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A wild cat chase

Over the past several weeks editors at The Scientist have received announcements from Allerca, the controversial company selling purportedly hypoallergenic cats, stating that some of their felines will be doubling in price this fall. According to a release sent out from the company last week, the price of the standard Allerca cat will go from $5,950 to $7,900 on September 1. But starting on November 1, the cost is skyrocketing to $15,000. The other cat breeds that Allerca sells are also going

By | August 25, 2008

Over the past several weeks editors at The Scientist have received announcements from Allerca, the controversial company selling purportedly hypoallergenic cats, stating that some of their felines will be doubling in price this fall. According to a release sent out from the company last week, the price of the standard Allerca cat will go from $5,950 to $7,900 on September 1. But starting on November 1, the cost is skyrocketing to $15,000. The other cat breeds that Allerca sells are also going up in cost in November: The price of the Chakan cat, a variant of the Siamese cat, according to the company, is going from $10,900 to $22,750, and the Ashera, Allerca's "exotic" breed, is going from $31,000 to $47,000. Last year, we investigated Allerca and found some rather shady dealings (you can read more linkurl:here);http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52947/ -- that the company's founder, Simon Brodie, had been convicted of fraud and several customers had been promised cats, had paid deposits, but hadn't seen hide nor, ahem, hair of the animals. Earlier this year linkurl:an article;http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/biotech/20080205-9999-1b5cats.html in the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Ashera cats sold by Allerca had actually been purchased from a breeder in Pennsylvania (read further coverage linkurl:here).;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54284/ According to the price increase notice sent out by Allerca, the company has seen a boost in international sales and the booming demand has raised its production costs. Hmm...when business is good, a company's production costs generally go down. So I thought I'd ask the company why they're planning such an extreme cost raise for these animals. I called up the LifeStyle Pets (Allerca's parent company) public relations line. Not in service. I Emailed Brodie directly to get some answers. No response. I then called the company headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, and left a message in their public relations voicemail box. After one week: No response. Other extensions on their line, including sales and customer service dropped me in an automated voicemail box. Since information from this company isn't forthcoming, are there any readers out there on the 12-month waiting list for one of these cats who have heard more details about why the prices are nearly doubling? Send me a note (agawrylewski@the-scientist.com) or post a linkurl:comment to this blog.;http://www.the-scientist.com/forum/addcomment/54945/
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