Mesoporous amorphous silica-aluminas were synthesised with standard aluminium and silicon sources by means of the formation of inorganic-organic composites with the addition of chitosan biopolymer, and compared to analogous catalysts synthesised conventionally. Some catalysts were subjected to hydrothermal treatment. The resulting specific surface areas were from 480 to 573 m2/g in the untreated samples and 300-430 m2/g in the hydrotreated catalysts, average pore sizes ranging from 32 to 100 Å with sharp, unimodal distributions. The chitosan materials showed higher specific surface areas and larger pore sizes than those of their non-chitosan counterparts. The most important differences in the acidic properties were in the relationships between tetrahedral and octahedral aluminium atoms, the chitosan materials having higher relative amounts of tetrahedral aluminium than the conventional silica-aluminas. Evidences of stabilization in the physical and chemical properties were observed in the chitosan-containing catalysts. The catalytic performance was evaluated with the conversion of tri-isopropylbenzene at 400 °C, to assess activity and accessibility, and cyclohexene at 300 °C, to assess hydrogen transfer properties. The highest activity and accessibility was observed in the hydrotreated, chitosan-containing catalyst, while hydrogen transfer capabilities were similar to those of medium unit cell sizes, equilibrium commercial FCC catalysts.