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Is There An Allergy Shot For Cats

Allergy Injections And Types Of Allergies

Vaccine For Cat Allergies Developed By Swiss Scientists

Allergies are caused by a negative reaction of the immune system. Theallergy injections have been created to interact with the immune systemand expose it to the allergen on a regular basis, so that the immune system will no longer react when the allergen is present. The allergy injections may be applied in cats that have inhalant allergies , but cannot be used in cats that have unidentified allergies or allergies to food.

What Should I Expect Afterward

Usually, youâll stay at the doctorâs office for about 30 minutes after you get an allergy shot. That’s to make sure you don’t get side effects like itchy eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, or a tight throat. If you get these symptoms after you leave, go back to your doctor’s office or to the nearest emergency room.

Redness, swelling, or irritation right around the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away in 4 to 8 hours.

What Vaccines Do Cats Need

The Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel regularly evaluates and researches cat vaccination developments to make science-based recommendations.

The panel is comprised of dedcated feline veterinarians and scientists and is regarded as a reputable source of cat vaccination standards.

Their guidelines, published by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, are among the most trusted and utilized recommendations in the field.

They divide cat vaccines into two categories:

  • Core vaccines

as early as 8 weeks)


* FeLV: highly recommended for kittens and optional for adult cats.

** Rabies: 3-year vs 1-year vaccine depending on state laws.

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Current Cat Allergy Treatments

If avoiding cats isnt possible, or you just really, really want a cat despite an allergy, Blaiss recommends at a minimum to never allow the cat inside your bedroom, where you spend about eight hours a day.

Products such as antihistamines, nasal steroids and asthma medications can provide some relief. But medications treat symptoms, not the cat allergy itself. To do that, you need immunotherapy, which is given as shots in an allergists office.

Immunotherapy retrains the immune system to tolerate more cat protein without reacting. Typically, patients go to an allergists office for weekly injections with small amounts of cat protein during a buildup phase that lasts for several months. Thats followed by monthly maintenance injections for three to five years.

Research shows that cat immunotherapy can reduce symptoms in many people, and that the results last. But some people react to the injections, while others quit because of the inconvenience of as many as 80 injections in all.

A lot of people quit before three years. There really is a need to get the duration of it down, says Dr. Harold Nelson, an allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver.

What Are Allergy Shots

Allergy scratch tests, before (left) and after (top right ...

Allergy shots are also called subcutaneous immunotherapy . Subcutaneous means the shot is given under your skin, unlike vaccine shots, which go in your muscle. Immunotherapy means that the allergy shots are actually training your immune system not to react to something. In this case, thats an allergen.

Allergy shots contain small amounts of an allergen. When a person gets an allergy shot, they are injected with the allergen they are allergic to. The goal is to teach the immune system to stop overreacting to that allergen. A trained healthcare provider will give these shots starting with a small dose of the allergen. Over a period of months, the dose will increase. Eventually, the immune system can tolerate a high allergen dose without having a serious reaction.

Allergy shots begin with a build-up phase. During this phase, you will get an allergy shot once every 1 to 3 weeks for several months. Then you will move to the maintenance phase where you get a shot every 4 to 6 weeks. This entire process can take 3 to 5 years.

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The Next Weird Way Were Changing Cats

What if you could make your cat hypoallergenic with biotechnology?

The first thing to know is that truly allergen-free cats are a myth. Sorry.

Thats because all catslonghair, shorthair, no hairshed a pernicious little protein called Fel d 1, found in the saliva and oil glands, which causes most cat allergies. Some cats shed 80 times more of it than others of the same breed no one knows why. Some shed more one month and less the next. Certain breeds may indeed make less Fel d 1 on average, but evidence is sparse. Back in the 2000s, a much-hyped start-up claiming to have bred hypoallergenic cats collapsed in disgrace, leaving some customers with pets that still made them wheeze and others who had shelled out thousands of dollars up front with no cat at all. Thats to say, demand for allergen-free cats is intense. Its just that no one has managed to breed one.

None of these strategies will eliminate Fel d 1 in a cat completely, but they might reduce allergen levels enough to stave off itchy eyes and sneezing. This reduction may be enough to let allergic owners keep their beloved cats. I used to, back in my younger days, say, Oh, you really need to get rid of your cat, says William Nish, an allergist in Georgia. That made me very unpopular. Allergists like him now suggest that cat owners try allergy pills or allergy shots on themselvesand to vacuum with a HEPA filter, bathe their cat regularly, and keep it out of the bedroom.

Scientists Develop Vaccine That Prevents Cats From Making You Allergic To Them

A Swiss pharmaceutical company announced the development of a vaccine that makes cats less able to produce allergens, thereby lessening the likelihood of an owner developing an allergy.

In April, scientists at Hypo Pet published a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggesting that an early version of its injectable vaccine performed well in clinical trials.

Founded in 2013 by the University of Zürich Switzerland and funded by grants from the Swiss government, Hypo Pet has partnered with a British company to bring new veterinary medicines to market. It’s first drug, also called Hypo Pet, is unlike current treatments for feline allergies, which involve cat owners undergoing periodic injections designed to suppress the body’s natural immune responses to the cat allergens.

Hypo Pet essentially makes cats hypoallergenic by reducing or eliminating the allergens their bodies naturally produce in the first place.

About one in ten people have pet allergies, but cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The vast majority are triggered by a glycoprotein, Fel d 1, secreted in a cat’s saliva, skin and sebaceous glands.

The Hypo Pet vaccine modifies a cat’s immune system to destroy Fel d 1 before it is released through their skin and saliva.

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Are Allergy Shots Effective

Allergy shots work best for allergies caused by:

  • Some pollens

  • Dust mites

  • Animal dander

  • Insect stings

Unfortunately, allergy shots do not work for drug, latex, or food allergies.

Allergy shots do not cure allergies. After allergy shots, many people have fewer or no allergy symptoms. For many people, that relief can last for years. Unfortunately, some people do have early relapses of symptoms. Healthcare providers cannot predict who will relapse. But, in these cases, a person can restart allergy shots.

A Vaccine For Cat Allergies: Here Is The Latest

New vaccine for cat allergies

Guess what, cats? There may soon be a vaccine for you. But it’s for a problem that humans have….


Hey, cats. You know how about 10% of the humans in the U.S. start coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and getting rashes and stuffy noses around you? Well, it’s not them. It’s you. They are allergic to you.

This problem has motivated HypoPet AG, a Swiss-based company, to develop the HypoCat vaccine for that. But the vaccine isn’t for them. It’s for you.

Most often, the problem isn’t exactly you. It’s actually Fel d 1. No, Fel d 1 is not something on World of Warcraft. That would be a Fel Mint Green paint vial. And it is not a musical act. That would be Adele or Bell Biv DeVoe. Fel d 1 is a protein in your saliva and skin secretions that frequently generates the allergic reaction seen in humans.

About 10 % of humans have cat allergies.


What makes matters worse is that you have this problem licked. Maybe it’s the lack of hair gel and a brush, but you seem to lick yourself quite often. This licking then spreads Fel d 1 all over your fur. Then, when you shed your fur, you effectively spread this protein everywhere you go. That’s what can make it so difficult for some humans to be around you.

I know, I know, you may not want humans around you. After all, they may dress you up like a sailor or watch you while you pee. But many humans do like being around you, even if you may be plotting their demise, as I have detailed previously for Forbes.


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Allergy Today: All About Cat Allergy

When someone becomes allergic to cats, what they are actually reacting to is a protein known as Fel d 1, which is in cats saliva. The saliva is also very sticky, and because cats clean themselves by licking their fur, their fur also becomes very sticky. Hair from the fur then sticks to fabrics and furnishings, and can be carried to other places on clothing where it might then stick to other furnishings etc.This feline allergen is therefore widespread, even to places cats were not known to have been.

Individual hairs from cats are very lightweight and easily become airborne. Because the particles are particularly small , and remain airborne for prolonged periods of time, they can be easily inhaled.

Cat allergy symptoms

The main symptom people will experience is allergic rhinitis . Some people may experience skin symptoms. If you also have asthma, this can be made worse by your allergic reactions to cats.

No Hypo-allergenic cats

Although individual cats may produce more or less of the Fel d 1 allergen, there is no relationship between the pets hair length and allergen production, and no such thing as a non-allergenic breed.



Reducing exposure to cat allergen

If this is your own home, you may have to consider finding a new home for your pet. This can be very challenging for cat owners and their families .

Research breakthrough:

Why Cleaning Is So Important When It Comes To Pet Allergies

Only having your pets in areas with hard floors and furniture though it may tug at your heartstrings at times will make it easier for you to clean, which Dr. Hong says you should do often. She also suggests using a damp cloth or using damp floor wipers to make sure those surfaces are as clean as possible. And for those areas where you have a carpet or rug, vacuum frequently.

Air filters can also be helpful to limit the spread and exposure to those proteins. Dr. Hong notes that she has several patients that abide the no pets in the bedroom policy and still place air filters there to help keep the air as clean and clear as possible.

But the extra cleaning should also extend to your pets, says Dr. Hong. If you can, bathe your pets regularly to help keep the protein-impacted dander to a minimum. That also goes for brushing your pets fur to keep excess fur to a minimum. Just remember to brush them outside so none of the fur or dander lingers in your house.

And if your pet, particularly dogs, go outside a lot, its best to wipe them down when they come in. If you have pollen allergies, your pet can get covered in it when they go outside, says Dr. Hong. When they come inside, theyll be bringing all that pollen with them. So if you wipe them down before they come in, you can at least keep them from bringing too much into your home.

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How Is Pet Allergy Diagnosed

A diagnosis of pet allergy is made based on your medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor might refer you to an allergy specialist for a skin-prick test or blood test for confirmation.

Avoid online or over-the-counter allergy test kits or other unconventional allergy tests. Many are not evidence-based, and dont provide accurate results.

In particular, avoid unproven tests and treatments such as applied kinesiology, the Vega test, hair analysis, serum-specific IgG tests, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques , and cytotoxic tests such as ALCAT, FACT and Bryans test.

See your doctor for advice.

What Does This Reaction Do To The Cat

People Could Stop Having Allergic Reactions To Cats With ...

The cat’s response to the intense itching is to chew, lick, or scratch the affected site or sites. This causes hair loss and can lead to open sores or scabs on the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial infection to develop. The area most commonly involved is over the rump, just in front of the tail. Many flea-allergic cats chew or lick the hair off their legs. Itching and hair loss around the tail base, neck and head should be considered suspicious for flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, the cat may have numerous, small scabs around the head and neck. These scabs are often referred to as miliary lesions, a term that was coined because the scabs look like millet seeds.

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Why Do Pet Allergies Cause You To Sneeze Anyway

First of all, its important to understand what causes your allergy flare-ups. Dr. Hong says that its actually a protein in the saliva, urine and feces of these pets that were allergic to. It gets on their fur and skin, she adds, explaining how it spreads so easily.

As for why some pets may bother you more than others, its because certain proteins last longer than others. Cat protein can last up to four months in your home environment, Dr. Hong explains, while dog dander can linger for shorter periods of time.

That doesnt mean a dog wont make you sneeze and wheeze. One of the reasons is that all of these proteins can linger in your home. They get attached to couches, any sort of cloth surfaces like rugs and carpets and other upholstery and they stain and linger there, she says.

Dr. Hong says one other thing to be aware of is that theres no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog or cat. Even hairless cats arent 100% hypoallergenic. Even if they dont shed fur and spread dander everywhere, theyre still shedding the protein were allergic to.

One Company Is Making A Vaccine That Is Given To Cats And Stops Them From Producing Allergens Another Is Trying To Create Crispr Kitties

Every year, around 3.2 million cats are placed in U.S. animal shelters, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. There are many reasons why these pets are given up, but one of the most common is allergies. Cats are one of the most common allergy triggers in the world, with at least 10 percent of Americans exhibiting some symptoms. These symptoms can be mild, but they can also cause serious health complications, particularly among younger children who are at risk of developing asthma through prolonged exposure. And while there are a variety of ways to treat allergies, most of them only address the symptoms rather than removing the underlying cause. The only way to do that, for now, is to remove the cat itself.

With any disease, you want to address the root cause, rather than just the symptoms, and that’s all that is available today, says Gary Jennings, a biochemist and the CEO of Swiss biotech company HypoPet. It’s suboptimal.

Luckily for cat lovers, researchers and companies like HypoPet are working on alternative treatments to cat allergies ones that treat the cat instead of the human. And although this research is still in its beginning phases, dont be surprised if cat allergies become a thing of the past sometime soon.

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How Does Pet Allergy Occur

Pet allergens are most concentrated in homes with pets. But they are also found in buildings and public spaces without pets.

The main source of dog allergen is saliva, either directly from licking or from being transferred to their dander or hair. Cat allergens mainly come from glands in their skin and are spread through licking and grooming.

Pet allergens are sticky and can remain for months or years after a pet has gone. They can become airborne and attach to clothes and hair.

People can become sensitive to, or have an allergic reaction to, cats or dogs without ever having owned a pet.

Vaccines Truths And Myths

Vaccine to eliminate allergy in cats

As with many medical interventions, there is often a misunderstanding of the benefits and risks of vaccination. This misunderstanding can sometimes lead well intentioned cat owners to make misinformed decisions about this vital aspect of feline health maintenance. Here are some examples of truths and myths regarding feline vaccination.


  • Vaccination protects all cats by making disease transmission less likely
  • No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and the effectiveness of different vaccines varies
  • Although uncommon, all feline vaccines carry the risk of feline injection site sarcoma


  • Vaccinating a cat against a disease can treat that disease
  • Vaccinating a cat against a disease causes that disease
  • All cats should receive every vaccine available for cats

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What Is Contact Allergy And How Is It Treated

Contact allergies are the least common of the four types of allergies in cats.

“They result in a local reaction on the skin from contact with an allergic substance.”

They result in a local reaction on the skin from contact with an allergic substance. Examples of contact allergy include reactions to shampoos, flea collars, or certain types of bedding, such as wool. If the cat is allergic to such substances, there will be skin irritation and itching at the points of contact. Removal of the contact irritant solves the problem. However, identifying the allergen can be challenging in many cases.

Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM


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