Bengal cats have a long history of being included in many households. These cats come in various colors and patterns, making them unique from the other breeds. In addition, Bengal cats can be found in all shapes and sizes, which makes it easy for people to find one that fits their personality and lifestyle. However, is Bengal cats hypoallergenic?
Cat allergy is quite common and often represents a difficulty for the cat owner. All cats can potentially cause reactions, but the intensity varies according to the cat and even breed: which breeds of cats are hypoallergenic? Can we talk about hypoallergenic breeds?
Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?
So are Bengal cats hypoallergenic? There is no such thing as an utterly non-allergenic cat causing no allergies. All cats produce the allergen, which elicits severe or moderate reactions even if, for certain breeds, the exposure is less intense.
Knowing that it is not the cat's coat that causes allergic reactions but the allergens in their dandruff and saliva, it may seem surprising to learn that it is mainly because of his coat that the allergic people are not inconvenienced in the presence of a Bengal cat. This one evokes the leopard not only by his appearance but also by the texture of his spotted coat. The Bengal's coat is skin-like, with thick, short, compact hair.
With his unique, silky coat, the Bengal does not need to groom as much as most cats, which is believed to be the main reason Bengals do not elicit as many allergic reactions as cats' other breeds. In addition, although Bengal cats produce as much Fel d 1 protein as most other cats, their skin-like coat reduces the risk of allergen dispersion.
However, although many people report not having had allergic reactions to the Bengal cat, this is not true for everyone. In the immune system, levels of sensitivity to allergens vary widely, and what works for some people with cat allergies might not work for others.
The surest way to know if a Bengal cat isn't going to blow up your allergies is to spend some time with one before you decide to hire yourself. For example, see a friend who owns a Bengal and spend an hour or two with the cats. If you do not feel any symptoms after a few hours in a Bengal company, you will not be allergic to it.
The Care Of Bengal Cats
Like any other short-haired cat, the Bengal requires hardly any care to keep its appearance in perfect condition. This is a cat that is always clean, thanks to its hygiene. As a result, we only have to worry about obligatory visits to the veterinarian to maintain his health.
We should only comment that the Bengal produces more wax in the ears than other cats, so the ears should be cleaned more frequently. They also have secretions of dark grease on the chin that, at first glance, appears to be dirt, so it must be cleaned periodically. This aspect is something normal and very characteristic of Bengal.
The Character Of Bengal Cats
A feline with a leopard-like appearance but with a domestic character.
During generations of selective breeding based on the Asian Leopard Cat to establish a sociable and affectionate character, the importance of choosing those resulting in more affectionate specimens has always prevailed. As a result, most Bengals today are extremely calm and sociable, playful and peaceful. Some have a different timbre of voice, emitting curious sounds. Some of us had heard that they even seemed to say "mama" when they called the owner! They are very curious and intelligent cats. There is no better fun for a Bengal cat than investigating the bags of people who come home or supervising the purchase at the supermarket.
They have no fear of water. On the contrary, it attracts them. This is reminiscent of its ancestor, the Asian leopard cat, which always lived near rivers. They don't mind getting wet; some bathe with their owners or get into the bathtub when the water overflows. Good training is to put a little water in the bathtub and add a ping-pong ball. The Bengal cat can stay there for a long time playing and splashing. When they drink, they usually hit the water with their feet, and there are several that play with the bowl of water by pushing it on the ground with their feet!
The Bengal cat generally lives with other breeds of cats and other animals. They are very active, talkative, affectionate, and playful cats. Most are soft-voiced except when they go into heat. They are used to living inside a house or flat, although sometimes they can be used to walking on a leash.
But also, after so much play, Bengal cats have their quiet time and need their long hours of naps. Some are tremendously mellow, request their pampering, purr constantly, and don't hesitate to show you the dark spots on their belly so you can pet them. Most are affectionate even with unknown people. They like to sleep next to you and chase you everywhere. It is a breed of cat that you immediately become a fan of, and when you least expect it, you realize that you spend long periods watching it and playing with it.
What Are The Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds?
We learned the answer to the question of are Bengal cats hypoallergenic, but what are the other cat breeds known as hypoallergenic?
The cat is sometimes the cause of unusual allergic reactions in humans. However, not all people are sensitive to it in the same way, nor do they react the same way to all cats. So what are the hypoallergenic cat breeds?
One of the solutions is to live with a cat that produces relatively little of the proteins responsible for the allergy. Some breeds are "naturally" hypoallergenic (let's say it's a side effect of their genetic selection), and others are even bred with this selection criterion.
Here are the breeds most famous for being hypoallergenic:
Siberian: this long and soft-haired cat is renowned for its hypoallergenic properties.
Balinese is the second breed, well known for its hypoallergenic virtues. However, he is a cat quite familiar with humans and very affectionate. Other breeds have hair that is potentially less allergenic, the list is not exhaustive, and it depends a lot on the individual:
Russian Blue: cat or shiny grey/blue hair has a rather calm and solitary temperament.
Devon Rex: his short coat is easy to maintain, but he is a cat that needs a lot of activity.
Cornish Rex: The Cornish also needs space and activity close to its cousin Devon.
Bengal: this hardy cat has a very active temperament, with high needs for attention and activity.
Be careful; these cats produce less allergenic protein but are not 100% hypoallergenic! There is high variability from individual to individual, and very few breeders test their cats for allergen production.
Concretely, we do not yet have solid scientific evidence of genuinely hypoallergenic breeds (whether in cats or dogs, for that matter). Therefore, these breeds should be seen as cats with less allergenic potential but not as a miracle solution that works systematically to avoid an allergy.
So remember that even with a so-called "hypoallergenic" cat, you will probably have to manage the allergy daily. These breeds have fewer complications, less frequent crises, see for mild allergies, and an almost normal tolerance to the cat. But, for the pleasure of living in the presence of a feline, it's worth a try!
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What Is The Origin Of An Allergy?
When you suffer from a cat allergy, it can be interesting to understand where it comes from. We hear a bit of everything on this subject: the allergy is sometimes due to cat hair, dust, or saliva. But what is it? The living organisms of which we are part have an immune system, one of the keystones of which is the antibody. This protein, called immunoglobulin, can recognize and bind to specific sequences. With the training of the white blood cells that produce them, the lymphocytes, our body can distinguish what is of the order of "self" and all that is foreign to the body.
However, different response levels depend on what the immune system recognizes. We speak of an allergy when an abnormally high immune system reaction occurs, either because the intensity is exaggerated or because it is not supposed to react to this element. This is hypersensitivity. Often, the two effects combine: angioedema, for example, can result from an allergy. But the importance of the reaction can be very variable: on the contrary, a discreet local inflammation can be the only sign of hypersensitivity.
The allergy can appear at birth or later in life. It can evolve, get worse, or on the contrary, in the case of desensitization, improve. It is not uncommon to be allergic to more than one element, and the combined effect of exposure to these different elements triggers the symptoms.
Often, allergic phenomena combine: it is rare to be sensitive to only one allergen. Instead, what causes the symptoms may be the combination of exposure to several allergens: dust, dust mites, pollen, and proteins produced by the cat. Thus, some people manifest their allergy only in certain contexts. We, therefore, have quite variable degrees of tolerance to cats about this allergy, and we must know how to adapt according to these differences. For some, life with a feline is not an option, but for many, there may be possible intermediaries.
One of the best ways to prevent allergy is a priori to live in contact with the animal during its first year of life. Otherwise, reducing potential allergens in our homes is the best approach.
Hypoallergenic Cats Choice Of Cat And Advice For Allergy Sufferers
A non-allergenic cat would be a dream for those who love cats but suffer from asthma attacks or stinging eyes whenever they come near their feline friends. However, there is no such thing as a 100% non-allergenic cat, although some cat breeds do not cause hypersensitivity in people with allergies; hypoallergenic means "below average" or "mildly" allergenic. In all felines, a specific protein is secreted by the sebaceous glands, which means that the risk of a reaction to contact with a cat cannot be eliminated.
In the United States, pet allergy affects approximately 10% of the population. Statistics may suggest that the actual percentage of people allergic to cats is negligible, but the numbers tell a different story.
Allergic reactions to cats are twice as common as with dogs or other furry animals. More serious: you can develop an allergy to cats late in life, without ever having had any symptoms during childhood or adulthood.
Symptoms: Am I Allergic To Cats?
If you experience an uncontrollable urge to sneeze when you cuddle your cat, or if your eyes runny when you are in the same room with him, it is likely that you are sensitive to Fel d 1, a protein found commonly on the skin and in the feline's saliva.
If you interact with an outdoor cat, you may not be allergic to the cat itself, but to pollen particles or other environmental allergens they bring into the house on their paws or in their coat.
If you are not sure if you are allergic to cats, compare the list of your symptoms with those in our checklist, or have an allergy test done by a doctor.
Symptoms Of Cat Allergy
Some people with hypersensitivity to pets have an immediate and easily recognizable reaction to contact with cats. But for many others, the allergy does not show up so clearly.
In most cases, the symptoms appear when you stroke a feline, but sometimes they appear hours after contact. The most common symptoms of cat allergy are:
Sneezing, coughing, or wheezing
Hives, redness, or rashes on the body and face
Red, watery eyes
Red or irritated skin (where the cat touched it)
Some of these symptoms are common allergic reactions, and some resemble the manifestations of the common cold, but you should still be able to determine if you are allergic to cats. If any of these signs appear during or after you have been in contact with a cat or after spending time in an area frequented by a feline, there is a strong chance that you are allergic to cats.
Why Are You Allergic To Cats?
Statistics show that hypersensitivity to cats is much more common than that due to dogs. It is not because cats lose more hair or because it has irritating or supernatural properties.
It is in the saliva and a secretion from the skin of our four-legged friends that we must look for the origin of the sensitivity of certain people. The problematic allergen that causes these adverse effects is the protein Feld d 1, which only felines produce in extremely fine particles.
Tinier than dust mites or dog dander, cat allergens are airborne and easily inhaled. So it's no surprise that allergy-inducing dandruff can travel everywhere and cause trouble in susceptible people when you consider their size and the fact that cleanliness-freak cats lick and clean themselves constantly.
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