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Cat food innovation to cut human allergies
15th June 2020

By Justine Thompson



Purina has launched a ‘revolutionary’ new cat food aimed at reducing or eliminating cat allergies in their human companions.

Scientists developed Purina Pro Plan LiveClear to reduce the allergen found on cat hair and dander. They made the scientific breakthrough after more than a decade of Purina-sponsored research into finding a safe, effective and feline-friendly way to address allergy issues.

Cat allergy is a problem that impacts as many as one in five adults and countless cat-owning households worldwide, limiting the amount of interactions that owners share with their cats, Purina says.
 
The company’s survey in March revealed the different ways British cat owners manage sensitivity to cat allergens. These include removing the cat when sensitivities to allergens appear (76%), restricting the cat to specific places in the home (75%), using special cat products on the cat such as dander removers or allergen sprays (64%), bathing the cat (56%) and taking the cat to a groomer (52%).
 
The research revealed they also go to great lengths to remove allergens from the home, with 92% using a high-quality vacuum cleaner, two thirds (66%) putting covers on their furniture and a quarter (26%) cleaning their home and furniture daily to remove traces of cat hair.
 
And according to charity Allergy UK, pets are the second most important cause of allergies in the home. With people spending more time at home than ever, owners who are sensitive to cat allergens could be finding the problem increasingly difficult to manage.

WLECOME DEVELOPMENT

The charity has welcomed the development of Pro Plan LiveClear as a ‘meaningful extra tool’ for cat-owning families struggling to manage allergy issues.
 
Dr Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services at Cats Protection, added: “Living with a cat allergy isn’t easy as many of the management techniques are time-consuming, laborious and are not feline-friendly. For example, bathing your cat can be a stressful experience and is often impossible.
 
“Unfortunately, human allergies are a major cause of cat relinquishment – in 2019, 1,320 cats were sadly given up for adoption to Cats Protection due to human sensitivities to cat allergens.”
 
Dr Ebenezer Satyaraj, PhD, immunologist for Nestlé Purina Research and lead investigator on the research that led to the development of Pro Plan LiveClear, said: “Many people think that cat hair or dander is the allergen, but it’s actually what’s on it – the major cat allergen called Fel d 1, a protein that cats produce naturally in their saliva.”
 
All cats produce Fel d 1, regardless of breed, age, hair length, sex or body weight. When cats groom themselves, it gets on the hair and skin through the saliva and, with shedding, it eventually gets into the home environment. Feld d 1 spreads widely and easily, attaches itself to any surface it comes into contact with and remains in houses for a year or more. 
 
BINDING AGENT

The key ingredient in Pro Plan LiveClear is a specific protein sourced from eggs. This binds to the Fel d 1 and neutralises it in the cat’s mouth. In a published study, feeding Pro Plan LiveClear was shown to reduce the allergens on cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, starting in the third week of daily feeding.
Further studies have shown that the egg product is completely safe for cats to eat.

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear is a complete and balanced dry cat food designed for daily feeding. It will be available exclusively at Pets at Home retail stores and from the Purina online shop as a complete life-stage range with six products tailored for Kitten, Adult and Adult 7+.