Why Does My Cat Eat My Hair?

When it comes to your pet cat, there are normally things that you let slip, like the times he or she accidentally has a nip at your fingers, or when their claws dig into your thighs as they’re curling up to watch the TV with you.

But one thing that you may find odd however, is when they try to eat your hair.

Even though you may find this irritating – or painful – at first, there may be a pretty good explanation as to why your cat has begun nibbling at your hair strands.

From stress and boredom, to just wanting your attention (cats, attention? as if!), there are many reasons why they have begun to chew on their owner’s hair. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the reasons why your cat might be chomping your hair, and if there is anything you can do to avoid it happening again.

The Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Eating Your Hair


Stress is something that we all experience from time to time, but for some cats, it can become quite serious.

When they feel stressed, they will often turn to their owners in order to get comfort and help.

This could mean licking their face, rubbing against them, or even biting their hands and legs.

When they start chewing on your hair, it can be an indication of how stressed they are feeling.


If you’ve got a bored cat, then it’s not surprising that they’ll begin eating your hair.

They may also be looking for a way to keep themselves entertained while you’re busy doing other things.

Cats are also generally playful, so if they are just curious about your hair, they may be using their paws to move the hair around, too. 

Attention Seeking

Cats love attention, so if they see you sitting down reading a book, watching television, or listening to music, they may decide to come over and join you.

However, if you don’t give them any attention, they may begin to think that they need to make sure that you notice them by chewing on your hair.

Unwanted Touch

It’s normal for cats to want to touch us, especially if they’re kittens.

However, sometimes they may mistake our hand for food, and end up trying to eat it instead – this also includes biting your hair. 


Your cat may be nervous around new people, places, or situations. This means that they may be more likely to bite or scratch than usual.


Your cat may be anxious about going outside, or being left alone.

If they’re constantly worried about these issues, they may start to act out by chewing on your hair, or scratching furniture.


Fear can cause your cat to behave in strange ways, including chewing on your hair. They may be afraid of something, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or loud noises.


Cats are very sensitive creatures, which means that they may react badly to certain smells, temperatures, or textures.

For example, they may dislike wearing clothes made of wool, or having fur on their feet.


As mentioned before, cats are naturally curious animals, so if they see something new, they may want to investigate it.

As part of this investigation process, they may start to chew on your hair.


A lot of cats suffer from pain, either because of old injuries, or due to illness.

In these cases, they may try to relieve their discomfort by chewing on your hair or skin.

Other Reasons

There are plenty of other reasons why your cat may start chewing on your hair. These include:

  • Being sick
  • Feeling lonely
  • Having separation anxiety
  • Getting into trouble
  • Wanting to play
  • Worrying about getting older

So, What Should You Do?

There’s no easy answer to this question. However, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the chances of your cat starting to chew on your hair:

  • Make sure that your cat has enough space to move around.
  • Keep your house tidy.
  • Give your cat toys to play with.
  • Don’t let your cat sleep on your bed, sofa, or armchair.
  • Provide your cat with lots of opportunities to socialize with other pets, friends, and family members.
  • Be patient. It takes time for your cat to get used to new environments, and new people.
  • Try to understand your cat’s needs, and how they might be feeling at the moment.
  • Talk to your vet, or contact your local animal shelter if you have concerns about your cat.
  • Remember that your cat is an individual creature, and therefore will respond differently to different situations.
  • Never force your cat to stop eating your hair.

If Your Cat Starts To Chew On Your Hair, Take Action Immediately

You could try one of the following options:

  • Wash your hair thoroughly.
  • Use a conditioner or shampoo designed for dogs.
  • Apply a special coat-cleaning spray.
  • Put your cat in a room where he/she won’t be able to reach your hair.
  • Take your cat to the vet.
  • Do nothing and deal with it.

The best thing to do when your cat starts to eat your hair is to make sure that you don’t panic.

Remember that your cat is just trying to find a way to deal with his/her feelings.

If you’ve tried everything else, and your cat still seems to be struggling, then you’ll need to seek professional advice.

Remember, though, that even if your cat does start to eat your hair, it doesn’t mean that he/she is going to die soon.

It’s important not to worry too much about this. Instead, focus on helping your cat to feel better.

And remember – don’t forget to keep your hair clean!

Final Words

Cats are very intelligent creatures. They’re also very playful, loving, and affectionate. However, sometimes they can become stressed out, anxious, or depressed.

This can lead to them becoming destructive, and causing problems for themselves and others. This means chewing on your hair which can create general damage to your hair, and cause you to wonder what the cat’s issue is.

Fear not though, because it is a lot more common than you think. There are also ways to avoid it from happening again in the future.

Courtney Trent
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