Cat lovers who develop allergies to felines are faced with a dilemma. They have to choose between suffering from allergic responses or rehoming their precious pets to recover and start feeling better.
There is another solution, however. The Hypocat vaccine is an injection for felines that claims to make their fur hypoallergenic, but should your cat get the vaccine? There are a few questions that come to the minds of most pet owners.
Is it safe for your cat, does it work? Is it worth the risk? Getting the Hypocat vaccine is a personal choice, but it should be made after you learn everything there is to know about the vaccine.
What is the HypoCat vaccine?
Saibo Animal Health has developed a vaccine that is claimed to lower the number of certain proteins found in cats’ saliva that are known to elicit allergic reactions in sensitive humans. The manufacturer of this vaccine goes into great detail to explain that the Fel d 1 protein is the culprit behind allergic reactions. This protein is found in cat tears and their saliva.
Cats are clean animals that groom themselves with meticulous licking and smoothing their fur down. The protein-laden saliva dries on the fur, then becomes airborne, causing the allergies to kick in for those who are sensitive.
The HyopCat vaccine lowers the levels of Fel d 1 in the cat to reduce the protein and relieve allergy symptoms. It produces an antibody in the cats who receive it. From the information we were able to find, it appears to be effective in reducing the offending protein.
Is the vaccine safe for cats?
The company that is developing the vaccine has won the 2013 Swiss Technology Award for its research and development efforts. It received a Research and Development Grant from the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation in 2014, to fund further development of the vaccine.
Studies have been completed and approved with the commercialization rights for the HypoCat vaccine granted to a global animal health company. The HypoCat Vaccine is patterned after human treatments to provide an effective treatment that works with the cat’s body to stimulate the production of antibodies.
It is an inhibitor for the protein that works similarly to how an antihistamine blocks the body’s production of histamine in humans. It is an effective treatment that requires less dosing to achieve the desired results.
Can cats be made hypoallergenic?
Vin News Service asked this question and revealed several strategies for relieving allergies caused by the protein in cat saliva. The first line of defense recommended is to avoid contact with the allergens in the first place.
If avoidance is not an option, then the vaccine is a viable option. The vaccination of cats receives support from some veterinarians. Animal health professionals warn that it’s hard to make cats hypoallergenic through traditional means, but the vaccine does show some promise.
Other interventions for controlling human allergies to cats
Knowledge of what causes allergic reactions in humans has led to a vaccine likely to be the most effective option. If you choose not to get the HypoCat vaccine for your kitty, there are a few other interventions that might help.
The first is to keep your cat clean and groomed to cut down on the amount of dander and fur shed on surfaces in the home. There are also special sprays that you can spritz on cats to reduce the number of allergens they put into the air. Another is to add Brewer’s yeast to the cat’s food. It can also help reduce allergens. While these strategies do not allergy-proof your cat they can help.
Nestle Purina PetCare Co. has released a specially formulated pet food that contains a kibble that helps to reduce the number of allergens that cats produce. This is the same tact as adding Brewer’s yeast to your cat’s diet, but the food is claimed to be balanced in the nutritional components that your cat needs for good health.
Other research products
We also learned that there is a United States-based company in Virginia that is looking into the potential for CRISPR gene editing to prevent cats from producing the protein that is responsible for causing allergic reactions in humans. This is a new technology that is being explored, however, it is not yet perfected for use.
If you prefer not to treat your cat, the only other option is to use over-the-counter medications to help control your symptoms. Those who experience mild allergic reactions can find relief from the use of antihistamines to help block the production of histamine that causes symptoms of allergies. Those with more severe reactions such as asthma or hives may need to resort to choosing to treat their cats with the vaccine or perhaps removing themselves from contact with cat saliva altogether.
The HypoCat Vaccine sounds like a breakthrough treatment to help people who suffer from cat allergies to find relief from the root cause of the problem. The vaccine works with the cat’s body to prevent the production of a key protein that is found in the saliva, responsible for allergies in people.
The Swiss biotech company that has developed the vaccine has provided a commercial animal medical organization with the right to distribute the vaccine to consumers. This is a possible solution for people who love their cats yet suffer from allergies because of them. It’s a new vaccine. Aside from a few studies, there isn’t a lot of information available.
That is other than the confirmation that the vaccine is similar to the types of treatments used for humans. This information suggests that it is likely to be safe for use in cats. The manufacturer of the HypoCat vaccine has also developed a similar vaccine for use in dogs for people who have allergies to them. It’s a personal choice whether or not to vaccinate your cat with the new treatment.