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Do Bengal Cats Shed And How To Care For Their Coats

Do Bengal Cats Shed And How To Care For Their Coats

Bengal cats are best known for striking markings on their coats that make them appear like wild cats with smaller sizes.

Besides the awesome looks, Bengals also have wonderful personalities – they are loving, sweet, curious, and alert.

Many people might also choose Bengals as their pets upon realizing that these cats have short coats. I’m sure most of you will immediately conclude that this cat doesn’t shed at all, or at least sheds far less than some other breeds.

But, is this really true? Do Bengals cats shed? Not so much, but things aren’t that simple.

Let’s take a better look into the Bengal cat’s shedding issue.

Factors That Affect Bengal Cats’ Shedding

bengal cat walking indoors

Bengals do have short coats, but, this doesn’t mean they don’t shed at all. Even shorthair cats shed some of their hair.

So, you might find some hair on your floors if you plan to welcome a little Bengal to your home.

Still, the good news is that Bengals don’t shed much, especially compared to some other breeds known as heavy shedders, such as Ragdolls or Norwegian Forest Cats.

Therefore, living with a Bengal doesn’t mean having to use your vacuum every day. It’s important, though, to mention some situations where Bengals might manifest increased shedding.

Let’s look at them.

1. Seasonality

You’ll probably notice your Bengal is shedding quite more during certain periods of years.

According to Hill’s Pet, cats’ shedding tends to reach a peak in the fall and spring. The increased shedding happens in fall for cats to make room for new hair that will keep them warm in the winter.

They shed a bit more in spring, too, to get rid of any extra hair they don’t need anymore.

Of course, seasonal changes are a lot more easily noticed in longhaired cats, but shorthaired felines like Bengals might also show this change in their shedding amounts.

See Also: When Do Cats Start Shedding, With Tips On Their Coat Care

2. Stress And Anxiety

If your Bengal is stressed and anxious, this can make her shed more.

Tony Buffington and Melissa Bain [1] describe stressors as events in a cat’s internal and external environment that result in a stress response.

Therefore, there are many potential stressors in your cat’s surroundings, such as new pets or people, loud noises, veterinary visits, any change in their routine, and so on.

If you suspect your Bengal might be experiencing stress, it’s essential to identify the exact cause of these negative emotions in her. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian, as stress can have adverse effects on your cat’s overall health, not just her shedding patterns.

3. Bad Nutrition

If your Bengal is shedding more than usual, this could mean that she needs a diet change. 

Increased shedding might indicate that your cat isn’t getting the necessary nutrients from her diet. Your Bengals’ diet should be high in protein and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep her coat in the best shape possible.

You can find some great options on our list of best cat foods for shedding. Additionally, don’t hesitate to ask a veterinarian for advice if you have any questions about your cat’s nutrition.

4. Allergies

Another potential cause of your Bengal’s shedding might be allergies.

VCA Animal Hospitals explains how felines are commonly allergic to flea bites, dust, pollen, mold, and certain foods.

Besides hair loss, cats usually experience itchy skin, sneezing, and coughing. Some might even vomit and have diarrhea.

Sometimes a cat’s allergy might be solved with hypoallergenic shampoo, while sometimes the vet will prescribe steroids or immunosuppressive drugs.

Are Bengals Considered Hypoallergenic?

photo of bengal cat sitting on bed

If everything is in order – if your Bengal doesn’t have an allergy, is eating food of high quality, and it isn’t the time of year when cats shed excessively – this cat shouldn’t shed much.

However, this doesn’t mean that Bengals are hypoallergenic. There is still a chance a Bengal might cause an allergic reaction in humans.

This happens because cats don’t just spread the protein that causes allergies through their hair, but also through saliva, dander, and feces.

Still, this doesn’t mean that Bengal is a bad option for allergy sufferers. With regular grooming and by keeping your cat off your bed and sofa, you can still share a life with the awesome Bengal kitten, even if you or some of your family members are allergic to cats.

How To Take Care Of A Bengal’s Coat?

photo of brushing bengal cat's coat

Bengals have dense, short coats, which means that you won’t need to brush this cat too often. Once a week should be enough.

Grooming can also be a fun activity for you to share with your cat, especially if you start with it from the kitten’s young age. This way, it will become a routine for you two, and routine is one thing all cats love!

Brushing once a week will help you get rid of the dead hair from your Bengal’s fur, and will keep it sleek and glossy.

You shouldn’t bathe your Bengal too often, especially if she spends most of her time inside. Washing a cat frequently can disrupt the natural oils in her fur and make it look lifeless.

Of course, there are some situations when you will need to bathe your Bengal, such as when she rolls in something really dirty or gets a strong odor.

Some health conditions, like obesity or arthritis, will also require you to help your kitten with grooming.

Bear in mind to always use a pet shampoo while bathing your Bengal, since a cat’s skin is rather delicate. Even baby shampoo isn’t suitable for them.

Summing It Up

So, do Bengal cats shed?

Luckily, they usually don’t shed much, which means you shouldn’t have difficulties taking care of this cat’s coat.

However, there are some situations your Bengal might shed more, such as due to season changes, allergies, stress, or even poor nutrition.

If everything is in order with your little pet with a wild cat appearance, she should have low grooming requirements, making her a wonderful pet!

Still, remember that even shorthairs like Bengals aren’t completely hypoallergenic, and might cause allergic reactions in humans. 

In the end, we can conclude that Bengals have coats that aren’t too demanding and, normally, shouldn’t shed much.

References:

[1] Buffington CAT, Bain M. Stress and Feline Health. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2020 Jul;50(4):653-662. DOI, Retrieved July 28, 2023.

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