Innovation

Scientists Work On Solutions To Remove Cat Allergies

kitten
Showing love to other animals promotes similar feelings toward other people. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Like cats? Who doesn’t, right? They’re cute, cuddly and there’s just something about their kittens that makes everyone make a collective “awww!” Thing is, people like cats, but some of those people have noses who don’t and make their dislikes known by way of, you guessed it, cat allergies.

So scientists, being people themselves who enjoy cats too, decided that they’d have a shot at erasing cat allergies. So far, none is successful, but that’s not stopping them.

The Many Efforts To Erase Cat Allergies

The first attempt was made by a company back in 2006, who supposedly engineered a naturally hypoallergenic feline and sold them for $3,950 (or more) each. However, cat lovers, all of which are itchy-eyed by then, were left disappointed.

By 2010, the company had stopped taking orders and lawsuits were piling up. Oof.

Still, that doesn’t stop cat lovers who are unfortunately allergic from hoping. And they have reason to because there are some allergy-fighting measures that are being made, such as vaccinating a cat to produce fewer allergens or allergy shots for owners that would give them immediate relief. Some are even hoping that the new gene-editing technology can make a cat that doesn’t produce allergens at all.

Where do these allergy-inducing things come from anyway?

When it comes to cats, the culprit is called Fel d1, which is a small protein produced primarily in cats’ salivary and sebaceous glands. Fel d1 is found in flakes of dead skin, which is then spread to hair whenever a cat licks itself. So unless someone can find a way to stop cats from licking themselves, we still have a problem. And what’s even more annoying is that it’s not clear what role Fel d1 plays in cats. As such, it has just made allergies all the more difficult to tackle.

For now, there are options, albeit limited. For example, some people can take antihistamines and other medications to reduce symptoms. However, such drugs don’t stop the allergy.

So until scientists are able to find a definitive cure for cat allergies, it’s best to stay away from these kitties, or maybe just enjoy them via the internet. Sorry.

kitten Showing love to other animals promotes similar feelings toward other people. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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