NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s new hope for cat lovers who are allergic to their furry friends.

A team of scientists in Switzerland are working on a vaccine targeting a major feline allergen, called Fel d 1.

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Researchers say nearly 10 percent of the western population is affected by cat allergies.

Their vaccine is called “HypoCat” and it works by giving cats the vaccine – not their allergic owners.

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“Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters,” the researchers said in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.