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A very common question I get is, are Bengals hypoallergenic? In short, yes. However, hypoallergenic does NOT mean allergy free. Hypoallergenic means, relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Bengals are less likely to cause an allergic reaction because...

Most common cat allergen is a protein called Fel d 1 found in cats saliva, skin cells and urine. This protein enters the air on cat hair and dander. Fel d 1 is very light causing it to stay airborne for quiet some time, therefore, more likely to enter our lungs. It is also very sticky, which means once it settles on household surfaces, it stays. 

Bengals fur is single coated and short (unless cashmere), making them shed less than most other breeds. Some Bengals retain a coat, called a pelt that's derived from the Asian Leopard Cat. The fur is extremely short, soft, and sleek. This helps to contribute to its cleanliness which reduces their need to groom. Less grooming means less saliva stuck on the coat, less hair and dander with Fel d 1 attached that is released into the air and stuck on household surfaces. 

Individuals with heavy sensitivity to Fel d 1 could still have a reaction to Bengals but usually it's less severe. Speaking from personal experience, my husband is allergic, proven by test, and does not react to any of our Bengals including our Cashmere (long haired). With that said, I want to stress that everyone is different and will react differently! My advice, if you're interested in a Bengal but have a proven allergy to cats try to visit someone with a Bengal and see how you react. If that isn't a possibility, ask a breeder to mail you a small towel or blanket with fur and dander on it. Even if it's at your expense, it's worth knowing before you commit.

An air purifier can also be beneficial for anyone with pets regardless of an allergy or not. It can help remove some of the protein particles in the air, also meaning less settles and sticks to household surfaces.

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