Contrary to popular belief, the Bengal cat does shed, but the length of their coat means that they shed less than some other domestic cats. Their reduced shedding leads many people to mistakenly believe that the Bengal does not shed however, if you are hypersensitive to cat hair, you may find that the Bengal still causes allergy symptoms.
The Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat is a hybrid cat derived from breeding the Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat. There must be at least four generations between the cat and their closest Asian leopard cat relative for a cat to be considered a Bengal.
The coat of the Bengal cat is very short and fine and is much lower maintenance than other domestic cat breeds. This thinner, shorter coat means that the Bengal grooms themselves much less often than breeds with longer hair, and less grooming means less dander and less saliva.
Less dander and less saliva mean fewer allergens – which is beneficial if you have mild allergies – if you have severe allergies, though, even the smallest amount of dander or saliva can be a problem.
Multiple factors can impact how often and how much a cat sheds. Some of these include:
- Coat style
- Grooming habits
Diet plays a significant role in how much hair any animal sheds because (like any organ of the body) the skin requires specific nutrients to function normally, and the skin supports the growth and health of hair.
If an animal is starving, malnourished, or eating an unbalanced diet, a lack of specific nutrients can cause increased hair loss.
A cat’s coat style (whether they have a single or double-layered coat) also influences how much they shed.
The Bengal cat, for example, has a thin, single-layer coat that requires little self-grooming, which means that less hair distributes throughout the environment.
A longhair Manx has a long, fluffy, double coat that sheds frequently and requires regular self-grooming. With each grooming session, this fuzzy feline stirs up allergens and sends stray hairs careening through the air.
Grooming also plays a significant role in how much hair your cat sheds. For example, regularly brushing a cat means that that cat will drop less hair throughout the house than a cat that never gets brushed.
Even cats that shed minimally benefit from regular brushing. A smooth bristle brush helps keep the coat healthy by removing dead hair, brushing out dirt, and stimulating the oil glands in the skin to produce coat-protective oils.
Coat protective oils give your cat’s coat a healthy shine, but they also create a waterproof, protective coating on the hairs to keep the fur moisturized and looking healthy!
Reducing The Amount of Bengal Hair in Your Home
There are some things that you can do to reduce the amount of Bengal cat hair in your home, these include:
- Dietary changes
- Talk to Your Vet
If your Bengal cat is shedding more than you think it should look at their diet. Are you feeding low-budget pet food or are you feeding high-quality food? Does your Bengal have any other symptoms of malnutrition like weight loss and lethargy?
If you have been feeding a diet that is less than ideal, talk to your veterinarian or a feline nutritionist about your cat’s dietary needs. Feeding higher-quality food will often take care of your cat’s hair loss problem in no time at all and you will notice a boost in energy too!
If you cannot tell whether malnutrition is to blame for your cat’s hair loss, it’s best to head to the vet for a blood panel that will check blood levels of various vitamins and minerals.
A shorthaired cat like the Bengal cat needs grooming approximately once a week where cats with longer fur need grooming daily. This grooming schedule eliminates a good percentage of dull and dead hair, dust, dirt, and grime that would otherwise find their way into your living room, kitchen, etc.
Between the thin single coat of the Bengal cat and frequent grooming, the Bengal owner will rarely have trouble with stray cat hairs all over the place.
Talk to Your Vet
If your cat is eating a healthy diet but is still losing more hair than you think it should be, it is always a good idea to check in with your vet. There are parasites, illnesses, and genetic concerns that can lead to hair loss, some of these include:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Skin allergies
- Skin mites
- Autoimmune disorders
Conclusion / Summary
The Bengal cat does shed, although they shed significantly less than many other domestic cat breeds. Even so, if you are hypersensitive to the proteins in cat dander, hair, or saliva, you should still expect to experience allergy symptoms.