Cat owners are trying out a new TikTok experiment that might resolve cat allergies. It all started with Tim Sipe, @sipe.tribe on TikTok, who added dehydrated egg white protein powder into his cat’s food, which he claims resolved his cat allergy at home. “I used to be allergic to my cat until I did this,” he said in his video. Could eggs really be the solution to cat allergies? 

Why are people adding dehydrated egg whites to their cat’s food?

In the video, Sipe takes dehydrated egg white powder and mixes a scoop into his cat's dry food, which he said has effectively removed his allergies.

The video, which now has over five million views, has made others try this hack at home who struggle with pet allergies. Another TikTok user, @habicheulamain, did and shared their results from adding cooked egg yolks to their cat's food.

“I've seen a difference with regular eggs, and I am super allergic to cats,” they said. 

How does adding dehydrated egg whites to cat food get rid of cat allergies?

Dr. Zachary Rubin, also known as @rubin_allergy on TikTok, is a board-certified allergist and immunologist and shared the science behind this hack. 

In his stitch to the original video, he explains many people allergic to cats are allergic to the protein Fel D 1, which is found in cats' salvia. When a cat licks themselves, the saliva spreads, which in most cases worsens the allergy. Scientists discovered that when chickens are introduced to cats for a long period of time, they produce IgY antibodies. These proteins can bind to Fel D 1 antibodies and neutralize them, removing the allergy.

But why does this work? According to Rubin, the protein is transferred into the egg yolk, similar to how humans transfer antibodies into the placenta.

Does it work? 

It depends. Although this method can be effective and has been shared by many on TikTok, the DIY route will not always work. This is because the egg proteins (like the powdered egg whites) must be regularly exposed to cats for the antibodies to work; if not, the antibodies are not created. Meaning the chickens who lay the eggs that eventually become the powdered egg whites you add to your cat's food must be exposed to cats.

Rubin shares that cat owners can also try out food options like Purina Pro Plan LiveClear, which includes egg proteins that can reduce Fel D 1, so much so that after four weeks of eating this regularly, Fel D 1 in a cat's saliva is reduced up to 50%.

In 2021, this theory was put to the test in a study conducted by Dr. James Wedner, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine who specializes in allergy and immunology. In this study, 11 participants with cat allergies were placed in greenhouse chambers with blankets from cats. These blankets were either from cats that were fed eggs with IgY antibodies or cats fed a control diet. It was found that the people in the chambers where the cats were fed eggs with antibodies were “much less symptomatic,” Wedner reported.

All in all, eggs could be the solution for your cat allergy, but it’s not guaranteed. In response to a comment asking if they can now get a cat, Rubin replied, “I can’t guarantee that this would work as the results are mixed.”