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Great News: Vaccine for People Allergic to Cats

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Epic news! Scientists have invented a cat allergy vaccine to stop humans from being allergic to cats. Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll also be happy to know that not only will this vaccine help stop your allergies but you don’t have to have it, your cat does. Get the lowdown on allergy-related cat vaccinations here…

We understand that having a cat allergy is not to be taken lightly – especially when you’re an animal lover. In this article, PD unpacks how this works and we take a look at other ways to bust your cat allergies.

a vet plays with a kitten whose owners had help with vet costs thanks to pet health insurance

Coming soon to a cat near you

The brilliant minds behind the HypoCat™ cat allergy vaccine are scientists from Saiba Animal Health (previously known as HypoPet AG), a Swiss-based company. Their ‘Immunization of cats to induce neutralizing antibodies against Fel d 1’ study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

During the research period, each cat was administered three doses of the cat allergy 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.

How does the vaccine help those allergic to cats?

The cat allergy vaccine consists of antibodies that 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.

The injections may have involved some ‘meowches’ that felt like a quick bee sting, but other than this it was completely painless and safe with no side effects. Researchers mixed blood samples from vaccinated cats with blood samples from humans diagnosed with cat allergies, revealing fewer allergy-related chemical reactions than usual.

This man in a white t-shirt is experiencing symptoms of being allergic to cats.

Is the cat allergy vaccine available yet?

Not yet. Dr. Gary Jennings, CEO of Saiba Animal Health, is working tirelessly with his team to make the HypoCat™ vaccine a reality for our cats. The wait might not be too long. If all goes as planned, the cat allergy vaccine could hit the market in the United States by 2024. That’s just around the corner!

This game-changing cat allergy vaccine has not only caught the attention of cat owners worldwide but also garnered some prestigious recognition. Back in 2013, the company behind HypoCat™ bagged the Swiss Technology Award, recognizing the immense veterinary and medical potential it holds.

Fast forward a bit, and the first pivotal study took off, taking us one step closer to potentially revolutionising the world of cat health. The HypoCat™ vaccine is a marvel in the making.

What causes cat allergies?

So what makes you allergic to cats? The protein Fel d1 often causes cat allergies, as cats secrete it through their saliva and tears. They spread it to their fur through grooming and leave traces of this protein on every surface their pretty little paws touch once they shed hair.

Did you know? Allergic reactions to cats are the third most common reason why cat owners give up their pets.

If you’re allergic to some cats but not others, it could be because your immune system has learned to recognise specific proteins or because certain cats naturally produce less Fel d 1, a common allergen.

Certain cat breeds tend to produce lower levels of Fel d 1, reducing the likelihood and intensity of cat allergies. Read more about hypoallergenic cats.

A Vaccine for Those Allergic to Cats - PD Insurance

Symptoms of cat allergies

Cat allergies happen when your immune system goes haywire over proteins found in cat spit, pee, and those pesky skin flakes known as dander. Symptoms can vary from mild to full-on cat-mageddon:

  • If you’re allergic to cats, you might have noticed some mild to severe reactions, such as frequent sneezing – a common giveaway of cat allergies.
  • That runny or stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes you can’t seem to shake off? You can thank cat allergens for that too.
  • Direct contact with cat allergens can even cause skin reactions like redness, hives, or eczema.
  • If you’re allergic to cats, you might also experience coughing, and in more serious cases, those allergies can lead to wheezing or difficulty breathing, particularly if you already have asthma.
  • Your throat and ears aren’t spared either. Those allergens can irritate them, leading to itchiness and discomfort. Prolonged exposure to these allergens can leave you feeling fatigued and unwell in general.

Now, here’s a crucial thing to remember: cat allergens are sneaky. They can hang around in your living space, even when your cat isn’t around. They stick to clothing, furniture, and other surfaces, causing symptoms even if you don’t have direct contact with kitty.

So, if you suspect you’re battling cat allergies, it’s time to seek help from an allergist or medical pro. They’ll do their best to diagnose your specific allergens and recommend ways to minimise exposure, making life with your fur-end much more bearable.

Two fat cats sit on the window and look around together

Other solutions for anyone allergic to cats

As we await the cat allergy vaccine, there are other options that might help. Take a look:

  1. Create a cat-free sanctuary by designating a specific space, such as your bedroom, where your feline friend is not allowed. This provides an allergen-free oasis for you to recharge.
  2. Embrace immunotherapy through cat allergy shots that administer small doses of cat antigen, gradually acclimating your immune system to recognise these proteins as harmless over time.
  3. Employ nasal irrigation with a saline solution to keep your nose and sinuses free from airborne irritants like dander.
  4. Explore allergen-reducing pet food options by referring to our pet nutrition and pet food insights for guidance.
  5. Maintain a pristine living environment by vacuuming regularly with a HEPA filter, capturing elusive allergens that tend to hide in carpets.
  6. Dust surfaces using a microfibre cloth or feather duster to capture stray allergens and keep your surroundings allergen-free.
  7. Prioritise personal hygiene by washing your hands and face regularly to remove any lingering allergens.
  8. Mitigate allergens carried by your cat by grooming them regularly, including brushing their fur to control dander levels.
  9. Enhance indoor air quality by investing in an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter, effectively capturing airborne allergens and ensuring the air you breathe is fresh and clean.

Read more on combating those pesky cat and dog allergies.

This fluffy cat wonders whether there is a suitable cat allergy vaccine on the market in Australia.

FAQs around routine cat vaccinations

Let’s address a couple of the common cat vaccine FAQs that’ve been whiskering their way through the feline community…

What are the routine cat vaccinations?

Core vaccinations, which are usually considered essential for all cats, typically include that for FHV-1 (Feline herpesvirus), FCV (feline calicivirus), and FPV (panleukopenia).

Find out more about which are core and non-core vaccinations in our Guide to Your Pet Vaccination Schedule in Australia. Why? Because prioritising your kitten and cat’s health is vital and vaccinations play a significant role in safeguarding them against various diseases.

How much for a routine cat vaccination?

The price of cat vaccinations can vary based on a few factors. Firstly, it depends on the specific vaccines your cat needs.

Regarding the actual cost, you can expect to pay around $170-$200 AUD per visit for the basic core vaccinations. However, keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate. The actual prices may differ from one veterinary clinic to another. In fact, this writer’s 12 year old meowser’s vaccinations cost around $120 per year.

This white cat is keeping up with their vaccination schedule and going to the vet regularly. Get the lowdown on cat vaccinations in this blog.

More on keeping healthy happy cats

Your cat’s well-being is our top priority. Check out our blog posts that cover everything from cat nutrition to common health concerns:

  1. Cat Saves Cat: All About Cat Blood Donation
  2. What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?
  3. Average Cat Weight: Is Yours Under, Over, or Just Right?
  4. What is a Pet Body Condition Score and Why is it Important?
  5. Kitten Diarrhoea: How Did this Happen and What Should I Do?
  6. Why the Fifth Vital Sign is Key to Pet Nutrition

We hope that pesky cat allergy settles down and that our tips help lend a paw.

Pet insurance for your vaccinated fur-end

Consider covering your cat for unforeseen illnesses, accidents and other unanticipated vet visits through award-winning pet insurance. Take a peek at our cat insurance and kitten insurance plans, where buying online provides one or more months free.

And wait, there’s more! Don’t miss out on our fantastic bundle and save discounts that you might be eligible for on multi-pet or pet+car policies. You’ll enjoy cover with a range of options.

At PD Insurance, simplicity and a commitment to soft landings in tough times are the core of our customer service. Ensure kitty receives the care they deserve without worrying about unexpected expenses. Click below to get started and give them the purrfect protection today…

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