There are many people thinking of getting a Bengal cat to join their family. However, due to the idea that they are hypoallergenic they hesitate. Some people are allergic to cats and bringing a cat is not an easy decision.
What is Hypoallergenic?
Before getting into deeper details about Bengal cats, we will start by showing you what hypoallergenic means. Hypoallergenic cats are appointed to the breeds that are most unlikely to cause any kind of allergy in vulnerable people. In other words, there is no cat that’s totally hypoallergenic. On the other hand, some cat breeds can cause allergic reactions and that person should be rushed to the hospital right away. These breeds are rare and Bengals are among them.
Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?
Bengal cats are considered to be among the list of hypoallergenic cat breeds. However, they tend to produce fewer allergens than other cats on the same list.
The reason why some people are allergic to cats is because of the pet dander they produce. The pet dander has a protein called Fel-D1 and can be found in the cat saliva. The good news is that Bengal cats produce less of that protein in their saliva, making it easier for people to adopt them.
So What makes Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic in the First Place?
Here are the main reasons behind this:
Bengal cats do not shed much, thus their pet dander does not go all over the place. Luckily, this does not cause allergic attacks.
Producing Fewer Amounts of Fel-D1 Protein
As a matter of fact, Bengal cats do not produce many amounts of Fel-D1 protein. Making the protein transferred to the cat’s coat and its grooming is minimal.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
Cat allergies are twice as frequent among people than dogs. In general, people think that the fur is what causes the allergy, however, this is not true. As a matter of fact, people get an allergic reaction to the protein in their saliva, urine, and dander.
What Are the Symptoms of Cat Allergies?
The most common symptoms for cat allergies include the following:
- Having rashes on the chest and or the face
- Sneezing, coughing and wheezing
- Some people can also have runny or itchy noses
- If the cat scratched or bitten somebody part, that part would become red and itchy
In general, the symptoms of cat allergies start to develop whether in a short time or could take hours to appear. Luckily, only 25% of people with cat allergic reactions could have severe situations after contact with the cat.
Signs You’re Allergic to Cats Without Knowing
- If you feel exhausted for a day-long: Cat allergies can make you feel less energetic and exhausted all the time. This is the main common symptom of having an allergy to cats.
- If your eyes are red and feel itchy: this is another common symptom for cat allergy you should pay attention to. This could happen if you hold or touch the cat and touch your eyes before washing your hands.
How to Diagnose Cat Allergies?
In general, there are two ways that people can use to test for allergies; skin test and blood test. Both tests can give results quickly and accurately, and here we’ll talk in details about each type of allergy test:
Before running a skin test, talk with your doctor to learn more about the medications that could interfere with the skin test. Skin tests are usually done by an allergist because people may have severe reactions during the test, so it’s better to be extra cautious.
The doctor will use a clean needle and pick your skin’s surface and place a small amount of the allergen and in most cases, there will be several tests at the same time. Your doctor will keep an eye to observe your reactions and whether there is something wrong happening and so.
The test takes 15 to 25 minutes maximum; the picked skin spot may become red or swollen; which is a totally normal reaction. If the reaction confirms you are having an allergy; the pick will cause itchy bumps that will disappear after 30 minutes later.
If you have a skin condition that won’t let you run the skin test; another alternative shows up. A blood test is a good solution also for children who have difficulties getting a skin test. So basically, a blood test sample will be drawn either at the doctor’s clinic or at the hospital then the sample will be sent to the laboratory to get tested.
The blood sample gets examined for antibodies to cat allergens such as dander. The result could need a longer time but it gives an accurate result without causing any side effect or allergic reaction.
How to Treat Cat Allergies?
You may consider the following treatments after consulting your doctor:
- Leukotriene inhibitors such as Montelukast
- Cromolyn sodium which reduces the symptoms and prevents the release of immune system chemicals
- Home remedies such as rinsing your nasal passage with salt water to reduce congestion and sneezing.
How to Reduce Cat Allergies?
If by any chance you have an allergy to your Bengal cat, try the following tips to reduce the symptoms:
- Do not let them enter your own bedroom
- Wash your hands after contacting with or touching the cat
- Cover heating vents with cheesecloth
- Install air purifier or air cleaner
- Change the filters frequently
- Make sure you vacuum your house at least twice per week
Cat allergies can cause all the symptoms we have mentioned earlier. You should make sure to get yourself and your loved ones checked and tested. On top of that, make sure to follow the tips regarding your home and what to do after touching your cat, that would be much better for your health so you can enjoy every time you spend with your precious furry friend.