My cats are all known to have bizarre behavior and oddities. One of the strangest peculiarities I’ve encountered is when my cats decide to chew, bite or even lick my hair.
The first time I saw cats chewing my hair while our cat from the family, Walker, would lay on my head and sleep. I would awake to Walker smilingly gnawing on my hair while the cat purred, waiting for me to rise. Did it happen because my hair smelled delicious? Was he hungry?
This habit of my hair has been passed through to my mom since she’s now the sole caregiver of Walker. I still receive text messages from her, saying, “Your Walker’s son is constantly chewing my hair! Is it possible to get the boy to put it down!” And while I’ve given her a few ways to convince Walker to stop chewing her hair, she’s not… although I believe that’s because she considers it an adorable habit.
In the beginning, I thought that my cats would bite my hair while I was asleep in an attempt to wake me, but it doesn’t appear to be the case.
Beau For instance, Beau often stands before my friend and me when we are on the couch and nibble on our hair. Although Beau has been seen eating and licking our hair, he doesn’t tear or ingest anything from it. Why does he do it?
In reality, as with other cat behavior chewing on the owner’s hair may have multiple implications for the cat. Cats might chew their owner’s hair because it’s a method to show affection; however, gnawing on hair could also be a sign of health issues.
So, let’s look at why your cat might be chewing on your scalp. We’ll also discuss how to tell if they’re chewing your hair and the best way to avoid it from happening again.
I Love You
Cats lick or chew their human counterparts’ hair primarily due to their desire to show affection.
Over the past few years, we’ve explored various ways cats show their affection for their human companions, including kneading, headbutting, biting, then licking your fingers and touching your legs and so on. You can add chewing your hair to this list!
You may have observed the cats that aren’t spending their time lying around and sleeping. They spend an enormous amount of time cleaning themselves and those nearby. It doesn’t matter if you’re a human, dog, or cat cats are obsessive about cleanliness and want to ensure their entire family is spotless.
When you closely glance at your cat as they take a bath, you might observe that, at times, they’ll start eating the fur they’re washing. What’s happening is the cat uses his teeth to help untangle and get rid of any extra dirt that it could not reach.
A side note: cats can also use their teeth to wash their paws and nails. Don’t be shocked when you notice this.
There is a chance that cats will attempt to groom or clean you even if you just had a shower, as cats do not recognize scents from shampoos or soaps as fresh scents. However, cats can identify scents and know that their home smells clean, which takes me to the following point.
Your cat is trying to scent you or make you SCENT LIKE THEM.
Though it is regarded as a less popular method of scenting, occasionally, cats chew their owners’ hair in the hopes of creating a scent that resembles them.
A cat can smell you by chewing on your hair, as they have smell glands on their sides. Mouths. This is similar to why cats would rub the side of their mouths against yours.
Cats trying to smell you by chewing your hair may rub their bodies against you soon after or be heard meowing a few times to draw you’re attention. If your cat requires much attention, it could be trying to convince you to do something. We will be discussing this shortly.
I’M HUNGRY/WANT TO BE HEARD
Sometimes, cats come up with the most annoying methods to signal they need attention or are hungry. Hunger is the primary reason Walker is known to chew on our hair.
Cats can prefer to chew on your hair to show interest or for food, as this is believed by many to be very gentle. It usually receives a reaction from you.
Your cat shouldn’t be conditioned into thinking that chewing your hair is a way to get things they desire. There are better ways your cat could tell you they’re hungry. But most importantly, it’s your responsibility to know the quantity and the frequency your cat must consume food.
Consider setting an eating schedule for your cat so they will understand that there is a pattern to their day. They will never be too hungry or concerned that they won’t be fed.
Making sure Beau’s feeds and time for play was a great way to reduce anxiety and caused his chewing to decrease to a minimum in months.
It is important to recognize that cats can repeat behaviors or strategies when they get the recognition or reward they seek. However, I will discuss further methods to deter behavior further down.
Your cat is begging to be sucked.
You may need to be made aware of the history of your cat before when they were adopted, particularly when you adopted one from a rescue or shelter.
Of the seven cats that live in our household, We know only the country from which Walker was born since we got to know Walker, his siblings, and his mom before welcoming him into the family.
It is likely that if you’re not aware of the origins of your cat’s life or where they came from, you’re not thinking about the mother of your cat or if your cat was separated from their mother too soon. I mention the mother of a cat because kittens separated from their mothers early have been observed to exhibit strange behaviors like sucking on cloth, wool, and sometimes even plastic.
Suckling behaviors are often attributed to the condition known as Pica and can result from being removed from the mother too soon. Suckling and chewing excessively could indicate cats separated from their mother too early. Still, it could also mean a cat suffers from a nutritional deficiency or unrelated health issue.
Cats who chew on their hair because they are hungry or desire to suckle must be provided with alternatives to chewing toys and brought to the vet for some blood tests, particularly when they attempt to take the hair in their mouths. It is essential to stay aware of your cat’s overall health, especially since nutritional deficiencies can spill over into other areas of your cat’s daily life.
Be aware that the urge to suck doesn’t always indicate an adverse health condition or an underlying health condition.
It’s fairly easy to make a cat stressed, and often, we worry about our pets without realizing it.
Stresses could include but aren’t restricted to animals living in the home or area, noisy noises, not enough safe places, family tensions, changes to routine or the food you eat.
Cats are known to groom themselves or other animals when they’re stressed. The cats groom themselves to humans scratching their heads, itching their skin, or tapping on a surface due to stress.
Cats who groom themselves excessively because of stress may rub their skin rough, which can cause hair loss or the loss of whiskers. It is important to find the source of your cat’s anxiety before it becomes so bad that your cat is licking itself rough, as not only is it painful for the feline, but it could be a sign of illness like humans. A skin of a cat is a protection against diseases.
In most cases, in which stress is not excessive, and the cause is a change that was recently introduced, the vet visit is not required. However, stress can be an ongoing problem that your cat has to deal with due to temperament or previous trauma.
It is essential to keep track of your cat’s activities throughout the day because they are routine animals prone to react immediately to their surroundings and to things they find irritating. An account of your cat’s daily routine will assist you in identifying the things that are causing stress for your cat. Still, it will also be beneficial if you decide to speak with an animal veterinarian about your cat’s behavior.
If your cat is stressed, and the stress doesn’t appear to be due to a third-party cause, your veterinarian may suggest a change in your cat’s diet or such as a pet product known as Feliway or even suggest trying some relaxing tunes for the cat.
The methods you employ will differ in their success depending on the cat’s personality and the reason for stress. However, since stress isn’t an easy fix, the vet will expect you to devote some effort to monitoring your cat’s behavior to identify the cause of the issue.
If your veterinarian cannot find the root of the issue, They may suggest you consult an animal behaviouralist or another vet with greater experience in solving cat anxiety.
As we’ve mentioned, when your cat is trying to chew on hair, it could be a sign your cat has an undiagnosed health issue. Hyperthyroidism is the most widely-known health problem associated with the cat’s habit of chewing or biting at hair.
Hyperthyroidism is the most frequent condition in cats over 12 years old and is usually characterized by a cat that is always eating but constantly losing weight.
It is recommended to talk to your veterinarian if you think your cat has hyperthyroidism. This is particularly because treating this disease typically requires changes in diet and habits.
HOW DO I DISCOURAGE MY CAT FROM CHEWING OR LICKING MY HAIR?
Depending on why your cat is chewing on your hair, preventing this behavior could be as easy as enticing another behavior you are more enthused about.
Cats know that we’re unhappy with them, and they will usually take any action to ensure that their owners are happy. If your cat is exhibiting a behavior that you do not like, be sure to ignore your cat until they’ve come back with a method you enjoy.
For instance, Kalista loves to bite our legs, and I wouldn’t say I like it, so I will not bother her when she does this, which often results in Kalista pressing her body on me. You could also employ the words of training or sounds such as “uh-uh” as you put your finger into your cat’s eyes to remind them that this isn’t a desired behavior.
It is essential to remain consistent, no matter which methods of training you choose to implement. Any indication that you accept your cat’s habit of chewing, licking or gnawing on your hair can result in your cat’s “relapse” or exhibit the same behavior.
Treat your cat right after chewing, and then lick or bite your hair. This will teach your cat that toys can be a way to encourage them to chew.
Your cat is bound eventually eat or swallow some hair from time moment, because of the way the tongue of a cat functions.
The problem is that cats can’t completely digest hair, regardless of whether they’re their own or human. Ingestion of hair usually can result in hairballs, and in the ideal case, they end in their poop.
Hair from humans is not considered to be harmful to cats, but it should be avoided when feasible.
If you’re worried about your cat’s health or believe it may be chewing or biting your hair due to an underlying health issue, I strongly suggest going to the vet to ensure all is well.
Many long-term diseases go unnoticed because cats don’t know what’s troubling them. They will usually get worse until they can’t assist in any way.