Purina has announced the launch of Pro Plan Liveclear, a new diet for cats which reduces the amount of the main allergen they shed by nearly half, which should improve life for the one in five adults who are allergic to cats1

Purina carried out a survey earlier this year which revealed the different ways British cat owners manage sensitivity to cat allergens2. They included removing the cat when sensitivities to allergens act up (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%).

92% also use a high-quality vacuum cleaner, 66% put covers on their furniture and 26% clean their home and furniture daily to remove traces of cat hair.

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.” 3,4

All cats produce Fel d 1, regardless of breed, age, hair length, sex or body weight, but at differing levels.4-6 When cats groom themselves, Fel d 1 gets on the hair and skin through the saliva and with shedding, it eventually gets into the home environment. Feld d 1 attaches itself to any surface it comes into contact with and remains in houses for over a year or more. 

Purina says Pro Plan LiveClear contains a specific protein, sourced from eggs, which binds itself to the Fel d 1 and safely neutralises it in the cat’s mouth, thereby reducing the amount of active allergen shed in the environment 7,8.

In a 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 feeding7.

There have been no studies as yet which have tested the effect of this allergen reduction on human symptoms, but Purina says anecdotal evidence from consumers who have tried the product has been positive thus far. 

Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK said: "Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK said: "There are a number of ways in which cat owners try to manage their exposure to cat allergens and keep their symptoms at bay, including taking antihistamines, using inhalers for quick symptoms relief as sensitivity to cat allergens is often linked to allergy-related asthmas, regularly cleaning and hoovering, bathing and grooming the cat by non-allergic family members. And if these measures do not work, current medical advice is often to relinquish the pet to limit exposure to the allergens.

"Every cat is unique though, and so the level of Fel d 1 they produce varies, just as every person's sensitivity level to these allergens is different. That is why there is no ‘one size fits all’ way to manage exposure to cat allergens. Every little bit helps so a combination of management tools often works best to help reduce cat allergens in your home - the combination is unique to your lifestyle. We welcome the development of Pro Plan LiveClear, which when used as part of a cat allergen management regime, could be a meaningful extra tool for affected households.”

Purina says Pro Plan LiveClear is not intended to replace other cat allergen-reduction strategies but to add another measure that can help reduce the cat allergen burden in cat households.

Pro Plan LiveClear is available 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+.

References

  1. Bousquet, P.-J., Chinn, S., Janson, C., Kogevinas, M., Burney, P. & Jarvis, D. (2007). Geographical variation in the prevalence of positive skin tests to environmental aeroallergens in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey I. Allergy, 62, 301-309.
  2. PURINA® study of 1,031 UK cat owners, March 2020
  3. Bonnet, B., Messaoudi, K., Jacomet, F., Michaud, E. Fauquert, J. L., Caillaud, D., & Evrard, B. (2018). An update on molecular cat allergens: Fel d 1 and what else? Chapter 1: Fel d 1, the major cat allergen. Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, 14, 14. Doi: 10.1186/s13223-018-0239-8  
  4. Kelly, S. M., Karsh, J., Marcelo, J., Boeckh, D., Stepner, N., Litt, D., ...Yang, W. H. (2018). Fel d 1 and Fel d4 levels in cat fur, saliva and urine. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 142, 1990-1992.e3. doi:  10.1016/j.jaci.2018.07.033 
  5. Butt, A., Rashid, D., & Lockey, R. F. (2012). Do hypoallergenic dogs and cats exist? Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 108, 74-76. Doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2011.12.005
  6. Nicholas, C., Wegienka, G., Havstad, S., Ownby, D., & Johnson, C. C. (2008). Influence of cat characteristics on Fel d 1 levels in the home. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 101, 47-50.  
  7. Satyaraj, E., Gardner, C., Filipi, I., Cramer, K., & Sherrill, S. (2019). Reduction of active Fel d1 from cats using an antiFel d1 egg IgY antibody. Immunity, inflammation and disease, 7(2), 68–73. doi:10.1002/iid3.244
  8. Satyaraj, E., Li, Q., Sun, P. & Sherrill, S. (2019). Anti-Fel d 1 immunoglobulin Y antibody-containing egg ingredient lowers allergen levels in cat saliva. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 21(10), 875-881. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19861218

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