Having a cat allergy is no matter to be taken lightly – especially if you are an animal lover. Attention sneezing fur victims: don’t despair yet, we’ve got some good ‘meows’ to share with you . Drumroll, please. Scientists have invented a vaccine for cats that can stop humans from being allergic to them.
The brilliant minds behind the vaccine are scientists from HypoPet AG, a Swiss-based company. Martin Bachmann, one of the researchers who played a lead role in making the vaccine a reality, says “We have been working on this project for more than five years as cat allergies are a big problem for cat owners”.
What causes cat allergies?
Cat allergies are often caused by the protein Fel d1, which cats secrete through their saliva and tears. This is then spread to their fur through grooming. Once they shed hair, traces of this protein is left behind on every surface their pretty little paws touched.
How does the vaccine work for those allergic to cats?
The vaccine consists of antibodies which bind with the protein Fel d1 and lowers its allergy inducing effect in humans. The Swiss scientists safely tested the vaccine on 54 cats, and the results proved its ability to disable Fel d1.
In the studies, each cat was administered three doses of the HypoPet vaccine in the form of an injection into the hind leg over a period of nine weeks. Some of the participating felines were also given a booster shot six months later.
The injections may have involved some ‘meowches’ that felt like a quick bee sting, but other than this, were completely painless and safe with no side effects. Blood samples from the vaccinated cats were mixed with blood samples from humans diagnosed with cat allergies, revealing fewer allergy-related chemical reactions than usual.
When will the vaccine be available?
According to Bachmann, the vaccine will become available sometime in 2022. He says, “We can’t say an exact price at this point but it’s definitely going to be affordable for pet owners and in-line with other veterinary products”..
The promise of the vaccine being available in New Zealand within the next three years is encouraging for many pet parents. It’s also good news for felines as they will be able to enjoy TLC from more owners and hopefully reduce the number of cats neglected or left at animal shelters. It’s a win for everyone!