90% of American pet owners perceive their pet to be a “family member,” and greater than 90%, including non–pet owners, believe that a pet contributes to a more “satisfying lifestyle.”
Several US-based companies (Mindeelyn Siberian Cats, Siberian Cat Breeder, Allerca Lifestyle Pets, Kitails Siberian Cattery) market “hypoallergenic pets. For example, Allerca president hoped to sell 200,000 cats, at $3,500 each, annually in the United States. The price tag is as high as $7,950 for a hypoallergenic dog and $6,950 to $22,950 for a hypoallergenic cat.
However, the concept of a “hypoallergenic” animal is not supported by scientific evidence, according to a recent review in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Do hypoallergenic cats and dogs exist? Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Volume 108, Issue 2, Pages 74-76, February 2012.
Image source: Yellow Labrador Retriever, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.