Why do cats do any of the strange things that they do? I do not doubt that most cat-owners have found themselves wondering this at least once in their lifetimes.
These quirky balls of fur partake in any number of weird behaviors, which often contradict their usually composed demeanors.
Chewing their owner’s hair is right up there when it comes to funny habits. As it happens, cats have several reasons for doing this bizarre behavior.
Why do cats bite your hair?
Cats lick and nip one another to show affection, and often this grooming behavior extends to their humans. Licking and biting hair can be pleasurable to cats, and in some cases, they simply like the way it tastes. They also do this when stressed. If hair-biting becomes obsessive, it can be a sign of compulsive behavior or a medical condition like pica.
Why my Cat Grooms and Bites my Hair
When companion cats (or sibling cats) enjoy spending time together and care about one another, they express their affection through a phenomenon called allogrooming.
This cuddly behavior involves mutual grooming in the head and neck areas and includes plenty of licking and nibbling.
Therefore, a cat may be grooming its owner because it loves them, accepts them, and wants to express these feelings through grooming.
Licking and biting their owner’s hair is par for the course in this regard and is a sign of a cat’s ultimate adoration.
Keep in mind that human hair is in no way similar to cat fur, so if a cat goes in for a lick or a bite and immediately seems repulsed, it may be that they weren’t quite expecting the texture or taste of their owner’s hair.
Cats Like my Hair Products
Discerning cats may bite a human’s hair because they enjoy the taste of certain hair products.
They could be attracted to a specific scent, which makes them want to taste it. If one finds this behavior tiresome, citrus scents are known to deter cats.
Cats Bite my Hair to Destress
Cats may groom their owners because they find the act pleasurable or because they are trying to self-soothe. Mutual grooming is a way for cats to destress with other cats they feel safe around.
In other words, by biting hair, a cat might be expressing to its owner that it feels safe and connected to them.
Environmental changes or heightened anxiety may cause cats to be a little more needy than usual.
By biting their owner’s hair, they may be communicating that they need reassurance.
Human Hair-biting Indicating my Cat has a Medical Condition
Mature cats are pretty consistent in personality and behavior, so if a cat suddenly develops a compulsion outside of its regular repertoire, it may signify that something is amiss.
Take note of a cat’s body language when biting and licking hair. If they seem happy and relaxed, there is likely no need to worry.
If they seem stressed and anxious, a trip to the vet is a must-have in your schedule.
Biting and eating hair may be a sign of a condition called pica.
This is when cats start compulsively eating nonfood items (like human hair) and is usually a sign of a nutritional deficiency or a more serious underlying condition like feline leukemia.
Hyperthyroidism and diabetes can also lead to unusual behaviors such as over-grooming and hair-biting.
Symptoms like extreme weight loss can accompany this change in habit, and if this is the case, the kitty needs to see the vet as a matter of urgency.
Why do Cats Bat and Bite at my Hair
Cheeky cats will sometimes attack hair purely for the sake of mischief. This is to communicate that they are bored and want to play, or it could just be that they want some attention.
Bear in mind that swinging ponytails make excellent target practice for energetic kitties.
Frequently Asked Questions about Why Cats Bite your Hair
Can I stop my cat from chewing my hair?
If your cat’s hair-biting is bothering you, you can discourage this behavior by moving away from your cat when it goes in for a nip. Be consistent in letting them know that you don’t enjoy it, but do not punish a cat for doing this. They are only trying to show you they love you or that they don’t feel well. Alternatively, distract them with a chew toy.
How can I help my stressed cat relax?
Some cats portray changed or exaggerated behavior when they are feeling anxious or stressed out. If you think your cat is feeling out of sorts, create a safe, warm place for them to have a time out. A soft blanket that they can knead is also a good idea.
Why is my kitten chewing my hair?
Kittens that are taken from their moms too early may be more inclined to chew hair. This could mean that they were not appropriately weaned. Most animals use some form of taste to get to know about the world, so if a kitten is biting and chewing your hair, it is probably trying to taste you and figure you out.
To experience a cat licking and biting its owner’s hair is both wonderfully sweet and extraordinarily undignified, and perhaps that is what makes it so endearing.
Cats have strange ways of showing love, and this might well be one of the weirder ones.