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Do Bengal Cats Shed? [Is This A Hypoallergenic Breed?]

If you suffer from allergies, it can be difficult to find a breed of cat that won’t exacerbate the problem. But what about Bengal cats specifically? Are they known to shed or is this stunningly coated cat considered Hypoallergenic? Here is all you are going to want to know.

So, do Bengal cats shed? Bengal cats do shed; however, thanks to their short close-lying coats, they do not shed as much as other cat breeds. This has led many people to believe that Bengals are hypoallergenic, which is not strictly true. All cats shed, so if you are hypersensitive to cat dander, a Bengal may still cause symptoms.

Thankfully, if you follow good hygiene practices, then you may be able to lessen the effects.

And these practices will help regardless of the cat breed you ultimately decide upon.

And we’ll be covering them in depth later – so be sure to keep reading.

But before then; let’s get into the details of the Bengal breed in greater detail!

How Much Do Bengal Cats Shed?

All cats shed, including Bengals. However, Bengals have very short, fine coats, which means they shed less than other breeds.

The Bengal is a hybrid cat that came about after a wild Asian Leopard cat was crossed with a domestic cat.

This has made the coat of Bengals very different from the coats of other domestic breeds.

You may have heard people referring to Bengal fur as pelt, which is usually the term used to describe the fur of wild cats, including tigers, ocelots, and of course, the Asian leopard cat.

A Bengal’s coat is incredibly silky and glossy, and unlike most other domestic cats, Bengals only have a single layer coat with no undercoat.

Because of their low-maintenance grooming needs, Bengals clean themselves a lot less than other cats, which reduces the spread of dander and saliva that can trigger allergies.

However, as mentioned above, Bengal cats do still shed, and the amount can vary from month to month.

There are a number of reasons why your Bengal cat may shed more, and knowing the causes may help you to manage it effectively if you suffer from allergies.

Let’s run through them now:

Kitten Development

Ok, so there is not really much you can do to prevent this one, but it is still worth knowing about.

Bengal kittens, just like all kittens, shed during their development.
It usually happens around the time your cat reaches sexual maturity, which is around 7-9 months of age.

After this, your Bengal will develop the stunning sleek coat this breed is famed for.

Diet

Cat skin requires specific nutrients to function properly and support the growth and health of the coat.

If a cat lacks any of these nutrients in its diet, it may cause excess shedding.

Bengals, in particular, require high levels of natural protein in their diets due to their wild ancestry.

For this reason, these cats often thrive on a raw diet.

Bengals, like other cats, also require essential fatty acids and taurine in their diets to promote a healthy immune system and to maintain coat health.

Stress

This is perhaps one of the most common causes of shedding in cats, including Bengals.

Numerous circumstances may trigger your cat to become stressed, including moving house or the addition of a new pet in the home.

Bengals are highly active and intelligent cats, so a lack of stimulation may also cause stress if it is prolonged.

If a cats’ excessive shedding is caused by stress, you may notice bald patches on the coat.

Seasons

All cats, including Bengals, shed more in the Spring and Autumn months as this is when their coats change in relation to temperature changes in the air.

Cats will shed off their winter coats in Spring and shed their summer coats in Autumn in preparation for the cold winter months.

Saying that Bengals will still shed less than other breeds because of their short coats, even during shedding season.

Underlying Health Issues

Sometimes Bengal cats will shed more as the result of a medical condition.

If this is the cause, you may also notice other behavioral changes such as increased vocalizations or even aggressive behaviors in extreme circumstances.

If you are unsure, it is best to seek the advice of a vet.

Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?

No cat is 100% hypoallergenic; however, Bengals are considered to be as close to hypoallergenic as you can get!

Any allergic reaction you may get from a Bengal cat will be entirely dependent on how sensitive you are.

People that are hypersensitive may still react to Bengals even though these cats shed very little.

Contrary to what you may believe, cat allergies are not strictly caused by fur.

Instead, they are caused by the glycoprotein, which is found in dead skin cells (called dander) that are released into the air when your cat grooms himself.

This protein can also be found in a cat’s saliva and even their urine.

Dander is extremely small, so it can easily become airborne, which is why regular cleaning is so important if you suffer from allergies.

Currently, there is no evidence to confirm that Bengal cats produce less glycoprotein than other cat breeds, so they may still trigger allergies.

However, it is worth noting that many wild cat species do not have this protein in their saliva at all, so, as a hybrid breed, it is possible that the Bengal cat does produce less of it, but this has yet to be proven.

There have been numerous accounts of allergy sufferers having no symptoms when around these beautiful cats, so this does suggest that they may be one of the best breeds for people who suffer from cat allergies.

It is worth bearing in mind, though, that just because you are not allergic to one Bengal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be allergic to any Bengal.

Every cat is an individual, and the amount of glycoprotein can vary between cats.

So your best bet is to spend time around the specific Bengal you are considering adopting to ensure he does not trigger any symptoms.

How To Manage Shedding In Bengal Cats

Although Bengals do not shed much, living with one can still cause symptoms if you are sensitive to cat dander.

Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of Bengal cat fur in your home, depending on how much your cat sheds.

Optimize Your Bengals Diet

The first thing you need to do is ensure your Bengal cat is on the correct diet for his age, size, and health status.

Bengals can suffer from several health issues if their specific nutritional needs are not met.
If this is prolonged, it can lead to hair loss, liver conditions, and bone degeneration.

There are countless varieties of cat food on the market which can make the whole searching process fairly confusing.

As a rule, Bengal cats need a balanced diet that contains protein from natural meat, bone, and muscle, as well as oily fish such as mackerel.

Traditional dry cat food is generally not suitable for Bengals.

If you are confident your Bengal is healthy, happy, and stress-free, then you can work out a regular cleaning routine to ensure that dander is not floating around your home on a permanent basis!

Here are a few things you can try:

Regular Grooming

Bengals only require grooming once a week to keep their coats in tip-top condition.

Regular grooming is vital, especially if you suffer from allergies, as it will help to eliminate a big portion of the dead hair, dust, and dirt that would otherwise find its way into your home.

Regular brushing also has the added benefit of spreading skin oils across your Bengals body, which will help to keep his coat in good condition.

Avoid Bathing Your Bengal

You may think that bathing your cat will help to get rid of allergens in the skin and fur; however, it actually has the opposite effect!

Bathing your Bengal too often will dry out his skin and create more dander.

Bengal cats are perfectly capable of cleaning themselves, so baths are not really necessary at all.

Invest In A Lint Roller

These simple rollers can become your best friend if you own a cat!

You can pick them up quite readily, and affordably from Amazon.

Simply roll the product over clothing or furniture to remove cat hair effortlessly.

This should be done as often as necessary, depending on how sensitive your allergies are.

Get The Right Vacuum

A standard vacuum cleaner will hoover up cat hair for a while, but it may end up breaking because of all the hair that gets stuck.

Instead, consider investing in a heavy-duty vacuum that is specifically designed for pet hair.

Here is an excellent, highly-reviewed example on Amazon.

Remember that all cats shed more in the Spring and Autumn months, so you may need to increase your cleaning schedule during these times.

If you are still suffering, think about creating a specific play or sleep area in your home for your Bengal.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should lock your cat in just one area, but giving him a separate safe space to use whenever he feels the need to, will go a long way towards maintaining the amount of fur in your home.

Veterinary Support

If you notice your Bengal cat is suddenly shedding a lot more than usual, and you have ruled out any potential stress triggers, then you may need to get your cat to the vet as some medical conditions can cause excess shedding.

These include:

  • Skin allergies
  • Skin mites
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Autoimmune disorders

Supplements

There are also several supplements that you can purchase for your cat which may reduce shedding (depending on the cause).

Omega-3 supplements given daily are thought to reduce shedding and help to keep the coat glossy.

Finally

So now you know.

Bengal cats do shed, but thankfully not like most other domestic breeds.

And with a few simple changes to their care and your routine, you can really minimize the dander they do naturally produce.

Always remember that no domestic cat is 100% hypoallergenic, so you should always ‘test the waters’ with any new potential feline companion before committing to buying one.

That, and ensuring you can afford a Bengal and understand what to expect regarding their size.