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Monday, June 22, 2020

If I've got a cat allergy, can I still own one?

Being allergic to cats is a common affliction among humans, with many people suffering symptoms such as sneezing, itchy skin, watering eyes, coughing and wheezing whenever a cat is nearby.

Sadly this can prevent caring cat lovers from owning a moggy of their own, or even worse, result in them having to give up a beloved pet to charities such as Cats Protection. If they do decide to keep their cat, it can still affect their ability to form a close bond with their moggy, as they try to maintain a safe distance to keep the sneezing at bay.

brunette woman holding long-haired grey and white cat

However, a cat allergy doesn’t necessarily need to stand in the way of a fabulous friendship with a feline. There’s a lot of confusion around the exact cause of the symptoms and how to reduce their effects, but once you know the facts, there are lots of things you can try.


The biggest myths about cat allergies

Myth 1: Cat allergies are caused by cat hair

Many people think that cat hair is the cause of their sneezing, but it’s actually what’s on the hair that’s the problem. Cats’ saliva contains a protein called Fel d 1, which sticks to their fur and skin when they clean themselves with their tongues. It’s this protein that most cat allergy sufferers have a reaction to, and unfortunately it’s easily spread around your home when your cat naturally sheds their fur and dead skin cells.


Myth 2: I’m allergic to all cats

Different cats produce varying levels of Fel d 1, so allergy sufferers may find that they are more allergic to some cats than others. In addition, everyone’s sensitivity level to this allergen is different. If you think you’re allergic to cats but would like to adopt one, try meeting some cats first, with the other members of your household too, to see if any of you have a reaction. Keep in mind that many people with an allergy to cats are also allergic to other things, such as pollen. Therefore, it might be a good idea to meet your potential new feline friend in the summer when your pollen symptoms are more pronounced, so you can best gauge how your allergies will be affected.

brunette woman with long-haired grey-and-white cat on lap


Myth 3: Some cats are hypoallergenic

While levels of Fel d 1 do vary, every cat produces it, so there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. Some people believe that certain breeds of cat, such as hairless Sphynx cats, are less likely to cause allergies, but this isn’t the case. Hairless cats still lick themselves to stay clean causing Fel d 1 to stick to their skin, so when they shed dead skin cells called dander, the allergen can spread around the home.


Myth 4: My allergy will get better over time

Some people believe that the more time they spend with cats, the less severe their allergy will become, but sadly there’s no evidence to support this. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to avoid cats altogether though, as there are some simple steps you can take to manage your allergy and still enjoy some feline companionship.


Tips for managing your cat allergy


The world’s first cat allergen-reducing cat food

Bag of Purina Pro Plan LiveClear cat food on kitchen counter next to bowl of cat food

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear is a new cat food designed to safely neutralise the Fel d 1 allergen in your cat’s saliva, reducing the amount of active Fel d 1 they release into your home. A key ingredient in the food, a specific protein sourced from eggs, binds to the Fel d 1 in your cat’s saliva as they eat. When they groom, neutralised Fel d 1 is spread onto their skin and fur. The food has been proven to reduce the active allergen on cat hair and dander from the third week of daily feeding*. It is completely safe for your cat as the key ingredient is simply digested by them like any other protein. The food also offers great-tasting nutrition. To find out more about Purina Pro Plan LiveClear, visit


Exclusive offer for Cats Protection supporters

What’s more, Purina is offering Cats Protection supporters an exclusive 20% discount for their first purchase of Pro Plan LiveClear. Simply visit their website, create your account, select the right product for the life-stage of your cat and use the promotional code: CATSPROTECTION20 at checkout**

For more help and advice about cats and allergies, visit

*A 10-week controlled study of 105 cats showed an average reduction of 47% starting from the third week of daily feeding.
**T&Cs apply. UK, CI & IOM, 18+. Offer ends 31.12.2020, or when 750 valid unique applications for the 20% discount offer have been received, whichever is sooner. Please note - offer not valid if trial bag code already used.
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