Have you ever heard of an Ashera Cat? This exotic cat looks like it stepped out of the jungle into your living room. The appeal of this beautifully spotted and striped cat is that it grows to be four feet tall and reach a size of 30 pounds. Also check out eXtreme Dog Fence we have moved and much of our content has been transferred you can also find excellent dog food reviews on this page.
Developed by a company called Lifestyle Pets out of Los Angeles, the Ashera is marketed as the largest breed of pet cat available today. Does a mini leopard sound cool to you? The price tag that comes with it is not so cool at a whopping $22,000.
Lifestyle Pets claims that the Ashera is bred by crossing an African Serval, an Asian Leopard and a domestic housecat. The company claims that the Ashera is a great choice as they love children and have a great character. You can even take them for walks on a leash.
There is a long waiting list for the Ashera that the wealthy are paying to get themselves on, according to a company press release. Lifestyle Pets says it will only sell 100 Ashera cats per year worldwide, with only 50 being sold to customers in the United States.
It would be in the best interests of the company to only produce this many a year, to make them seem more rare and valuable. However, the truth about Ashera cats is a lot less glamorous.
When DNA testing was conducted on the Ashera, it was found that it was not a unique breed, but merely a copy of a much less expensive cat, the Savannah. It was proven that what the company did was buy first generation Savannah cats from a different breeder, mark up the price considerably and then resold them as Ashera cats.
The authenticity of the breed was called into question when Pennsylvania cat breeder Chris Shirk of Cutting Edge Savannahs let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. He contacted the San Diego Union-Tribune to report that several cats sold by Allerca (AKA Lifestyle Pets) were actually raised by him.
The bottom line? If you want an Ashera, save yourself a lot of cash and buy a Savannah as you are getting the same thing.
It seems that the Ashera is not the only cat scam that Lifestyle Pets is running. They also work under the name of Allerca, a company that founder Simon Brodie created after the Ashera scam.
This time around, Brodie claimed to have developed the world’s first hypoallergenic cat. In the beginning of the hype, many people in the media gave the discovery credibility.
Beginning in 2006, Brodie’s company received airtime on CBS and NBC to name a few. This helped customers to have confidence in Brodie’s creation, “the world’s first scientifically-proven hypoallergenic cat.” It even made headlines in Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of the year.
People began sending in thousands of dollars to get their hands on one of these hypoallergenic cats. However, ABC News reports that some customers never even received the cat they paid for. What is the price tag on this cat? Anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000.
Some people who are allergic to cats received their alleged “hypoallergenic cat” only to find out that the cat still made them wheeze and itch.
ABC news decided to get to the bottom of the situation by having some of his cats tested. They took 2 cats to scientific experts at a laboratory called Indoor Biotechnology. They took hair clippings and saliva from the cats and had them tested in comparison with stray cats.
It was found that across the board, every cat including those who were said to be hypoallergenic contained exactly the same Feld 1 allergen that triggers allergies in patients.
Back to Allerca founder Simon Brodie. ABC News found that he moved to London and changed his name to Simon Carradan.
ABC News found him marketing his cats online to people in London. They decided to contact him and order a hypoallergenic cat for themselves. In order to make this transaction, they were required to wire him the money to his bank account in Dubai, UAE. The price tag of this cat was set at over $7,000.
Through geotagging photographs, an expert found that the picture of the Allerca kitten was the same cat that was advertised by a local breeder at the price of 260 U.S dollars. This means that Allerca bought the cat for $260 and resold it as a “hypoallergenic cat” at the cost of $7,000.
The Allerca founder even decided to combine its two scams, selling a hypoallergenic Ashera cat at a total cost of $26,000.
Once ABC News told Brodie that they had caught him, he calmly told them he would forward them stacks of scientific evidence proving the cats were hypoallergenic.
Months later, Brodie sent a 5 page report. ABC news contacted the scientists mentioned in his studies. The scientists confirmed that their reports did not prove that Simon’s cats were hypoallergenic.
What about the people that never received a cat at all? The contract the customer is required to sign states, “An order is non-cancellable, non-refundable, and there is no time obligation on the businesses obligation to deliver a pet.” One may wonder, does this mean that the company never has to deliver the cat at all?
In conclusion, if you hear the term Ashera or hypoallergenic when it comes to cats, save yourself the money and just go adopt one for free at your local shelter.