Nearly 20 percent of cats in shelters were surrendered because their humans were allergic to them. But these stats may change if a cat allergy-blocking diet is found to be effective.
Up to 95 percent of allergies to cats are triggered by a protein found in feline saliva. When cats groom, the protein sticks to their fur and other surfaces. If an allergy-prone person comes in contact with it, the protein binds to their antibodies and triggers an immune response complete with itching, sneezing and runny eyes.
Scientists appear to have discovered an antibody in egg yolks that can block sites on the feline antigen and prevent its binding. If so, a diet coated with an egg powder may help prevent allergic responses.
More research needs to be done. But here’s hoping that the loss of one bond may strengthen another: the human-feline bond.