If you’re a cat owner, you may have noticed them licking their fur excessively. So why do cats eat their hair? Though it’s normal for cats to groom themselves, excessive licking can signify that something is wrong.
In this blog post, we will explore why cats eat their hair, and will also provide tips on how you can stop them from doing so!
Why do cats eat their hair?
Cats can eat their hair and fur for many reasons such as over Grooming, Stress and anxiety, Pica disorder, skin issues, boredom, flea problems etc.
Below are some of the possible reasons that lead a feline to eat their fur.
1. Over Grooming
One of the leading reasons cats might eat their hair is because they’re trying to groom themselves. So if your cat is licking their fur excessively, it could indicate that they need help cleaning themselves.
You can help your cat clean themselves by brushing them regularly. This will help remove any dirt or loose hair from their coat. You can also use a special shampoo or conditioner designed for cats to help keep their coat healthy and free of parasites.
2. Stress and Anxiety
Cats might eat their hair is because they’re experiencing stress and anxiety. If your cat seems to be grooming themselves more than usual, it could signify that they’re stressed out.
Assist your kitty in relieving your cat’s stress by providing them with a calm and relaxing environment. You can also try giving them toys and treats that help reduce their anxiety. However, if your cat’s stress is severe, you may need to consult with a veterinarian for further treatment options.
If your cat is experiencing stress or anxiety, you may want to consider buying them a scratching post. Scratching helps cats release tension and frustration, so it can help prevent them from eating their hair.
3. Flea Problem
Another reason cats might swallow their hair is that their belly is under the attack of fleas. Fleas are tiny parasites that live off the blood of animals, and they can be very irritating to cats.
If your cat has fleas, they may start licking their fur excessively in an attempt to remove them. Diagnose your feline, and if you suspect something, you should take them to the veterinarian for a proper check-up.
In such cases, your vet may prescribe medication for flea treatment to get rid of the fleas. You’ll also need to sterilize your home and yard to eliminate any fleas that may remain there.
4. Skin Injury
Skin injuries can lead a kitty into a very uncomfortable situation. For example, if your cat has a cut or scrape, they may start licking the area to clean it and help it heal.
If your cat encounters skin injury, you should take them to the veterinarian for a speedy recovery. The vet can prescribe medication to your cat or a special ointment to help the wound heal. You’ll also require keeping the impairment clean and free of infection.
Cats can adapt uncertain behaviors when they are getting bored. For example, if your cat doesn’t have anything else to do, they may start licking their fur to have leisure.
If you believe your cat is eating their hair out of frustration, try giving them more toys or activities to keep them occupied. You can also attempt feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day to help keep their energy levels up.
6. Skin Issues
If your cat is eating their hair or licking the skin and fur excessively, it could be a symptom of skin infection. This infection may be caused by parasites, allergies, or other medical disorders. In addition, skin issues often lead to irritation and itching, which can push cats to lick their fur absurdly.
Like cats and other pets Skin issues are also more common in dogs. There are many veterinary medicine available for the treatment of skin issues in dogs. But there are some medicine available that help to protect your pet against the diseases especially from the skin illnesses.
Make sure to confirm with your veterinarian about the use of any medication for your pet.
7. Insect Bites
Your kitty can start excessive chewing on their fur if an insect bites them. These bites can be very irritating to cats, and they may start licking the area to try and relieve the itching.
8. Pica Cognitive Disorder
According to pet experts, eating or chewing on hair can indicate the Pica in felines. Your kitty might eat their hair is because they have a cognitive disorder called Pica. Pica is a condition that causes animals to eat non-food items, and it can be hazardous. If your cat has Pica, they may start eating their fur as a way of coping with the condition.
9. To Seek Attention
Another reason cats might eat their hair is that they’re trying to get your attention. So, if your cat is constantly licking their fur, it could symbolize that they want you to pet them or give them some love.
How do I get my cat to stop eating his fur?
If your cat is eating their hair consistently, it’s crucial to figure out the underlying cause. Once you figure out the issue, you may take steps to help them relieve it.
- If your cat is eating their hair because of stress or anxiety, provide them with a calm and relaxing environment. You can also try giving toys or treats that help reduce their anxiety. However, if your cat’s stress is severe, you may need to consult with a veterinarian for further treatment.
- If your cat is eating their hair because they possess fleas, you should take them to the veterinarian for a check-up. The vet can prescribe your cat medication or a special shampoo to get rid of the fleas. You’ll also require disinfecting your home and yard to alleviate any fleas that might be living there.
- If your cat is eating their hair due to a skin injury, rush them to the veterinarian. The vet can prescribe your cat medication or a special ointment to help the damage heal. You’ll also need to keep the wound clean and infection-free.
- If boredom is the reason behind your cat eating their fur, present them with more toys or activities to keep them engaged. You can also try feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day to help keep their energy levels up.
- If your cat is eating their hair because they have pica, you should consult with a veterinarian for further treatment options. Pica can be a severe condition, and it may require medication or behavioral therapy to treat it.
- If your cat is eating their hair for your attention-seeking, you can try petting them more or giving them treats to stop licking. You can also try training your cat with positive reinforcement techniques to help discourage the behavior.
Is it bad for cats to eat hair?
Yes, it might be adverse for cats to eat hair. If your cat is eating their hair excessively, it can lead to a condition called trichobezoar. Trichobezoar is a mass of hair that forms in the stomach, and it can be treacherous.
Eating hair can also cause an obstruction in the intestines, which can be life-threatening. If you think your cat is eating their hair excessively, you should take them to the veterinarian for a proper check-up.
Occasionally, licking hair is normal behavior for cats, but they shouldn’t be doing it excessively. If your cat is doing it consistently, it’s essential to figure out the underlying cause and take the necessary steps to eradicate it.
Excessive hair-eating can lead to severe health concerns, so it’s vital to assist your cat in fixing the matter.
why do cats eat their hair? While most cats groom themselves and eat their hair as part of a routine, some will overdo it out of convention or behavioral disorder.
If your cat is eating its hair, there could be some behavioral issue or problem that needs to be addressed. Please share your experience with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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Why is there hair in my cat’s poop?
If you see hair in your cat’s poop, it’s likely because they’ve been licking their fur. When cats lick their fur, the hair gets caught in their saliva and eventually ends up in their poop. If you see hair in your cat’s poop frequently, it’s essential to figure out the underlying cause and take the necessary steps to contain it. Excessive hair-eating can lead to health problems, so it’s necessary to provide your cat with the help they need.
Can cats digest hair?
Yes, cats can digest a tiny amount of hair. However, if they overeat it, it can lead to a condition called trichobezoar. Eating hair can also cause an obstruction in the intestines, which can be life-threatening.