ST. LOUIS — Nestlé Purina PetCare on Feb. 26 announced it has developed the first-ever cat diet to help manage cat allergens and reduce adverse reactions among humans. The company first revealed the research behind the cutting-edge diet in June 2019.

Purina had discovered the major allergen that causes allergic reactions in humans, Fel d1 — a type of protein that originates in feline saliva — could be counteracted by an egg-based ingredient containing Fel d1 antibodies.

“Many people think that cat hair is the root of their problem,” explained Ebenezer Satyaraj, Ph.D., immunologist for Nestlé Purina Research and lead investigator on the research that led to the development of Pro Plan LiveClear, “but it’s actually what’s on it – the major cat allergen called Fel d1, a protein that cats produce naturally in their saliva.”

This breakthrough solution, Purina Pro Plan LiveClear, does not alter the nutrition or physiology of the cat, but can significantly reduce allergens by 47% on average in as little as three weeks, according to Purina.

According to the company, one in five adults globally are allergic to Fel d1 and can lead to isolation or abandonment of a pet cat.

LiveClear is able to neutralize the saliva in the cats mouth, thanks to the egg-based anti-Fel d1 ingredient, which prevents the allergen from spreading from the cat’s mouth to its fur during grooming and, ultimately, to its surroundings.

“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 d1, our goal was to neutralize it rather than inhibit its production.”

The cat food was tested at length for safety and nutritional efficacy, Purina said. LiveClear underwent six months of feeding trails, which deduced that the egg ingredient coating the kibble was digested “like any other protein,” making it completely safe for the cat.

Pro Plan LiveClear will hit pet specialty and e-commerce shelves in April 2020. The allergen-reducing cat food will be available in three formulas: chicken and rice, salmon and rice, and turkey and oat meal for cats with skin and stomach sensitivities. All three formulas are designed for adult cats.

Read more about new pet food and treat products.