Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic? (It’s Debatable)

are bengal cats hypoallergenic

Well, are Bengal Cats hypoallergenic? Yes, Bengal cats are hypoallergenic, meaning they rarely cause allergic reactions. However, hypoallergenic does not equate to allergen-free. Compared to other breeds, they produce fewer allergic reactions. This article will address what exactly makes the Bengal hypoallergenic, what to do if you want a Bengal but are allergic to cats, and other breeds of hypoallergenic cats.

What causes allergies in cats?

Fel d 1, a protein in cat skin cells, saliva, and urine, causes cat allergies. The protein is released into the air via cat dander. During self-grooming, cats’ fur sheds, carrying the protein with it. The protein is so light that it remains airborne for a longer time, increasing its likelihood of entering a person’s lungs. It is sticky and adheres to surfaces throughout your home.

Why are Bengal cats hypoallergenic?

Bengals are hypoallergenic due to their single coat and far less shedding than other cats. Therefore, there are fewer opportunities for the Fel d 1 protein to attach to the fur and enter the air.

Some Bengals have kept a pelted coat texture comparable to rabbit fur. Their pelted coat is low-maintenance, aids in keeping the Bengal clean, and reduces grooming time. Less grooming results in less saliva on their coat and, thus, less allergenic protein dander in the air.

Bengal cat with leather collar lying in the grass
A lovely Bengal cat lying in the grass

How can I get a Bengal if I’m allergic to cats?

Before committing to bringing a Bengal into your home, you should expose yourself to one. Observe your reaction when you visit a friend who has a Bengal. Visit them multiple times and engage both the adults and kittens in conversation. If you have family members with cat allergies, bring them along. This is crucial because if you or a family member are allergic to Bengals, you may have to rehome the cat.

Why do Bengals cause fewer allergy responses than other breeds?

Although many believe cat fur causes allergic reactions, this is not the case. People with allergies are most concerned about dander (dead skin) because it is minute, airborne, and easily accumulated on furniture and clothing. In addition to animal dander, other common allergens include:

  • Saliva
  • Urine and feces
  • Sweat
  • Tears
  • Mucous

They all include the cat allergen Fel d1, which causes allergic responses. It is light and sticky, allowing it to linger and cause sneezing even when your cat is not present. While some cat breeds produce low levels of Fel d1, Bengal cats do not.

So why do Bengal cats qualify as hypoallergenic? Since all of the compounds on the list remain on feline fur, cats that shed excessively are more likely to cause allergic individuals discomfort. Bengals have a single-layer coat and shed less, so humans who live with Bengals are exposed to Fel d1 less frequently.

The Bengal’s coat is short and adheres to its body. It gives them a sleek, silky appearance and does not become dirty easily, reducing the need for self-grooming. Less grooming results in less shedding, reducing the spread of Fel d1.

Beautiful Bengal kitten on small table at home
Beautiful Bengal kitten on small table at home

Tips for Bengal lovers with cat allergies

All cats produce saliva, dander, and urine. Therefore you must learn to deal with these elements. Reduce the distribution of the allergenic protein in your immediate environment. If despite your allergies, you are determined to get a Bengal and make it work, there are steps you can do to cohabit with your pet.

Give Bengals a breed-appropriate diet

Bengals, like other cats, are obligate carnivores. This indicates that they enjoy raw, fresh meat. The quality of Bengals’ skin is enhanced by providing them with the nutrients they require and maintaining their hydration levels. Healthier Bengals have less dry, flaky skin and less dander, reducing your exposure to allergens.

Cleaning is essential

Daily, wipe down the exposed surfaces in your home. Focus on areas your cat likes to climb, such as furniture and countertops. Utilize a dust mitt or broom with microfibers, which effectively capture loose fur. Cleaning surfaces using microfiber cloths eliminate the need for chemicals, which are frequently allergies. Do not install a carpet in your home. As dander settles within the fabric, allergens become more difficult to remove.

Invest in a HEPA air filter

A high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA filter, is a mechanical air filter that catches particles such as pollen, dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke by forcing air through a small mesh. Because the Fel d 1 protein is so light, it remains in the air for an extended period. Investing in a high-quality HEPA filter will drastically reduce allergens in the air.

A good air cleaner with HEPA filter has been proven to help alleviate cat allergy.

Limit your Bengal exposure

After touching a cat, one should wash their hands. Do not hug or kiss him. Keep him out of your bedroom to provide an allergen-free environment in your home. Request another member of the family to clean the litter box. As long as you adhere to these guidelines, you can still form a bond with your cat.

Brush your Bengal

Bathing a Bengal may be unpleasant because it dries off their skin. Dry skin increases dander, thereby aggravating the condition. In addition, bathing decreases allergens for just 24 hours. Therefore it is not the ideal solution. Instead of bathing your cat, routinely brush him to eliminate loose fur. Wipe him down with a damp microfiber cloth as a stress-free alternative to baths.

Clean the litter box regularly

Have a non-allergic family member scoop the litter box twice daily to reduce urine exposure to the air.

Take a medication

If none of the preceding remedies worked, you should take allergy medicine. There are a variety of allergy medications, including oral pills, decongestants, and injections. Choose the option that you feel most comfortable with.

Allegra has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of cat allergy.

Are there any other cat breeds that are hypoallergenic?

These cat breeds exhibit minor allergic reactions

  • Sphynx – This breed has a peculiar hairless appearance. The allergic proteins in their saliva cannot become caught in their lack of fur.
  • Cornish Rex – This breed has only one downy coat. Less hair equals less shedding, reducing the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
  • Oriental shorthair – This breed has a short, silky coat that sheds relatively little.
  • Russian Blue – This breed produces fewer Fel d 1 proteins.
  • Balinese – This breed produces less Fel d 1 protein as well.

Conclusion

Bengal cats are hypoallergenic because they provoke fewer allergy reactions than most cat breeds. If you are allergic to cats but insist on getting a Bengal, there are steps you may do to coexist with it. Feed your Bengal a breed-specific food to maintain good skin. Using a HEPA filter and cleaning surfaces, you can keep your home free of loose fur and dander. Request a family member to clean the litter box. Additionally, you can take allergy medication.

Image credits:
https://depositphotos.com/28404893/stock-photo-bengal-cat-with-very-green.html
https://depositphotos.com/82095144/stock-photo-beautiful-bengal-kitten.html

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