why cats eat human hair

WHY CATS LICK AND CHEW HUMAN HAIR

If your cat comes along and starts licking and biting your hair, you should know you are not the only one to experience this.

SOCIAL GROOMING

The most common and general reason for this is that your cat is socialising with you. Cat groups living feral frequently groom each other if they share a close connection or bond. This can manifest itself as licking, biting or kneading each other’s coats. If your cat is eating or chewing your hair, it is likely a display of your close connection and an opportunity to strengthen those ties. Actually, this behaviour is very normal if your cat feels a bond with you. They will do more than just lick and bite your hair, they love the salt on your sweaty skin.

NO IT IS NOT PICA

Another reason could be that your cat uses it as a way to relax. In the same way, some humans bite their nails or play with their hair when they are nervous, some cats develop an obsessive compulsion called pica, which leads them to suck or chew on non-edible objects. Your hair could be one of these objects. Some cat behaviour experts believe that separating the kitten from their mother too early can lead to a cat developing pica in later life. This would not be limited to your hair and should be ruled out unless your cat was doing it to everything else, like blankets and anything that could be snuggled on as well.

HOW TO STOP IT

If you don’t enjoy it you can easily get your cat to stop. By redirecting their attention every time they chew your hair, they will quickly learn that you don’t enjoy it and find another way of showing their affection. If you are consistent and make sure you put a stop to the hair chewing immediately, each and every time, it will not take them long to realise what is going on. Cats usually chew human hair during relaxing moments, and will quickly change their behaviour if you end the relaxation when they chew your hair. Smack your cat lightly on the head and the will learn fast.

WHEN TO WHY YOUR HAIR TASTES SO GOOD

If your cat is chewing your hair regularly, keep an eye on them for any sign of intestinal blockage or upset. Their intestines are not designed to digest human hair and they will cough much of it up as a hairball. The fact is that they cough up their own hair as hair balls all the time. The only time to worry if your cat has gone crazy and is chewing your hair all the time. Maybe it is time you changed your shampoo because you probably have something in your hair that tastes great.

 


Is there anything you can add to this article? We’d love you to share your experience and knowledge with the growing community at OnDECK by DINGA. This piece deserves some input.

...
mm
Madeleine Park
madel@dinga.com.au

Madeleine is a real green thumb and spends most of her time outdoors in her garden if she is not outdoors somewhere else.