New HypoCat vaccine may stop humans having an allergic reaction to cats

Calling all #TeamCat members: Life may just get a little easier.

There's some 'good mews' for cat allergy sufferers. A vaccine has been developed which may put an end to itchy eyes and sniffly noses every time Fluffy graciously gives in to a cuddle. 

One in 10 humans are believed to be allergic to cats, meaning this breakthrough could be a lifesaver for many struggling to navigate life surrounded by cat-lovers. 

Scientists have spent close to a decade developing the HypoCat vaccine, which is administered to the pet through an injection, reports the Daily Mail.

Kittens, cats.
Kittens. Photo credit: File.

The vaccine works by neutralising the allergy-causing protein, Fed-d1, which is mainly present in the feline's fur. The protein attaches itself to tiny particles of the cat's shedded dry skin, dander, which can cause a rush of the chemical histamine in allergy-sufferers.

The rapid histamine response by the immune system subsequently will cause distressing symptoms.

HypoCat triggers the cat's immune system to produce antibodies to attack and destroy the Fel-d1 protein.

Scientists say the jab may be available within three years, reports the Daily Mail.

They hope the vaccine will benefit humans and their fluffy counterparts, as numerous animal shelters worldwide take in and rehome furry friends who have been given away by allergy-ridden owners.

"Their cats could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters," says an upcoming study on the vaccine. 

The study, set to be published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found all 54 cats injected at a Swiss hospital went on to produce antibodies capable of destroying the harmful protein.