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26.06.2022

Do Bengal cats shed—mystery unravelled

Bengals are magnificent. They are friendly, playful, and clever. Even though they can be a bit high-maintenance in terms of the attention they demand (yes, quite literally, demand), they are wonderful companions. 

These felines have a lot of positive traits, but would every possible inch of your home be covered with cat hair if you had one? Do Bengal cats shed excessively, and would you have to discard all your black clothes and arm your household with lint rollers?

Untamed explains the matter in detail and discovers how much Bengal cats shed, what might cause excessive shedding, and how to keep their fur silky and soft.

Bengal cat shedding explained

Do Bengals cats shed? Sure—which cat doesn't?—but these little tigers have a massive advantage over other breeds. Their shedding is minimal, which is why they appear to be a favourite breed among cat allergy sufferers.

Still, there are some circumstances when Bengals might lose more hair than usual, including:

  1. Developmental shedding
  2. Seasonal changes
  3. Stress
  4. Underlying health problem
  5. Parasitic infestations
  6. Allergies
  7. Hormonal issues
  8. Wrong diet

Bengals shed as they grow

While they are kittens, these felines have soft, fuzzy fur that only serves to keep them warm. As they mature, they shed to replace it with the silky, sleek, pelt-like coat they are famous for. This process is called developmental shedding and happens between seven and nine months of age. During this time, the colour and texture of their fur change completely. Between the age of one and two and a half, your Bengal will have fully matured and got the coat colour they should have.

I may be fuzzy and silly now, but wait till I grow up!

Source: jessiefeross

Developmental shedding happenings when your Bengal kitten slowly becomes an adult is the only time when these felines shed more noticeably.

Seasonal shedding is normal

As winter turns to spring, all furry pets lose extra hair that keeps them warm during cold months. When hot summer days slowly turn to chilly autumn nights, they start growing new winter coats. In most cases, Bengals are an exception to this rule.

Many furry animals have two layers of fur:

  1. An undercoat (ground coat)
  2. A top coat (guard hair)

This quality makes these animals shed regularly. Since Bengals have only one layer of fur, they tend to keep it throughout the year. If you live in an area with more dramatic seasonal changes, you will likely notice increased shedding in your cat when temperatures begin to rise. Your Bengal will probably shed minimally if you live in a warmer climate.

Stress can lead to excessive shedding in Bengals

Stress and anxiety are the leading causes of excessive shedding in Bengals and can be caused by:

  • Moving to a new home
  • A new kitten or a puppy
  • A new family member
  • Fear
  • Excessive noise
  • Loneliness and neglection
  • Changes in routine
  • The lack of  cognitive stimulation

I had to dress up. It helps me calm my nerves.

Source: lshman000

Stress-induced hair loss is not the same as regular shedding, and you will likely notice your feline losing hair in patches. Most commonly, this happens due to overgrooming. If your Bengal licks themselves excessively, pay attention to potential stress-inducing factors or changes in your cat’s routine or lifestyle.

An underlying health issue can cause increased shedding

If your Bengal sheds more than usual—especially if they lose hair in clumps—keep an eye out for any other symptoms and changes in their behaviour. The most common health issues that lead to hair loss in Bengal cats include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Liver problems
  • Cancer

Parasites are common culprits for excessive shedding

Fleas, Demodex mites, and ear mites can cause skin irritations that lead to excessive scratching and hair loss. Other parasites, such as mange mites, damage hair follicles, which also causes increased shedding. It's crucial to keep your Bengal protected with adequate parasite prevention treatment and have them regularly examined by a vet.

Allergies often cause shabby-looking fur

Felines can be allergic to certain particles in their environment, insect stings, or specific ingredients in food. The most common allergens are:

I’m torn. I’m kinda excited about the food but also worried about what comes next.

Source: lshman000

If your Bengal has an allergic reaction to a specific type of food, their skin gets irritated, leading to excessive licking, aggressive scratching, and biting, which causes hair loss.

Your Bengal may be struggling with hormonal issues

Hyperthyroidism is a common cause of excessive shedding. This health issue primarily affects older felines, and symptoms are usually subtle at first. As the illness progresses, you may also notice:

  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination

Improper diet is the most common cause of coat problems

Poor-quality cat food is the most common culprit behind many health issues, including shabby fur. The consequences of inadequate diet are not evident immediately but take time to develop, leading to more serious problems. 

A cat diet lacking the essential nutrients causes:

What's the best diet to keep your Bengal's fur healthy?

The perfect feline diet consists of over 50% of protein and up to 20% of fat, both of which should come from meat. 

Felines are obligate carnivores, so vegan or vegetarian diets won't suit them. As they lack digestive enzymes to break down plant-based proteins (derived from vegetables and grains), cats can't absorb the necessary nutrients from these foods. Such ingredients can also upset their digestive system, leading to stomach sensitivity.

Look at me! I’m gorgeous! Don’t mess with my fur, give me some quality food.

Source: lshman000

The table below presents the necessary micronutrients that will ensure your Bengal has a strong and beautiful fur:

Micronutrient

What it does

Suitable sources

Taurine

  • Controls inflammation and promotes wound healing
  • Helps maintain normal heart function, pregnancy and foetal development
  • Ensures regular digestion and good vision
  • Maintains a healthy immune system

Collagen

  • Ensures good bone density
  • Hydrates the skin

Vitamin E

  • Protects cells from oxidative damage
  • Improves immune function
  • Chicken thigh
  • Chicken breast
  • Raw bacon
  • Ham
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Shrimp 
  • Prawns

Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Make hair follicles stronger
  • Mackerel 
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardine

How to know if your Bengal's diet causes coat problems

Poor dietary habits are a common cause of skin issues, allergies, and many other health problems. If you start noticing anything wrong with your Bengal, reevaluate your food choices first. 

Here is what you should check:

  • Is my kitty getting sufficient animal protein? Even if a product is relatively high in protein, it's crucial to determine the source this nutrient comes from. Yor Bengal should get proteins from high-quality whole meat and fish, which means you should stay away from any product with meat derivatives
  • Does the particular cat food contain filler ingredients? If a product contains ingredients such as sweetcorn, corn, rice, potatoes, peas, beans, carrots, and similar, the meat content is too low. Although these ingredients are not toxic to felines, large quantities can impact their health in the long run. Dry cat food typically contains a lot of filler ingredients, so switching your furry friend to high-quality wet food is a smart choice 
  • Is there something in the product that may trigger food allergies? Many commercially sold products are heavily processed and loaded with artificial colourants, taste enhancers, and preservatives that felines can be sensitive to. Vomiting and diarrhoea are usual symptoms of food sensitivity, but your Bengal may also experience skin irritation, hyperventilation, loss of appetite, and eye inflammation

High-protein, grain-free wet food made with high-quality whole meat and fish should replace kibble if you want your kitty to have soft and silky fur. 

How can Untamed help?

Trust Untamed to keep your Bengal's coat healthy and gorgeous! Our jelly and gravy meals are made with the best, human-grade quality meat or fish. We don't believe in harsh additives, meat derivatives, plant proteins, carbs (grains or sugar), or other substances felines shouldn't consume.

Untamed has everything your Bengal needs to stay happy, healthy, and good-looking. 

Image (c) Untamed

Our products will help keep your Bengal's shedding minimal because we:

  • Prepare meals with animal proteins—Every Untamed tin has at least 60% of meat or fish
  • Cooperate with vets to ensure safe formulas—Our dishes are allergen-free and suitable for felines at any life stage, including:
  • Make sure your kitty gets a balanced diet—Thanks to taurine and vitamin E in our meals, your Bengal's coat will stay sleek and shiny. They will also remain lean and strong, and their general health will improve

We gently steam our food to preserve all the nutrients and enhance the flavour. Even if you have a fussy eater who frowns at the sight of wet food, they won't resist our delicious meals.

Take our Try Now quiz, check out some amazing recipes we offer, and order a trial pack at a competitive price!

How to get a trial pack

Ordering our trial pack is as easy as one-two-three. All you need to do is:

  1. Take our Try Now quiz
  2. Tell us about your Bengal 
  3. Place your order

You will receive the goods in a day without additional shipping fees. Once your kitty goes through all the dishes in the trial pack, we can keep you supplied with regular monthly deliveries.

Join the happy Untamed clowder and see all the benefits our food provides:

Timeframe

The Untamed effect

First week

  • Easy digestion
  • Tidy litter tray
  • Great hydration

After two months

  • Balanced energy levels
  • Improved mood
  • Strong joints

After four months

Life-long