Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic
This is a complex question, but the answer is yes and no.
What is dander? When we say we have a cat allergy, many of us don’t know what’s actually happening in our bodies. It’s not our feline friends’ fur that causes allergies, it’s their dander—combined with urine and cat saliva—that’s the culprit behind your symptoms.
“Cats produce a protein known as Fel d 1,” said Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, of Animal Acupuncture. “This protein is contained in skin cells, urine and saliva, and triggers an allergic reaction. Dander is dead skin cells that are regularly sloughed off and replaced by new skin cells. All cats produce dander, but not all people are allergic to it.”
Now it is said that bengals produce less dander than any other cat due to their wild ancestors, and their short coat. Because of their short and easy to maintain coat this would indicate less saliva on your cats fur in return less allergens. However, every person is going to have a different reaction to Bengals. We ourselves are VERY HIGHLY allergic to cats, yet we can live in a house full of Bengals - rub our faces in them, pet them, and sleep with them. I would say the only time we have any sort of allergic reaction is when we are cleaning their litter boxes or get cat scratches. Keep in mind we have more than a few boxes and clean them everyday. When scooping/cleaning their boxes makes the litter "dust" come up in our faces along with any other allergen in their box. We do wear masks to prevent us having a reaction.
We have a lot of clients that have purchased a Bengal kitten from us because they want a cat that is hypoallergenic. These families usually live reaction free, again we can not guarantee that you will have no reactions; but a Bengal can be your best option if you are worried about allergies. So far we have never had anyone return a Bengal to us because of their allergies from them. We highly recommend being around a Bengal before you purchase one to be your forever pet. There is nothing worse than having your new baby in your home and having to return he/she to us. Keep in mind our home is a very sacred ground for our animals and we like to keep our home a safe and healthy place for them to live. We have to remind our clients that we are not a petting zoo and we allow only serious families into our homes.
To recap - are Bengals hypoallergenic? The answer clinically is no because all cats have dander (dead skin) that comes off, but from what we have seen with ourselves and our clients we can say thats a 99% yes. Bengals, among other cats, should be your top breeds to consider when wanting a pet in your home. Everyone's bodies are so different and what works for us may not work for the next person. If you ever have any questions about this or need more explanation we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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