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allergies and Bengals

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi I have been offered a Bengal Kitten and the breeder told me that they dont affect cat allergies. Is this true? I have a minor irratation to cats but I would really love a bengal. But my brother will turn blue and Die from cats. I want some more opinions on this. She said there hair was diffrent. any help will be taken! TY
post #2 of 21
If you are mildly allergic you may be able to tolerate a cat. But any cat that has fur (and even the sphynx) can cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to dander or the saliva.

So NO breed is hypoallergic no matter what a breeder tells you. I have cornish rexes and there is no guarentee they will not cause allergies either- and I don't tell people they won't cause them.

But if you want a cat and the breeder is willing to let you test the cat for a week or two in your home so see your reaction go for it. I let a potential customer do that - unfortunatly they still were allergic and had to return the kitten. But better to do a trial run then to have the cat dumped because you are allergic.

As far as your brother - will he be around your cat often? If so, then you can't have a cat in the house.


One tip that does seem to work well is to wet the cat down once a day (with a washcloth) with distilled water - it seems to neuterilize the allergins.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok ty He lives in a diffrent house. Ty for the tips and Ideas
they are still newborn.
post #4 of 21
I breed bengal cats. Bengals are hypoallergenic cats. The word "Hypo" means less, it does not mean "Non". Hypoallergenic is the characteristic of provoking fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.
Many people misunderstand the meaning of this word, so there is often confusion and arguments.

So, this is not to say, that Bengal cats will not cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to cat dander and fur. But they do tend to not affect people with mild allergies.
Bengals have extremely short hair. Generally speaking they have a pelt and not the typical fur that cats have. They also shed very little compared to many other breeds of cats. Dander is also much less with Bengals. These factors really do lessen the chances that a person who is known to be allergic to cats, will have a reaction around bengals.

I had a woman call me up asking about bengals and she explained to me that her son was so allergic to cats, that he would break out in hives within 15 minutes of coming in contact with a cat. To make a long story short, at her request, I allowed her to bring her son to my house and play with our bengals for several hours. The boy even took his shirt off and had all the bengals rub up against him. He had no reaction what so ever. Not even itchy eyes.

The bottom line is that every cat can affect an allergy sufferer, including bengals, but some breeds of cats cause fewer reactions.

Hope this clears this up a little bit more for you.
post #5 of 21
Kai, I don't mind people saying certain breeds will cause less reaction - that's fine - rexes are among the cats that cause fewer reactions. But I have a problem saying they are hypoallergenic - because MOST people think of them as not causing reactions rather then lower reaction.

I would prefer you explain that they cause less reaction (like I do with my rexes) but also say let them know its no guarentee they will not react to a cat.

Rexes are like the bengels in that they don't have "ordinary" fur like a normal cat - its just undercoat and therefore less shedding, dander and reaction - but I will not say they are hypoallergenic and a lot of rex breeders claim that (devon and cornish). IMO its wrong.
post #6 of 21
I don't agree with you. Words are used to describe things and just because some people don't know the true meaning of a word, doesn't mean it shouldn't be used to describe a given fact or condition.

What I do when posed with the question "are bengals hypoallergenic?", is ask the person what exactly do they mean. Are they asking if the cat produces no allergens? Or are they asking if the cat produces less allergens?

I don't advertise or promote my bengals as being hypoallergenic and I don't bring it up at all unless someone asks. But if they do ask, I will tell them the facts and at the same time clear up any misconceptions about the word.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
ok ty! I will consider a practice round to see whats what. One more question. I have been researching them and it says thay like to go outdoors. Well I am moving to a farm and so we willl have alot of acres that if he or she wants she can go out and catch mice if heor she wants to.
post #8 of 21
Can I ask a quick question regarding allergies?

When people are allergic to cat, they are allergic to a specific protein in the dander that produces an allergic reaction, right?

This is what I always thought, what I was told, wht I knew. I also always thought that Persians/Himalayans do not carry this protein in their dander that produces the allergic reaction. As far as I know this is the only breed like that.

Now, is there something else you can be allergic to? I know long hair bothers some people but they aren't actually allergic to the FUR itself, right?

We always told people that at the shelter I worked at and most people didn't know that.

My dad was HIGHLY allergic, break out in hives and turn on the runny nose faucet allergic I told my mom this when she wanted a cat and they got a Himalayan. My dad had absolutely no reaction.

Was this a coincedence? Was I misinformed? Is there something else you can actually have an allergic reaction to in cats? Is my theory true most of the time but not always?

Just curious...
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
My Brother is allergic to short hair and long hair to the extreme that one time he went camping and borrowed a sleeping bag and he had to be rushed to the hospital b/c they found him passed out and blue (the person that lent him the sleeping bag had cats)
post #10 of 21
Growing up i was allergic to cats, watery eyes, itchy and watery nose, sneezing, swollen eyes. My daughter also has the same symptoms, I got 2 bengals 4mths ago and the most i get is some sneezing, my daughter had bad symptoms when they first got here and i had to give her meds for it, but now she has no symptoms, so i guess we got use to them And i wouldnt get rid of these 2 for nothing lol

Good luck!
post #11 of 21
I have a bengal cross and she causes me far fewer troubles than my dmh or dlh depending who you talk to ...

If your brother is that allergic I would advice waiting till he is not living with you...

Jen
I am HIGHLY allergic to himis and persians....
Allergies are to the dander and saliva ... I have both ... many only have one...
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
O he doesnt live her he is 21 he has his own place
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
Jen
I am HIGHLY allergic to himis and persians....
Allergies are to the dander and saliva ... I have both ... many only have one...
From what I have been reading....

What people are USUALLY allergic to is the cat's saliva which contains and allergen. The allergen is a protein called Fel d 1. When a cat washes itself, saliva is deposited on its fur (or skin in the case of hairless cats). The saliva dries into dust (dander or dandruff) which is released when a cat scratches or moves and when humans stroke or brush a cat.

Although Fel d 1 is the protein most often associated with allergies, humans are very variable and there will be some people who develop allergies to other feline proteins. Some people are more affected by certain hair-length cats, certain breeds.

It also appears that some breeds produce less of this Fel d 1 protein so it is less likely for people to be allergic to them. This site: http://messybeast.com/allergy.htm is what most of what I just said is quoted from. They mention Siberians as one of these breeds and I have heard that Persians and Himalayans are another breed.

I guess it just depends on the individual person also. So all I can really tell people (to keep it simple) is that what they are allergic to is a protein in the saliva and to try out different breeds before deciding they can never own a cat.

If anyone can add a comment to this or any vets on here with some thoughts. If this needs to become a new thread then please do it. I am really interested in learning more about this and finding out if what I am reading is right or not.

This site was made as a pamphlet for a shelter for when people try to give up their cats due to being allergic.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
From what I have been reading....

What people are USUALLY allergic to is the cat's saliva which contains and allergen. The allergen is a protein called Fel d 1. When a cat washes itself, saliva is deposited on its fur (or skin in the case of hairless cats). The saliva dries into dust (dander or dandruff) which is released when a cat scratches or moves and when humans stroke or brush a cat.

Although Fel d 1 is the protein most often associated with allergies, humans are very variable and there will be some people who develop allergies to other feline proteins. Some people are more affected by certain hair-length cats, certain breeds.

It also appears that some breeds produce less of this Fel d 1 protein so it is less likely for people to be allergic to them. This site: http://messybeast.com/allergy.htm is what most of what I just said is quoted from. They mention Siberians as one of these breeds and I have heard that Persians and Himalayans are another breed.

I guess it just depends on the individual person also. So all I can really tell people (to keep it simple) is that what they are allergic to is a protein in the saliva and to try out different breeds before deciding they can never own a cat.

If anyone can add a comment to this or any vets on here with some thoughts. If this needs to become a new thread then please do it. I am really interested in learning more about this and finding out if what I am reading is right or not.

This site was made as a pamphlet for a shelter for when people try to give up their cats due to being allergic.
I've read this same information and it's interesting. Bengals don't groom themselves as much as other cats, because they simply don't need to. Their pelts are very short and slick, so their hair does not foul. Bengals also never need a bath (unless they get into something).
I wonder if the lack of grooming and licking is a major factor in producing less dander.
post #15 of 21
You can be allergic to the dander or the saliva. That's why I say that even a sphynx can cause an allergic reaction if you are a allergic to saliva - the cat licks his skin.
post #16 of 21
My old roommate wasn't affected by my bengal or savannah but was minorly effected by my dsh. However, I keep telling her that just because she wasn't allergic to my cats dosen't mean she won't be allergic to the next bengal that comes along (she wants to get one someday). It can be very cat specific if it comes to saliva.

It honestly seems like every breed tries to promote themselves as not causing allergies...yet in actuality every one of them can. I have a short list of breeds in my head that I consider potentially safer but would not trust to it unless the person kept the animal for a period of time to specifically see if a recation occured with that individual.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
GENETICALLY MODIFIED ALLERGEN-FREE CATS
- from that messybeast article.
Now heres a subject for IMO!!! Geesh.... I'm very against. Though in general I'm against any kind of human engineered genetic modification. Why don't they engineer cats that don't grow claws while they are at it...errrr...
post #18 of 21
Oh I am against that genetically modified crap too hehe, that sounds awful...

But back to allergies

Ok, I am just trying to understand this. Golden Kitty said you can be allergic to dander and saliva but what I am trying to point out is that what you are allergic to the specific protein that is in the dander. Dander is the saliva that flakes off the cat. So it all depends on the particular breed, the grooming habits, the coat length and as far as I can tell the sex of the cat can play a role also. So basically saying you are allergic to dander or saliva doesn't really matter because you are in fact having an allergic reaction to the PROTEIN which is in the saliva which when deposited onto the fur is considered dander. Does that make sense?

I understand some people are also BOTHERED by the fur, but you are not ALLERGIC to the FUR, you are either allergic to the PROTEIN deposited onto the fur through the saliva OR you are just bothered buy the long hair that gets everywhere and sticks to your clothes and your face and everything.
post #19 of 21
I believe that Dander is also comprised of skin scales shed on a daily basis.
Seems that Dander is a term used to define particles shed from skin, feathers and fur.
post #20 of 21
Even if you call dander "dried saliva" - its more then just the saliva. And if you are allergic to saliva, and the cat licks you, you would react.

That's why I make it 2 separate things
post #21 of 21
That's what I mean. You are not allergic to the SALIVA you are allergic to a PROTEIN. It isn't the FUR or the DANDER or the SALIVA you are having the reaction to, its just that silly little protein which is present in all three hehe.

Does that make sense? Doesn't matter what you call them.
This is what I have been reading up on and this is how I understand it to be.
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