Why Do Cats Eat Their Hair – Unravelling the Mystery


We’ve all witnessed it. Your cat is grooming itself and out of nowhere, it ends up with a clump of hair in its mouth. You rush to remove it, but your cat beats you to it and gulps it down. This leaves you pondering: what’s the reason behind cats eating their own hair?

Cats eat their hair because they groom themselves too much and feel stressed. If your cat eats a lot of their fur, they might have a serious condition called pica. But usually, cats eat their hair by accident.

Cats lick themselves clean, and sometimes they end up swallowing their own hair. It might surprise you to know that there’s more to this behavior, so continue reading to find out more.

7 Reasons Cats Eat Their Hair

It’s actually quite common for cats to eat their own hair. Here are some of the reasons why cats do this and what you can do to address it.

Regular Grooming

When cats clean themselves, there’s a possibility that they might accidentally consume their own hair while grooming with their tongue.

Your Cat Eats Their Hair Accidentally

Sometimes, your cat might eat its fur because it can’t spit it out while grooming. If it can’t get the fur out of its mouth, the only choice is to swallow it.

Pica Is Affecting Your Cat

Cats may eat their own fur due to a cognitive issue known as pica, where they consume things they shouldn’t, including their own hair. This behavior becomes more apparent when you observe your cat intentionally trying to eat their fur outside of regular grooming.

Your Cat Has Flea Bites

When cats get flea bites, they might bite and pull out more fur than usual because it helps them relieve the itchiness and discomfort.

Your Cat May Have Dry Skin

If your cat has dry skin, it may eat more of its fur in an attempt to alleviate the itchiness and dryness.

Stress Is Affecting Your Cat

A cat that is feeling stressed is more prone to pulling out its fur. This behavior may not be a normal part of grooming, but rather a nervous habit.

Your Cat Is Bored

Sometimes my cats tug at their fur because they’re feeling bored and end up grooming themselves too much. If your cat is feeling bored, make sure to find ways to keep them entertained.

Can Cats Eat Their Own Hair

Cats have the ability to consume their own hair, but when they ingest their fur during grooming, it can lead to the formation of hairballs that they may cough up.

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When cats groom themselves, their intention is not to consume their fur, even though you might observe your cat removing a tangle or a clump of fur. Regrettably, because cats groom themselves using their tongues, it is impossible to expel every single strand of hair. This is particularly challenging for cats with long hair.

When a cat consumes its own fur, it doesn’t just break it down like regular food. Consuming excessive fur can lead to the formation of hairballs, which can be unpleasant for both you and your cat.

Is It Normal For Cats To Eat Their Hair

It’s completely normal for cats to munch on their own hair, especially while they’re taking care of their grooming routine.

Because cats groom themselves using their tongue, they regularly consume some of their fur. You might only be concerned when you notice a large piece of fur hanging from your cat’s lip, but otherwise, you probably don’t think much about your cat eating its fur while it licks itself.

Some cats are really tidy. If your cat tears off pieces of fur from their body, they might also consume it, even if they spit it out. It may appear odd, and it likely is, but cats still engage in this behavior.

Is It Bad For Cats To Eat Hair

If your cat munches on its own hair during grooming, it won’t cause any harm, but it’s not exactly beneficial for your furry friend to swallow it. Eating hair during grooming poses no threat to your cat.

When cats groom themselves, they may sometimes end up eating their own fur, which can be a normal behavior. However, it can also indicate underlying conditions such as pica, which we will discuss in more detail.

If you see your cat munching on a big chunk of fur, it’s a good idea to remove it from their mouth. However, smaller bits of fur aren’t too risky for your cat.

Is Cat Hair Dangerous If Swallowed

Cats may sometimes swallow their own hair, which can be a potential choking risk, but typically they will expel the hair by coughing up a hairball.

It might seem gross when your cat chows down on its own fur, but don’t worry too much. Your cat’s body has a way of dealing with the hair. If your cat eats a lot of fur, it will probably cough up a hairball in a few days.

It can be quite frightening when your cat starts making heaving sounds due to a large hairball. To assist your cat in passing the hairball, you can provide them with over-the-counter cat products that help loosen the hairballs.

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Why Do Cats Eat Their Hairballs

It may be disgusting to witness your cat consuming their hairball, but it’s crucial to remember that your cat is an animal, regardless of how much they are considered a member of your family.

Cats can engage in unpleasant behaviors at times. One of the most unpleasant things to witness is when your cat consumes their hairball. There isn’t a logical explanation for why cats do this. Personally, I used to think that cats do it because they are animals and may not have the knowledge to avoid eating their own hairball or even another cat’s.

Why Do Cats Eat Their Fur Off The Floor

If you notice your cat regularly munching on its own fur, it could be a sign that your cat has pica, which is a worrisome behavior.

Simply put, pica is the desire to consume non-food items. Individuals with pica may have the urge to eat substances such as fabric, chalk, plastic, or even plants that are not meant for consumption. This condition can affect not only humans but also cats.

If cats have pica, they might start munching on their fur, even if it has already fallen off and is lying on the floor.

If your cat puffs up its fur once or twice, it could have been unintentional or a misunderstanding of what fur is. Consuming fur once does not indicate that your cat has pica.

How Do You Know If Your Cat Has Pica

If your cat wants to eat its own fur or fur from the floor, it means your cat has pica.

Regrettably, it’s difficult to tell if your cat has pica. You can figure it out by observing your cat’s actions to see if it’s grooming itself or experiencing pica.

A cat that has pica will frequently consume its own fur instead of just grooming itself. Instead of spitting it out, you might observe your cat pulling out its fur and eating it. If there is fur on the floor, whether from your cat or another cat in your home, a cat with pica is likely to eat it as if it were a treat.

How Do You Fix Pica In Cats

While pica in cats cannot be cured, there are ways to assist a cat dealing with this behavior.

If you see your cat eating a lot of stuff it shouldn’t, there are ways to assist your cat, even if you can’t completely stop pica.

  • Make sure to keep your floors clear and devoid of any items that your cat may attempt to consume
  • Engage in interactive playtime with your cat to divert its focus
  • Offer your cat treats as a way to prevent them from munching on various objects
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If your cat is trying to eat things like plants or objects with chemicals, it can be harder to keep an eye on them. You should talk to your vet for more advice on how to assist your cat.

How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Eating His Fur

It can be difficult to watch your cat eating its own fur, but there are a few ways to prevent this behavior.

If your cat has long hair and eats it, the best solution is to keep the fur short in areas that are easily accessible to him. While you may not have chosen a long-haired cat specifically for this reason, it is the most suitable option if your cat engages in this behavior.

Additionally, attempt to comprehend the reason behind your cat’s hair consumption. Could it be due to pica? Is it possible that he has fleas or eczema?

Because cats cannot communicate verbally, it can be difficult to diagnose them. However, it is important to recognize and comprehend your cat’s behavior in order to provide appropriate treatment.

Things to Consider

It’s quite odd to see your cat munching on their own fur. If your cat gulps down a big clump or piece of fur, I can understand how concerned you might feel. Remember that eating fur is a regular behavior for cats, but it’s also crucial to monitor this habit closely.

When it comes to eating fur, it’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior. If your cat occasionally consumes fur by accident, it’s likely just a random occurrence. However, if you observe that your cat is consistently eating its own fur, it could be a more serious issue known as pica.

We all don’t want to constantly watch over our pets, but it’s important to take into account all the responsibilities that come with owning an animal. You don’t have to be overly protective of your cat, but it’s crucial to understand their behavior in order to identify any potentially harmful habits.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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