This new cat allergy vaccine promises to help sufferers – but there's a catch
Confession: I adore cats.
These precious balls of fur sometimes are funny, clever, independent, affectionate, adorable and make for living hot water bottles.
Unfortunately, I'm also deathly allergic. We're talking streaming eyes, a puffy faces, running nose and hot, itchy skin.
I only have to be in the same building as one and I need a tissue; even looking at a photo like the one at the top of this article would nearly set me off.
Loving cats while also being unable to go near them has always felt particularly cruel but finally, there could be some relief as an allergy vaccine in the works.
It won't be an injection for humans, though – instead, your pet will have to get the jab.
Cat allergies are caused by a protein known as Fel-d1 on the animal's skin, as well as its saliva and tears.
As a cat's skin sheds it's dispersed throughout the home (just like our skin is) spreading the allergen. It's why allergy sufferers can struggle just by visiting a house where a cat lives.
The vaccine will work by reducing the impact of the Fel-d1 protein and make cats less of a trigger to us.
If you're thinking that vaccinating an animal just so you can keep it sounds selfish, the makers of the HypoCat jab say they have good reason for it.
Allergies are one of the leading reasons pet cats are abandoned around the world, according to the Swiss company developing the vaccine.
It's hoping that as well as benefitting sufferers, the HypoCat vaccine will mean fewer cats are dumped and therefore put down.
The jury's out for us on this one. Will this really help save cats? Would you have your pet get the jab?