Why does my cat eat my hair?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question “ why does my cat eat my hair? “ We will also discuss the possible reasons behind this behaviour if your cat has pica and what to do if your cat won’t leave your hair alone.

Why does my cat eat my hair?

Similar to humans, cats can convey a lot of information without actually speaking. One of the following explanations may be the cause of your cat’s hairy pastime if they are licking or chewing your strands:

Your cat wants to show care 

When it comes to your hair, it might not feel like sharing is caring, but for cats, fur is very personal! According to Wieber, cats will brush other cats they view as “preferred associates” with their tongues, and this is thought to be a kind of bonding. 

Allogrooming is the term used to describe this action, which usually involves a cat’s head and neck. It makes sense that your cat would try to allogroom your head as well. So your cat may be displaying affection if they are licking your hair.

Your cat wants to play

Have you ever noticed that cat toys frequently have tassels? Look at your head now. Do you see how your cat might think you’ve been graced with a perpetually beckoning natural cat teaser? 

Your cat may exhibit the same actions when playing with store-bought cat toys, such as batting their paws and pouncing, if they view your long, lush hair as their playground.

Your cat wants your attention

If your cat shows a particular interest in licking or chewing your hair at night or right before meals, it can be a sign that they just want your attention. The positive feedback loop is strengthened and your furry pet is more inclined to do it again once they see that it works.

Your cat wants to soothe itself

Unfortunately, your cat’s licking and gnawing may be due to a more serious issue. According to Wieber, “abnormal grooming, especially excessive self-grooming, is frequently an indication of stress or dermatitis in cats.” 

It is recommended that if your cat has bald patches or appears to be licking you, the furniture, or other objects continuously, it’s important to seek expert assistance so that any underlying psychological or physical problems may be looked into.

Does my cat have pica if it eats hair frequently?

Yes, it is possible that your cat has pica if it eats hair frequently. A cat who enjoys licking and chewing on human hair may occasionally swallow a strand unintentionally, but a cat who does it repeatedly and consciously may have a disorder known as pica.

This situation requires you to schedule a veterinary examination for your cat in order to ascertain the source of the behaviour as well as to prevent an intestinal obstruction because cats are unable to digest human hair. 

What is pica?

Pica is a term used in medicine to describe the prolonged chewing and consumption of non-food items. Your cat may prefer different non-food items, but often, cats with pica prefer textiles and paper. 

It’s important to remember that cats commonly play with toys, but if your cat is devouring its toys, you should probably take them to the vet.

Catching your cat in the act is the best way to determine whether or not they have pica. If you suspect your cat may have pica, try to keep an eye on them.

Other symptoms your cat may be exhibiting including lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, and constipation can also help you determine if it has pica. The diagnosis of pica in your cat must be made by your veterinarian because there are numerous other medical disorders that can cause these symptoms as well.

What to do if my cat won’t leave my hair alone?

You should first figure out why your cat is licking before you attempt to stop them. Understanding the driving force behind any undesirable habit is ideal for encouraging behaviour change. However, redirection can be a helpful tool whether they’re acting in a kind, playful, or attention-seeking manner.

It is recommended to wear a sleeping cap if the licking happens as you sleep. This will prevent them from licking your head and keep them away from your hair.

In order to avoid any harm and to address any underlying medical issues, it’s crucial to schedule a veterinary visit if you believe your cat is licking and chewing your hair out of stress or if you are worried they may be consuming strands.

Conclusion:

We answered the question “ why does my cat eat my hair? “ We also discussed the possible reasons behind this behaviour if your cat has pica and what to do if your cat won’t leave your hair alone.

References:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-does-cat-eat-hair-091800207.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAACintZoCa1jwwcGvucwXis7Qi9tJC8Q1H6_Sl5SteDDsnHpfR-1jlYaIGOkVBH9g-QehSit3j4m83ulfMp-XK3WP6XB8VDY-YI96RHHwedd-ge0Yp_dWrQxIvbU4e7B2uLomKfDB8Wm7sVT12hX0PpuHZ6QviDA9p0ij7Epno5ly#:~:text=If%20your%20cat%20is%20especially,likely%20to%20do%20it%20again.
https://www.dailypaws.com/cats-kittens/behavior/common-cat-behaviors/why-does-my-cat-eat-my-hair

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