Purina scientists have unveiled a new “revolutionary approach” to managing cat allergens with the launch of Pro Plan LiveClear, the “first and only” cat food that reduces allergens on cat hair and dander.
According to Purina, the “breakthrough” follows more than a decade of its research into finding a safe and effective way to address cat allergies, which affects as many as one in five adults.
Dr Ebenezer Satyaraj, PhD, immunologist for Nestlé Purina Research and lead investigator on the research that helped develop 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, which gets on their hair and skin through saliva and shedding. The product spreads “widely and easily”, attaching to any surface in the home.
When cats eat LiveClear, however, a protein within the food binds to the Fel d 1 and neutralises it in the cat’s mouth. By reducing the active Fel d 1 in saliva, the amount of allergens transferred to the cat’s hair and dander is also reduced.
In a published study, feeding Pro Plan LiveClear was ultimately shown to reduce the allergens on cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, starting in the third week of daily feeding.
Dr Maggie Roberts, Director of Veterinary Services at Cats Protection comments: “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. Similarly, keeping them restricted to a certain part of the house, can also result in increased levels of stress for the cat.”
She added: “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.
“Having partnered with Purina for over 30 years, we’re excited that they have developed a feline-friendly product with the potential to help keep cats in loving homes.”
In a statement, Purina said: “Pro Plan LiveClear is not intended to replace other cat allergen-reduction strategies but, rather, to add another measure that can help reduce the cat allergen burden in cat households.
“Purina believe that pets and people are better together and with this novel approach to cat allergen management, cats and their families can be closer than ever before.”