Your Cat Might Think Its Playing
Cats often play with each other by biting and clawing at each other and this can carry over to how they play with humans, too.
If your cat is biting and clawing at your hair while youre petting them, they might think its all part of the game.
If you have long hair, it might simply be too hard for them to resist chasing and pulling at your hair when it moves!
Its important to be consistent with how you respond to this behavior so your cat knows that its not okay.
Why Does My Cat Lick My Hair
Cats are mysterious beings, so they may act weird sometimes. They may start licking the hair of their owner for no apparent reason.
If your pet is exhibiting this behavior, the following could be the possible explanation:
- Its their way of showing affection
Your cat is most likely licking your hair to let you know that you are loved. This is rooted in a cats habit of grooming their kittens and those they consider part of their feline family. Its like being christened as a part of the clowder.
Moreover, cats will groom those they consider their favorite. This is the reason why your house cat may lick your hair and not the others. They use their natural grooming behavior to show their affection toward their preferred human.
Cats replicate the social behavior that they saw from their mothers. It comes out naturally, even if no one teaches the cat to do so.
- Your hair tastes good
Another possible reason could be the taste of your hair. This is likely the explanation if youve switched to a new hair product, and your cat started licking your tresses. The hair product may have an attractive scent and taste that your kitty cant resist.
You must discourage this behavior as some hair products may cause stomach upset on cats. Also, your cat may swallow hair and gag in the process.
- Getting your attention
- Your cat is bored
They Want To Show They Care
It may not feel like sharing is caring when it comes to your hair, but for cats, fur is personal! According to Wieber, cats will use their tongues to groom other felines they consider to be “preferred associates” and it’s considered to be a form of bonding. The technical term for this behavior is allogrooming, and it typically centers around the head and neck of a catthus, it would make sense for your cat to attempt to allogroom your head, as well. “So if your cat is licking your hair,” Wieber says, “they may be showing affection.”
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Chewing Is Pleasurable To The Cat
Not all hair biting behavior is based on a negative, sometimes a healthy cat just finds pleasure in the action. A happy kitty will get a rush of those feel-good endorphins and will want to continue to do so. Your cat may also be showering you with affection the same way they show affection for among themselves with mutual grooming. If youve just bathed or washed your hair, your cat may simply be enjoying the smell and/or taste of your freshly groomed locks.
Your Cat Loves To Chew
If your cat attacks your hair by chewing on your hair as if its life depends on it, your cat might have a compulsive chewing disorder.
How do you know if your cat is a compulsive chewer? When your cat not only attacks and chews on your hair but anything that it finds chewable. It can spend hours chewing and it will be difficult to distract his attention.
This can be a problem as well if you have indoor and outdoor plants that can be toxic to cats. Most cats have a pretty good idea about which plants to stay away from. But a cat with a compulsive chewing disorder might not have its head on straight.
Human Tip: Redirecting your cats attention with treats and other toys might work if your cats compulsion isnt too serious. But if nothing works, your cat should see a vet or a pet therapist before its compulsive chewing impacts its health and quality of life.
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Why Is My Cat Biting And Pulling My Hair Off
Sometimes, cats wont just lick your hair they may also pull it aggressively. It could be related to their tendency of over-grooming, wherein the cat chews and pulls on its own coat. This condition can lead to bald spots among cats and annoying hair-pulling on their owners. Please read here why does my cat lick me then bite me
Another possible reason for hair pulling is pica. Some cats dont just lick and pull they also eat the hair. This is an alarming condition as your cat will even swallow other things that may cause intestinal blockage.
But most of the time, the pulling and chewing might be a playful gesture. Its like your cats version of petting and rough play.
How Can I Show Affection Back To My Cat
Cats spend around 30 percent of their lives grooming themselves, and when they’re feeling all lovey-dovey, grooming you. A great way to show affection back, apart from a nice little massage or petting, is to groom them back. Many cats love a relaxing brushing session, and it can be just the way to continue the bonding experience with your feline pal. If they’re not into that, making them a fun DIY cat toy would be great, too!
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Why Do I Have Dark Hair Around My Nipples
If youve noticed dark and long hair growth around the nipple area, then it can be due to hormonal changes. Hormonal changes can occur due to various reasons ranging from puberty and menstruation to pregnancy and menopause. These changes can trigger hair growth anywhere in your body, including your breast.
Your Cat Loves Your Shampoo
Cats communicate largely on scent and have noses that are ultra-sensitive. In fact, a cats nose contains 200 million odor receptors which make their noses 14x more sensitive than ours. Cats even have a better sense of smell than most dog breeds.
If you find your cat attacking your hair and being obsessed with it, it might be the smell of your shampoo that is triggering your cat.
Maybe your shampoo smells like chicken or tuna to your cat? Then again why would you be using a shampoo that makes you smell like poultry or seafood?
There is one common ingredient in shampoo that many cats like. And that is mint or menthe. This is because catnip is part of the mint family and if your cat goes nuts over the smell of catnip, its only natural that your cat will see you as a headful of string toy.
Human Tip: Check the ingredients of your shampoo or conditioner to see if it contains any mint. The smell might not be obvious but dont forget how sensitive your cats sense of smell is. Change up your hair products for a while and see if that helps.
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Why Do Cats Overgroom Themselves
The term psychogenic means that a problem begins in a mental or emotional conflict. Alopecia means hair loss. Psychogenic alopecia is the condition of hair loss as a result of overgrooming. Cats may obsessively lick or groom themselves to the point of hair loss or even skin sores. A form of self-trauma, they just cant stop the compulsive licking as a response to stress or conflict.
There are many potential causes of stress in cats lives, some are pretty obvious to us, others not so much. Below are just a few:
- Moving to a new home
- Getting a new pet
- Bringing a baby home from the hospital
- Moving the litter pan or changing the type of pan or litter
- Moving the food/water bowls or changing the type of diet
- Boredom or lack of environmental enrichment
- Any sort of change in the household routine
Why Does My Cats Fur Clump Up
When a cats shedding, its natural for the fur to clump up. Cats shed their undercoat, so the fur gets caught in the top coat.
It stays there as more thin strands add to the bulk and eventually form a clump. The clump loosens over time and through activity before being deposited as a large furball.
Of course, cats may also lose clumps of fur outside of the shedding season as they lose hair all the time. If the cat is especially oily or dirty, the individual strands will get caught up in the top coat.
As with shedding, the fur will gather until its shaken loose as a clump. You can limit this clumping by brushing the fur and removing the excess.
However, if your cat is always losing hair in clumps, this is a concern. Cats are ritual groomers, so its unnatural for them to ignore clumps in their fur. They should have a strong desire to clean themselves up.
If your cat seems to avoid grooming, this could be a sign of stress or illness.
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Fleas And Flea Allergic Dermatitis
Fleas are one of the most common causes of itchiness in cats, and your cat can catch them even if they dont spend much time outdoors. Fleas can be tricky to get rid of. Your cat will need at least three months of treatment followed by regular monthly treatments with a suitable anti-flea product. Youll also need to treat your home to break the life cycle of these little insects.
Some cats are allergic to flea saliva. When fleas bite their skin, it causes a sore, itchy rash to appear on your cats skin, usually around their lower back. This may cause your cat to lose his fur in that area from scratching and biting.
Is Licking Hair Bad For Cats
While most cases of hair licking are not harmful to cats, some may swallow hair the way a cat may ingest fur. If your cat is chewing on your hair, you should stop the behavior before it chokes on a hairball.
Also, some cats may become sick after licking your hair. When this happens, you must bring the kitty to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. The hair product you used may have a side effect on your pet.
If your cat isnt exhibiting or doing any of this, licking your hair is a harmless habit. The only thing that could be an issue is if the habit becomes invasive. So far, cats are not known to obsess on human hair except on some rare occasions.
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Allergies & Icky Bugs
Just like humans, cats are sometimes born with allergies or develop allergies over time. Although, unlike humans, it can be fairly difficult to pinpoint what your cat is actually allergic to and may become a process of elimination between you and your vet.
That being said, the most common allergen that affects cats skin tends to be flea saliva. Cats who are bitten by fleas should be seen by vets for appropriate medications and/or ointments.
A cat who feels an itching sensation will commonly begin to clean themselves, however, if the itching continues cats will resort to pulling out their hair to try to figure out what the cause of the itch is. This hair usually grows back when treated quickly.
Other allergens which are considered common are certain foods , pollen, plants , trees or even dust-mites.
If ever you suspect one of the later as an allergen make sure you document everything your cat has eaten or gotten into contact with and document any changes in their lives. Oftentimes when cats are separated from the allergen all symptoms subside, however, it can take a few weeks or even a few months before results of an allergen are considered conclusive. This depends on how severe the allergy is and what the actual allergen is
Why Does Cauliflower Have Tiny Hairs
The likely culprit is a spike in temperatures that top out at 80°F around the time of curd formation. The stressed and confused plant tries to flower when it should be producing a curd, or reverts back to vegetative growth in the middle of curd formation. The physical manifestation of this is a fuzzy appearance.
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Pleasurable Experience For The Cat
Hair-biting aggression isnt really motivated by a malicious emotion often a stable cat just enjoys the action. A happy cat will experience a flush of feel-good endorphins and will want to keep doing so.
Your pet could even be showering you with love in the same manner as they express affection for each other by brushing each other.
Your cat might actually be loving the scent and/or taste of your newly groomed locks if youve just bathed or washed your hair.
Because They Enjoy It
Licking, eating and chewing its favourite humans hair may trigger an endorphin rush in your kitty. Or it may just like your shampoo. If your cat is keenest to indulge in you hair straight after a shower and shampoo this is most likely its motivation.
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Why Does My Cat Chew My Hair
Discovering the main reason behind this quirky behavior can be a tough job for any cat owner. It is possible that the cat wants your attention or showing its love for you.
However, it is also possible that your beloved feline is suffering from an underlying illness. So, we need to know the possible reasons behind this habit and address it as soon as possible.
Can My Cat Be Harmed From Licking/eating My Hair
Your cat would have to eat a very large amount of your hair for it to experience health issues. However, do remember if your cat is also licking you at the same time it could easily ingest some of any creams or products that you use on your skin or hair so do be careful particularly if you using some strong for a cold sore or eczema etc.
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Symptoms Signs And Solutions
If your cat is grooming your hair, it is likely to be using grooming as social behavior. Cats groom other cats in their family group when they like each other and have friendly relationships. The licking also spreads scent, so the cats that sleep together and groom each other smell alike. This creates a sort of “family perfume” that identifies each other as safe and friendly. If the cat suddenly starts out of the blue, maybe she likes the smell of your new shampoo.
When your cats groom you, they aren’t interested in creating proper feline hairdos . More likely, cats that target an owner’s hair simply trigger on the “furry part” of the human and want to share the family scent with proper grooming.
The cat might receive some sort of reinforcement that encourages them to repeat the behavior. Do you talk to the cat and pet it during this grooming? Or it may be enough simply to respond if your cat taps your head to get you to move back into range if you move away.
You can offer kitty a substitute such as a fuzzy stuffed toy, and shoo the cat away from your head to prevent being snatched bald. But in most cases, consider a cat grooming a human’s hair to be a huge compliment and gesture of affection, sort of the kitty equivalent of a petting session. Don’t worry, the cat won’t expect you to become kitty beauticians with a lick and a promise. Petting will do.
They Want To Soothe Themselves
Unfortunately, there may be a more serious cause behind your cat’s licking and chewing. “Abnormal groomingespecially overgrooming of oneselfis often a sign of stress or dermatitis in cats,” Wieber notes. She says that if your cat has bald patches or seems to be licking themselves, you, the furniture, or other items constantly, it’s time to get professional help to investigate any underlying physical or emotional issues.
Cats may not have to worry about filing their taxes on time or paying the mortgage, but they are sensitive creatures who like predictability. So if you’ve recently moved or added another family member to the home, there’s a greater chance your cat’s licking is stress related.
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Provide More Cat Furniture And Toys For Your Cat To Play With
If your cat is feeling restless, try providing a cat tree or toys that move around without you needing to get out of bed.
Hopefully, theyll use this stuff you provide for some stimulation instead of your hair thats the goal.
You might have to bury your head under the covers and avoid them but this will help redirect their energy away from pulling your hair and provide them with a much-needed outlet for all that extra energy.