Everyone knows ‘that one’ person who loves cats but cannot get one due to allergies. Well, a new brand of pet food claims to solve this problem.
Raul Varzar/Unsplash: Cat Allergens are common for a lot of humans
Scientists at Purina—a newcomer to the cat food industry, say that their new brand of pet food can reduce allergens in humans by up to 47%. If true, this would be a breakthrough. After all, up to 20% of adults suffer from such allergies, including those who live in households with felines.
The researchers have tracked the problem down to cat saliva, which is where the allergens are thought to originate. The new brand of food would neutralize them, thereby preventing them from entering cats’ fur and being spread around the household.
This is contrary to the common belief that these allergens originate in the fur,or on the skin of your pets.
Dr. Ebenezer Satyaraj, who works as an immunologist in Nestlé Purina Research, puts a name to the major cat allergen: Fel d 1.
Fel d 1 is naturally produced in the feline’s saliva. This is true for all of them regardless of age, species, gender, or weight, although the amount of this allergen produced by each cat can depend on those factors.
How Does Fel D 1 Transfer to Surfaces Around You?
Cats leave behind allergen from saliva to their fur
Well, when cats groom themselves– primarily with their tongues – they transfer the compound onto their paws and fur. Then, as they stroll around your house or living quarters, the compound is transferred to those surfaces.
When you come into contact with the same surfaces, you suffer from sneezing, coughing, skin rashes all the other symptoms of an allergic reaction. This is worsened by the fact that Fel d 1 can remain on the surfaces it comes into contact with for up to a year!
This is where the new brand of cat food comes in; Pro Plan LiveClear, as the food is called, contains a special ingredient derived from eggs. When consumed, this protein latches onto the allergen and neutralizes it.
Even if the Fel d 1-protein complex is transferred to other surfaces, it no longer evokes the same allergic reaction.
The research shows that cats that consumed Pro Plan LiveClear saw a 47% drop in the number of allergens they produced in just three weeks of feeding.
This Pet food company claims they can neutralize cat allergens
To industry specialists, this is the best possible solution. Veterinarians and scientists still do not understand what purpose Fel d 1 serves in cats’ physiology. Hence, it is risky to produce food that eliminates the production of this allergen altogether. Neutralizing the allergic effect seems to be the best compromise in ensuring the safety and well-being of both humans and their feline friends.