Allergic to cats?: A special diet for kitties could help relieve symptoms

October 14, 2019
Erica Tricarico, Managing Editor

Purina researcher discusses potential nutritional intervention to manage the human allergic response to cats.

Ebenezer, Satyaraj, PhD (Photo courtesy of the Purina Institute)Feeding cats a diet coated in a specially formulated egg powder can lead to a reduction of Fel d1 (a protein found in cat saliva that causes an allergic response in humans) in the environment.

So how does this reduction of Fel d1 impact cat allergy sufferers? In a recent human pilot study, humans exposed to bedding used by cats fed a diet with the special egg product showed substantial improvement in total nasal symptom scores and some ocular scores.

“This research opens the way for a novel, feline friendly way to manage cat allergens, and will help bring people and pets closer,” Ebenezer Satyaraj PhD, told dvm360 in an interview (see related video) about the research, which we first reported on earlier this year.

It has taken over a decade of veterinary research, but now, Dr. Satyaraj PhD, who is director of molecular nutrition at Purina and lead investigator says a product could be announced within the year.

“This is exciting. It has taken us a long time to get where we are…In a year, we will have news about products,” Dr. Satyaraj said at Purina's “Behind the Bowl” event in St. Louis.  He added that, “We're also looking into options for people who have to have their cats on a specific diet because of special needs…. So those are things we are looking into.”