Mini-leopard cat comes with $22,000 price tag

LOS ANGELES Fri Jun 1, 2007 5:23pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An exotic cat with the looks of a mini-leopard and a whopping $22,000 price tag has joined a crowded designer pet market that also features hypoallergenic kittens.

The Ashera is the result of blending the African Serval and the Asian Leopard Cat with a domestic cat, creating what Los Angeles-based Lifestyle Pets described this week as "the world's largest, rarest and most exotic domestic cat."

With tiger stripes and leopard-like spots, Ashera is pictured on the company's Web site wearing a diamond studded collar.

It grows up to 30 pounds and sports fearsome teeth but the company says it gets along with other pets and children and takes well to being walked on a leash.

The Ashera will be limited to less than 100 per year. The company says it has already sold two -- one to a family in Beverly Hills and another to a Russian client in Moscow.

Last year a San Diego-based company said it had created a hypoallergenic kitten for people who sneeze and wheeze in the presence of cats. The Allerca cat cost $3,950.