- As many as one in five adults worldwide are sensitive to cat allergens1
- Scientific breakthrough in managing cat allergens developed after more than a decade of Purina research
- Key ingredient is a specific protein sourced from eggs which safely neutralises allergens in cats’ saliva
- UK’s leading feline welfare charity Cats Protection reveals that human sensitivity to cat allergens caused 1,320 cat relinquishments last year
- Purina Pro Plan LiveClear on sale now from Pets at Home and Purina’s online shop
Scientists at Purina have developed a revolutionary approach to the management of cat allergens. Pro Plan LiveClear, launching in the UK this month, is the first and only cat food that reduces the allergens on cat hair and dander.
This scientific breakthrough is the culmination of more than a decade of Purina research dedicated to finding a safe, effective and feline-friendly way to address a problem that impacts as many as one in five adults1 and countless cat-owning households worldwide, limiting the amount of interactions that owners share with the cats they love.
A recent survey revealed the different ways British cat owners manage sensitivity to cat allergens. These include 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%).2
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.
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.
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.
"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."
Dr Ebenezer Satyaraj, PhD, immunologist for Nestlé Purina Research and lead investigator on the research that led to the development of Pro Plan LiveClear, explains, "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 spreads widely and easily, attaches itself to any surface it comes into contact with and remains in houses for over a year or more.
The key ingredient in Pro Plan LiveClear is a specific protein sourced from eggs. When cats eat LiveClear, the protein binds to the Fel d 1 and safely neutralises it in the cat’s mouth. By reducing active Fel d 1 in the cat’s saliva, it reduces the amount of the allergen transferred to the cat’s hair and dander when they groom, ultimately reducing the allergen in the environment.7,8
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.7
Vet and broadcaster Dr Mark Evans comments, "As a cat lover and veterinarian, my focus is on the health and safety of the cats under my care. What fascinates me about Pro Plan LiveClear is that it reduces cat allergens in cat’s saliva without impacting the physiology of the cat. Because in the scientific world we don’t know exactly why cats produce Fel d 1, Purina has found a way to neutralise the allergen rather than inhibit its production – it’s a feline-friendly way to help bring pets and humans closer together."
A safety study also showed that the egg product ingredient coating Pro Plan LiveClear kibble is completely safe for cats to eat.9 The action happens in the cat’s mouth, but once swallowed, the ingredient is digested like any other protein.
Allergy UK recognises the challenges people living with a sensitivity to cat allergens face. Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK comments, "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 get rid of the cat 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.”
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 even before.
Purina Pro Plan LiveClear is a 100% complete and balanced dry cat food with outstanding taste and nutrition designed for daily feeding. It will be available at Pets at Home retail stores exclusively and from the Purina online shop as a complete life-stage range with six products tailored for Kitten, Adult and Adult 7+.
For more information please contact: [email protected]
More information can be found at www.allergyuk.org
Notes to editors
About Purina Pro Plan
Purina Pro Plan offers a range of advanced nutrition products designed to support the long-term health of pets. Its science is backed by 500 Purina scientists globally, including nutritionists, veterinarians and behaviorists, who continuously rethink what nutrition can do. For more information, visit www.purina.co.uk/proplan or follow @PurinaUK on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. The brand is manufactured by Nestlé Purina PetCare, which promotes responsible pet care, community involvement, and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
- 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.
- Purina study of 1,031 UK cat owners, March 2020
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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 9. Matulka, R. A., Thompson, L., & Corley, D. (2019). Multi-level safety studies of anti Fel d 1 IgY ingredient in cat food. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 6, 477. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00477