Purina scientists have demonstrated a way to reduce levels of a major cat allergen.
All cats produce the protein Fel d 1, primarily in salivary and sebaceous glands, but it causes up to 95% of reactions in cat allergen-sensitive people. It is transferred to a cat’s hair and skin during grooming and then dispersed in the environment via hair and dander.
Researchers have discovered that incorporating an egg product containing anti-Fel d 1 antibodies into a cat’s diet can reduce active levels.
The study, which spanned more than a decade, showed that 97% of cats fed on this diet showed decreased levels, with a 47% reduction on average after three weeks.
Ebenezer Satyaraj, director of molecular nutrition at Purina and lead investigator on the research, said: “These allergens have created a huge barrier to cat ownership and may limit the loving interactions between cat lovers and cats.
“Our discovery has the potential to transform how people manage cat allergens.”
The method was presented at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress 2019.