. Why should I? We do it all the time. Electricity, clean running water, heating/air-conditioning, treatment for potentially life-threatening illnesses ... We alter the world to suit our convenience and our necessity. Just because we now possess the technology to create pets that don't leave us in sneezing fits or rice that produces larger yields doesn't mean we're heading to hell in a hand-basket. Yes, some of our advances had been dangerous, reckless or just plain frivolous, but at the same time, we now have average life expectancies in the 70s-80s (depending on where you live, of course), infant mortality rates are down, and I don't have to trudge through ten feet of snow, uphill both ways, just to get to work.

Would I personally pay $4000 for a cat? Heck no! I'd pay out that kind of money to keep my own cats healthy, but no, I'd never buy a $4000 cat. I don't have that kind of money, and my own allergies don't prevent me from enjoying my life with Spike and Oz. But if somebody else out there wants to own a hypoallergenic kitty, I say good for them. Just take care of it, love it, and enjoy every moment of your time with it. Every cat's life is precious -- why would being genetically-modified make this any less true?
post #8 of 18
To the heart of the matter, once again, Mirinae! Thankyou.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
To the heart of the matter, once again, Mirinae! Thankyou.
Thanks! I live to play Devil's Advocate.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
Well, I'm going to go against the grain here and say I don't actually have a problem with genetically-modified food when the purpose of it is to increase yield or help it survive adverse climates. I don't think we should create mutant vegetables just for the heck of it, but increasing food production and helping countries with less-than-suitable farming conditions improve their chances of feeding people ... yeah, I don't see a problem there. Yes, the companies that create GM foods are in it to make money -- and why not earn money on years of research, which takes money to do in the first place? -- and yes, there's potential for abuse, but I think the gains outweigh the losses.

But that's neither here nor there. I don't see anything particularly wrong with genetically-engineering cats to be hypoallergenic. I'd be devastated if my own allergies increased to the point where I could no longer keep cats without adversely affecting my own health. And as to those people who say "But there are already so many kitties in shelters in need of homes" I can only point out one thing: someone who can afford (and is willing) to spend $4000 on a hypoallergenic cat is highly unlikely to go to a shelter for a pet. Besides, if their allergies already make them unwilling to get a pet who's going to aggravate them, they're not going to go looking in a shelter for a cat that they know will only make them sick. The big concern comes from people who get one of these $4000 hypoallergenic cats not because they have allergies, but because they're a fad item (like buying a toy poodle because some celebrity has one), and then get rid of them when they're no longer cute or faddish. I do also have concerns with the cats' living conditions -- how are they being raised? How are they treated? Is it essentially a kitten mill, or are their lives prior to adoption happy and healthy? Is anybody regulating this? And what screening methods are being used to ensure the cats are given good, happy homes (aside from the owners having the money to purchase them, which isn't in and of itself an indicator of a good home)?

Besides all that, I actually have no problem with playing god. Why should I? We do it all the time. Electricity, clean running water, heating/air-conditioning, treatment for potentially life-threatening illnesses ... We alter the world to suit our convenience and our necessity. Just because we now possess the technology to create pets that don't leave us in sneezing fits or rice that produces larger yields doesn't mean we're heading to hell in a hand-basket. Yes, some of our advances had been dangerous, reckless or just plain frivolous, but at the same time, we now have average life expectancies in the 70s-80s (depending on where you live, of course), infant mortality rates are down, and I don't have to trudge through ten feet of snow, uphill both ways, just to get to work.

Would I personally pay $4000 for a cat? Heck no! I'd pay out that kind of money to keep my own cats healthy, but no, I'd never buy a $4000 cat. I don't have that kind of money, and my own allergies don't prevent me from enjoying my life with Spike and Oz. But if somebody else out there wants to own a hypoallergenic kitty, I say good for them. Just take care of it, love it, and enjoy every moment of your time with it. Every cat's life is precious -- why would being genetically-modified make this any less true?

Wow. Well thought out, logical arguments to a divisive issue. Thanks.

Another point is the article says the price includes a year of pet health insurance. It doesn't mention how much health coverage that includes, but that could help justify paying that much for someone who can afford or be willing to pay that much anyway. Although after paying $4,000.00, I'd hope the animal had very few health issues.
post #11 of 18
Allerca is not actually gentically engineering these cats.
They are actually doing what any responsible breeder does, but on a scientific level.
They are using an exsisting breed (I cannot recall which) and doing DNA testing for one specific allergy producing gene, those cats with a low instance are then selectively bred, the natural way.
Cats that do not make the cut are altered and put up for adoption.
I think it's a great idea and I was happy to learn that they used exsisting cat populations as well as the fact that the only thing done gentetically was testing.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
Allerca is not actually gentically engineering these cats.
They are actually doing what any responsible breeder does, but on a scientific level.
They are using an exsisting breed (I cannot recall which) and doing DNA testing for one specific allergy producing gene, those cats with a low instance are then selectively bred, the natural way.
Cats that do not make the cut are altered and put up for adoption.
I think it's a great idea and I was happy to learn that they used exsisting cat populations as well as the fact that the only thing done gentetically was testing.
I wouldnt have a problem if it was merely not so natural selection... As this type of thing is used in Zoos and on reserves all the time.. The price is a bit steep but I imagine it would come down .. I wouldnt get one cause it isnt a sure thing.. I do have health issues from having animals... Including a immune problem that a nasty bite could kill me but as an animal lover I am willing to take precautions and the RISK....
post #13 of 18
for a person that really wants a pet but cant do to there allergy problems it there chance to have one.

I know if was unable to have pet, and this gave me a chance , i would do it.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I wouldn't assume that this is because the people producing them has the best interests of the cat population as a whole in their minds - those genes are PATENTED and worth money, hence them spaying/neutering cats before they go.

And my thoughts on it as a whole is that it's a cynical money-making scheme, much along the lines of the agrochemical industry altering crop genes so they can patent them to make money.
I didn't assume it was out of the kindness of their hearts I was just stating that the only positive side effect to this is that people won't have just one litter with their cat, or decide to make some money out of their cats. This does not make it a good idea in any way.

Upon reading Arlyn's post I take back my opinion untill I can find out more.
post #15 of 18
$4000 is really not all that much. I've seen Humane Societies pay close to that amount in medical costs for homeless cats. I've spent that much on animals that came to me ill. I probably wouldn't want to pay it, and would probably use the money to treat myself for allergies and save the poor cat in a shelter.

If they are simply isolating genes and breeding the allergy factor out of these cats, this really isn't any different than what humans have been doing with dogs for the last 10,000 years. That process just took a lot longer than what they are doing here. There was a show on dogs the other night (PBS, Discovery or one of those channels) that talked about the process used with dogs. Someone did an experiment on foxes to try to breed the wild out of them and it took 5 generations to produce a fox that was significantly more tame than the ones in the wild. After watching that show, this isn't really all that far fetched.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
Well, I'm going to go against the grain here and say I don't actually have a problem with genetically-modified food when the purpose of it is to increase yield or help it survive adverse climates. I don't think we should create mutant vegetables just for the heck of it, but increasing food production and helping countries with less-than-suitable farming conditions improve their chances of feeding people ... yeah, I don't see a problem there. Yes, the companies that create GM foods are in it to make money -- and why not earn money on years of research, which takes money to do in the first place? -- and yes, there's potential for abuse, but I think the gains outweigh the losses.

But that's neither here nor there. I don't see anything particularly wrong with genetically-engineering cats to be hypoallergenic. I'd be devastated if my own allergies increased to the point where I could no longer keep cats without adversely affecting my own health. And as to those people who say "But there are already so many kitties in shelters in need of homes" I can only point out one thing: someone who can afford (and is willing) to spend $4000 on a hypoallergenic cat is highly unlikely to go to a shelter for a pet. Besides, if their allergies already make them unwilling to get a pet who's going to aggravate them, they're not going to go looking in a shelter for a cat that they know will only make them sick. The big concern comes from people who get one of these $4000 hypoallergenic cats not because they have allergies, but because they're a fad item (like buying a toy poodle because some celebrity has one), and then get rid of them when they're no longer cute or faddish. I do also have concerns with the cats' living conditions -- how are they being raised? How are they treated? Is it essentially a kitten mill, or are their lives prior to adoption happy and healthy? Is anybody regulating this? And what screening methods are being used to ensure the cats are given good, happy homes (aside from the owners having the money to purchase them, which isn't in and of itself an indicator of a good home)?

Besides all that, I actually have no problem with playing god. Why should I? We do it all the time. Electricity, clean running water, heating/air-conditioning, treatment for potentially life-threatening illnesses ... We alter the world to suit our convenience and our necessity. Just because we now possess the technology to create pets that don't leave us in sneezing fits or rice that produces larger yields doesn't mean we're heading to hell in a hand-basket. Yes, some of our advances had been dangerous, reckless or just plain frivolous, but at the same time, we now have average life expectancies in the 70s-80s (depending on where you live, of course), infant mortality rates are down, and I don't have to trudge through ten feet of snow, uphill both ways, just to get to work.

Would I personally pay $4000 for a cat? Heck no! I'd pay out that kind of money to keep my own cats healthy, but no, I'd never buy a $4000 cat. I don't have that kind of money, and my own allergies don't prevent me from enjoying my life with Spike and Oz. But if somebody else out there wants to own a hypoallergenic kitty, I say good for them. Just take care of it, love it, and enjoy every moment of your time with it. Every cat's life is precious -- why would being genetically-modified make this any less true?
Amazing! You hit every nail on the head. Thank you for writing this, I feel exactly the same way. I find it strange that some people wouldn't want science to make changes in everyday lives, but they use the products of science nonetheless. The important thing here is to make sure the cats are treated fairly and are cared for.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekgrl View Post
Amazing! You hit every nail on the head. Thank you for writing this, I feel exactly the same way. I find it strange that some people wouldn't want science to make changes in everyday lives, but they use the products of science nonetheless. The important thing here is to make sure the cats are treated fairly and are cared for.
Thank you!
post #18 of 18
There are too many kitties out there needing good home to even consider paying that much, let along the ethics of genetic engineering. I mean if you want to genetically modify yourself, have at it....anything else get permission from it 1st!
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