Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Nestlé Purina PetCare has engineered a new cat food formulated to neutralize a feline protein that affects many allergen-sensitive people.
The diet, Purina Pro Plan LiveClear, will be available starting in April at veterinary hospitals, online retailers and pet specialty stores. Nestlé Purina is promoting the food as the first and only one that reduces allergens in cat hair and dander.
Company researchers found that an egg-based protein neutralizes the feline protein Fel d 1, which is transmitted from a cat’s saliva to its hair and skin during grooming. Up to 95% of cat allergen-sensitive people who contact feline hair or dander display a response, Nestlé Purina reported.
“This [issue] can limit the interactions between owners and their cats, as current methods for managing cat allergens often include limiting the time or activities with the cat, isolating the cat in the home or removing the cat from the home altogether,” the company stated.
All cats, even those erroneously marketed as hypoallergenic, produce the Fel d 1 protein, said Ebenezer Satyaraj, Ph.D., an immunologist with Nestlé Purina Research.
“As the cat eats the kibble coated with the specific egg powder, it neutralizes Fel d 1 in the cat’s mouth,” Dr. Satyaraj said.
The diet reduces the allergen load but doesn’t eliminate Fel d 1.
“Because scientists do not know precisely why cats produce Fel d 1, our goal was to neutralize the protein rather than inhibit its production,” said Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVN, Purina’s director of veterinary technical communication.
The egg protein is safely digested by cats, he said.
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