Purina® Pro Plan® is set to introduce a revolutionary approach in the management of cat allergens for Kiwis: Purina Pro Plan LiveClear™, the first and only cat food that reduces the allergens in cat hair and dander.
This new breakthrough is the culmination of more than a decade of Purina research dedicated to finding a safe and effective way to address a problem that impacts up to one in five adults – that’s around one million people in New Zealand alone.¹ ²
The announcement comes as findings from New Zealand show that 37% of cat allergy sufferers in the country rate their symptoms as quite severe or very severe. The study, commissioned by Purina, also found that just over a third (36%) of allergy sufferers in New Zealand have either considered, or had to, relinquish a cat due to the impact of their allergy symptoms.³
With the capability to reduce the allergens in cat hair and dander in as little as three weeks, new Pro Plan LiveClear has the power to change the lives of Kiwis living with a sensitivity to cat allergens, potentially helping cat owners become closer to the cats they love.
David Thomas, Associate Professor at Massey University’s School of Agriculture and Environment and Director of the largest cat colony in New Zealand, says given physical contact is such an important component of the human-cat bond, allergies can weaken the relationship. “The number of people suffering an allergic response to cats in New Zealand is not insignificant and an allergy is often cited as the reason for relinquishment of an animal to shelters, or a barrier to cat ownership or adoption,” commented Thomas. Of those surveyed, eight in ten Kiwi cat owners described their cat as a companion (78%) and affirmed a cat is good for mental wellbeing (81%). As a result, in New Zealand, a third of cat allergy sufferers (35%) said they still chose to have a cat; of these, 30% cite their love for cats and 29% the close bond they have as the key reasons.³
Yet managing these allergies can be a substantial and ongoing struggle for many. Particularly because it can limit the interactions between owners and their cats. Current methods for managing cat allergens often include limiting time or activities with the cat; isolating the cat in the home; or even removing the cat from the home altogether.
How does Purina® Pro Plan® LiveClear™ work?
Many people believe that cat hair or dander is the cause of cat allergies, but it’s actually what’s on the hair that causes the problem.
- Fel d 1 is a protein that cats produce naturally in their saliva.⁴ ⁵
- All cats produce Fel d 1, regardless of breed, age, hair length, sex or body weight.⁵ ⁶
- When cats groom, Fel d 1 gets on the hair and skin through the saliva, and eventually into the environment.
- The key ingredient in Pro Plan LiveClear is a specific protein sourced from eggs.
- When cats eat Pro Plan LiveClear, the protein binds to the Fel d 1 and safely neutralises it in the cat’s mouth.
- By reducing active Fel d 1 in the cat’s saliva, it reduces the allergen that is transferred to the cat’s hair and dander when they groom, ultimately reducing the allergen in the environment.⁸ ⁹
- In a published study, feeding Pro Plan LiveClear was shown to reduce the allergens in cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, starting in the third week of daily feeding.⁸
Cat safety was critically important to the Purina Institute scientists when developing the product.
“As a cat lover and veterinarian, my focus is on the health and safety of the cats under my care. The beauty of Pro Plan LiveClear is that it reduces cat allergens in cat hair and dander without impacting the physiology of the cat,” explained Kurt Venator, Chief Veterinary Officer at Purina. “Because scientists don’t know exactly why cats produce Fel d 1, our goal was to neutralise it rather than inhibit its production.”
A six-month safety study also showed that the egg product ingredient coating the Pro Plan LiveClear kibble is completely safe for cats to eat.¹⁰ The action happens in the cat’s mouth, but once swallowed, the ingredient is digested like any other protein.
Associate Professor Thomas adds he has seen study results from the Purina Institute presented at various international conferences recently. “The initial idea was relatively simple, but the work has now resulted in an elegant solution to a significant problem for a large number of cat owners globally.”
About Purina® Pro Plan® LiveClear™
Purina ® Pro Plan ® LiveClear™ is not intended to replace other allergen-reduction strategies but, rather, to add another measure that can help reduce the allergen burden in cat households. It is a groundbreaking approach to cat allergen management that has the potential to improve the lives of cats and the families who love them.
Purina Pro Plan LiveClear is a 100% complete and balanced dry cat food with outstanding taste and nutrition designed for daily feeding.
It will be available in New Zealand from February 2021 at specialty pet stores, specialty online retailers and selected vet clinics in five formulas – Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Kitten Chicken, Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Adult Chicken, Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Adult Indoor Hairball Control Chicken, Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Adult Urinary Care Chicken and Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Adult 7+ Salmon & Tuna.
For more information on the scientific discovery, visit https://www.purina.co.nz/cats/diet-nutrition/managing-cat-allergens/.
- Bousquet, P.J., Chinn, S., Janson, C., Kogevinas, M., Burney, P., & Jarvis, D. (2007). Geographical variation in the prevalence of positive skin tests to environmental aeroallergens in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey I. Allergy, 62, 301-309. Doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2006.01293
- Zahradnik, E., & Raulf, M. (2017). Respiratory allergens from furred mammals: environmental and occupational exposure. Veterinary Sciences, 4, 38. Doi: 10.3390/vetsci4030038
- Juice Research (2020). Understanding Kiwis and their allergies. National Survey of 306 respondents
- Bonnet, B., Messaoudi, K., Jacomet, F., Michaud, E. Fauquert, J. L., Caillaud, D., & Evrard, B. (2018). An update on molecular cat allergens: Fel d 1 and what else? Chapter 1: Fel d 1, the major cat allergen. Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, 14, 14. Doi: 10.1186/s13223-018-0239-8
- Kelly, S. M., Karsh, J., Marcelo, J., Boeckh, D., Stepner, N., Litt, D., ...Yang, W. H. (2018). Fel d 1 and Fel d4 levels in cat fur, saliva and urine. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 142, 1990-1992.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.07.033
- Butt, A., Rashid, D., & Lockey, R. F. (2012). Do hypoallergenic dogs and cats exist? Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 108, 74-76. Doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2011.12.005
- Nicholas, C., Wegienka, G., Havstad, S., Ownby, D., & Johnson, C. C. (2008). Influence of cat characteristics on Fel d 1 levels in the home. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 101, 47-50.
- Satyaraj, E., Gardner, C., Filipi, I., Cramer, K., & Sherrill, S. (2019). Reduction of active Fel d1 from cats using an antiFel d1 egg IgY antibody. Immunity, inflammation and disease, 7(2), 68–73. doi:10.1002/iid3.244
- Satyaraj, E., Li, Q., Sun, P. & Sherrill, S. (2019). Anti-Fel d 1 immunoglobulin Y antibody-containing egg ingredient lowers allergen levels in cat saliva. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 21(10), 875-881. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19861218
- Matulka, R. A., Thompson, L., & Corley, D. (2019). Multi-level safety studies of anti Fel d 1 IgY ingredient in cat food. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 6, 477. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00477