The short answer is yes, Bengal kittens do shed. But more than answer the question of “Do Bengal kittens shed,” we’re going to provide you with everything you need to know about Bengal kittens shedding.
In this post, we’re going to cover the following:
Before we jump into it, here’s a video of what might be the cutest Bengal kittens ever:
Bengal kitten fur and adult cat fur are very different, and there are a few reasons for this. For one thing, kittens are still growing and developing, and one thing that develops as a kitten matures into an adult Bengal cat is their fur. It not only changes in texture, but it will also change color.
When kittens are first born, they have “baby fur.” It is soft and thick, almost like wool. At this age, its primary purpose is simply to keep them warm. This fur will later become their undercoat.
When a kitten reaches 3 weeks, they will grow in their guard hairs. These hairs stick out from their undercoat and will mute the kittens’ coloring. The purpose is to keep them hidden from predators as this is the age when they normally start venturing from their dens.
Breeders and Bengal cat lovers refer to this stage as “the fuzzies” because kittens at this point look very fuzzy because of their guard hairs. What can be difficult for breeders, though, is that they’re trying to place kittens at this age, but people who don’t know better think the kittens won’t have the contrast they’re looking for in a Bengal. The truth is, contrast comes later as the kitten matures.
Around 3 months of age, a Bengal kitten will start getting their adult coat in, a process which usually finishes by 7 months. By the time a cat is fully mature around one and a half to two years, they will have their adult coloring as well as their adult fur.
Kittens shed for a couple of reasons. The first reason is simply that they are going through the normal stages of development which involves the shedding of their baby fur and the addition of their adult fur. The simple fact of the matter is that in order for them to get their adult fur, they have to lose their baby fur by shedding.
The other reason that Bengal kittens shed is with the changes in the seasons. This is especially true if your Bengal kitten spends a great deal of time outside, as the changes in seasons trigger shedding.
Seasonal shedding is triggered by changes in the amount of sunlight and it causes a Bengal to grow a thicker undercoat during the cold winter months or a thinner undercoat during the warm summer months. This helps a Bengal cat regulate their temperature.
Since you don’t see a completely bald kitten that often, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t lose all of their fur at once. Instead, their fur grows and falls out in cycles. Each hair follicle goes through the same cycle of growing a new hair then losing the old one. But, since different follicles are in different stages of the cycle, you’ll rarely see a Bengal kitten with patchy fur or no fur at all.
If you do find that your Bengal kitten is losing large amounts of fur either on their whole body or even just parts of it, this could mean that there is a problem and you may need to take them to the vet to find out what exactly is going on with your Bengal.
Here are some of the reasons Bengal kittens may shed that could require a vet visit:
Although this will typically have other signs such as general weakness, limping, lethargy, and not gaining weight properly, a Bengal kitten that isn’t getting enough to eat will also have extremely thin fur and may start shedding suddenly. This is because their starving body is trying to limit their nutritional needs, and since fur isn’t as vital as the organs, it’s among the first to go.
Bengal kittens need to be fed a high-quality, grain-free kitten food once they are weaned from their mother’s milk around 8 weeks of age. Many cheap brands of cat food are filled with fillers and grains that kittens don’t digest very well or get a lot of nutrients from, which can lead to malnourishment.
Some good brands to look into for high-quality kitten food include Wellness, Blue Wilderness, and Taste of the Wild. A quick glance at the ingredient list shows real meats as the first several ingredients and no fillers like corn gluten meal which is not good for cats.
Cats can be allergic to a number of things, whether it’s something in the environment like pollen or dust, or something in their diet. Food allergies are more common in adult cats as they can build up over time and may appear suddenly, so it’s more likely that your Bengal kitten will have an environmental allergy if that’s the problem.
The only way to know for sure if your Bengal kitten is shedding their fur because they have an allergy is to take them to the vet to have them tested. Once you know what your kitten is allergic to, you can take steps to help keep that out of their environment and may need to use medication to manage the symptoms.
Although it’s significantly more common in older cats (at least age 8), it is possible for Bengal kittens to have hyperthyroidism. This hormone condition causes the thyroid to make more hormone than it should which leads to a number of problems for the affected animal.
The most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism in Bengal cats are:
These symptoms occur because the kitten’s body has basically been put into over-drive by their hormones, so everything moves faster than it should. This condition is dangerous and needs to be diagnosed by a veterinarian as soon as possible so you can begin treatment.
Some Bengal kittens and cats may lose fur because of anxiety. While this is also more common in adult cats, it may also be seen in some kittens. In most cases, it’s not the feelings of nervousness themselves that are causing the loss of fur, but the fact that the kitten is excessively cleaning themselves or even sucking on their fur to soothe themselves.
When a cat grooms themselves, they will normally lose some fur. So, when they groom themselves excessively because they are upset about something, they will lose an excess of fur. Check with the vet first to make sure it’s not a medical problem, then you may need to take some steps to relieve the stress that’s causing your Bengal kitten to clean themselves way too much.
Here, you can see a cat with hair loss caused by excessive licking:
If anxiety is the problem, then you need to do what you can to reduce the anxiety in the house. This may mean keeping other pets away from the nervous kitten, or using medication to treat the anxiety. One natural treatment is by using a Feliway diffuser. All you have to do is plug it in and it sends cat pheromones into the air that will help your kitten feel calmer and relaxed.
Skin parasites like fleas, mites, and others can also cause hair loss in cats. Some of them, like fleas, cause hair loss when your Bengal kitten is scratching themselves a lot, especially if they have a flea allergy. Others, like mange mites, damage the hair follicles and cause hair loss.
The only way to treat skin parasites in Bengal kittens is to first get them diagnosed, then have your vet prescribe treatment. It’s especially important in younger animals to make sure that the vet prescribes medication to treat parasites since these chemicals can be dangerous, especially to young animals.
Yes, they certainly do! But, as long as it’s not so much that your Bengal kitten is going bald, then it’s completely normal and nothing to worry about. To help keep the shedding to a minimum and reduce the amount of time you spend vacuuming cat fur in your house, you can get a brush like this one, which will help remove loose fur.
What about you? Got a kitten that sheds a lot? What do you do about keeping kitten and cat fur from coating every surface of your home? Let us know in the comments below!