From resident blogger Joy: When I was five years old, we had to give away Pepe, our sweet black and white house cat. My dad had found him as a kitten, meowing from a recycling bin by the West Side Highway. When I was born, Pepe was already a beloved member of the family; he loved to lick the oily remnants from a tuna can, he enjoyed hiding behind doors to “scare” us as we passed, and he especially liked to send us all into a panic by sitting on the edge of our 9th story window sill. I can picture Pepe now, sprawled out in his favorite chair, the sun warming his fur. And then, very suddenly, I developed an allergy so severe that after a year of wheezing and sneezing, my parents were left with no choice but to send Pepe to a nice family in Connecticut. We were devastated.

Many years later, and I am still just as (if not more) allergic to felines. As a cat lover, it breaks my heart. I have been known to double up on Benadryl just so I can spend half an hour cuddling with my friend’s cat, Mole, who seems to only love people with cat allergies. 

All this to say, my interest was piqued when I saw an article about a new vaccine created by scientists in Switzerland that could drastically lower feline-related allergy symptoms. The vaccine, if approved, would be administered on your four-legged friend by your veterinarian, and would produce antibodies which would bind to the target allergen (Fel d 1) and neutralize its allergenic effect on humans. The vaccine has already shown great success in efficacy trials, with a total of 54 felines tested. If HypoCat passes European and US regulators, it could be a much-appreciated new addition to the veterinary market. And most importantly: the future Pepe’s of the world could grow old curled up on that chair, with just a quick visit to the vet. 

What do you think about this vaccine? Feel free to share in the comments!