Wondering why does a cat eat his fur?
Well, it is normal for a cat to lick its fur but if he is doing it excessively, there might be more to it than meets the eye!
A cat usually eats its own fur to groom itself, itch, tend to its wounds, or because of some stress issues. If you believe that your cat is suddenly licking its fur too much, you should get in touch with a vet especially if the situation is not improving.
Most of the time, the cat licks his fur to clean and comfort himself. However, it is not limited to just cleaning. A cat licking his fur too often may be suffering from some underlying medical conditions, needs some grooming, or have stress issues.This situation can further lead to a condition called “Pica” – which is a medical condition that can happen to people, dogs, cats, etc. and cause them to eat things that are not edible like hair or fur.
The only thing you can do to keep your cat from eating hairballs (his or yours) is by giving him some of your time to figure out what’s wrong.
Cats can be annoying at times and do things that are the most unexpected. While we can layout a lot of useful info on the topic, you must understand that these “situations” are different for a lot of people and their cats. Keep in mind that problems related to your feline may not always be solved with methods that worked for someone with a similar problem.
Yes, cats can very well be responsible for ruining that new furry rug you brought home because of their fur-fetish.
The fur on your carpet resembles a lot to the animal’s own hair and assuming that it has developed a taste for them, it can start pulling the fur out of the carpet’s knitting.
Eating or not eating it, however, is a secondary issue. A cat that is already accustomed to eating or pulling its own fur may be suffering from a medical condition or having a mood swing. Maybe your cat wants attention or it just wants to impress the other felines by grooming itself. And it is mostly understandable!
That said, if your cat is doing this on your carpet, clothes, or furniture, the problem might not be there at all. For-example, your cat is just having fun or playing with it or sharpening its dew claw; which is a nail on the inner side of their feet.
Eating hair or licking fur is a natural remedy for many wild cats to calm themselves. If your cat is showing increased interest in you and licking or chewing on your hair, you should not get worried. It is just your cat saying “I love you”! Well, technically at least.
But felines do show an increased level of endorphin in their blood when they are licking, pawing, or playing with the hair of their favorite person.
Sometimes, cats are just attracted to the smell of your shampoo or hair ties. If your cat is jumping at your hair just after you have shampooed your hair, there’s a high chance that your shampoo is the reason why your cat is acting such. Similarly, if your cat tends to play with your hair ties, they are just not meant to be on your hair.
Assuming that you’ve read what we explained above, you can think of this situation to be just the same. Like kittens play and bite each other’s fur when playing, adult cats can exhibit the same behavior and be totally normal.
What may seem “cats eating fur” to you can be just “having fun” for cats. Therefore, you do not need to worry about the cat and let them have at it as long as it is not too much.
Nevertheless, a cat eating another cat’s fur is not normal when the other cat’s fur coat starts thinning because of this activity. You should also try and control this if you start noticing health and behavioral changes in either of these cats.– Strange things in cats are not as new as you are anticipating.
Even if “Dangerous” is not the correct word to use for cats pulling out their fur, eating hair should be avoided for the well-being of your moggy.
Cats cannot digest hair as a whole regardless of being their own or human’s. These undigested hairs come out when the cat poops but can often form hairballs that may block their stomach or intestines.
Hence, it is advised to stop your cat whenever you see it eating or pulling hair. For more detailed insight on how to do this, read below.
Here are some apposite steps for you to follow in such cases,
The first step towards stopping your cat from licking its fur and supposedly stopping him from eating his fur is by making him feel cleaner.
As a cat owner myself, I have come to the notion that cats have a cleaning-phobia naturally and that helps them stay cleaner and healthier by licking themselves clean.
However, you can try giving him baths more often and wipe him clean using a towel whenever you feel like it.
The cleaner he stays, the less he will have to taste his fur.
If that does not solve the problem, try this!
If your cat is clean but he still will not stop eating his fur, he might have too much hair on himself. Literally speaking, too much hair is as bad for cats as they are for humans. They make them feel heavy and uncomfortable.
Additionally, thick fur is more prone to shedding and weakens the cat’s ability to stay clean. Therefore, the next best thing to do is to give your cat a decent “fur-cut.”
This will not only save you from vacuuming shredded fur too often but also prevent your cat from fulfilling his “Pica” desire. – (Remember when I told you what Pica is earlier?)
Oh, you thought only humans have stress issues!
Well, I hate to be the one to break it, but cats can be subjects to stress just as much as us.
Of course, they do not worry about bills or jobs, but they do stress over things like their environment.
A cat generally stresses when he does not like the environment around him. This problem is mostly seen in newly adopted cats or when the owner changes his residence.
This profound stress can lead to Pica and thus, your cat might shed fur and even lose weight.
In my experience, it can take a long time for the cat to be attuned to his new environment and you are his best chance in doing so.
Make him feel at home and get your cat some toys to divert his attention. Now might be the best time to improve his diet and change his feed as well.
If you have noticed a sudden loss of appetite in your cat, or if he is leaner than he used to be, the issue might be related to his stomach or his throat.
Usually, cats eat furballs when they have an interest in finding new things to eat, and of course, what would be better than hair?
You may also see cats eat grass to clear their throats but it can get worse if those furballs get stuck in their food canal.
If you see symptoms such as frequent coughing or sneezing, you might want to take him to a vet.
As a most obvious solution, you should refrain from giving him the same pet food and try something new every other day.
There might be some nasty stuff going on under the fur. If you thought of ticks, you are right!
Ticks are one of the most common reasons that cause your cat to scratch, lick, or eat his fur. However, there may be a skin issue as well.
For the best, take your cat to the vet if you are unable to figure it out.
Unbelievably, cats enjoy attention more than owners like you and me realize. Unlike dogs and most other pets, cats are a lot smarter and they know it.
They jump around, break things, and do everything they can to make their presence felt.
Likewise, there might be nothing wrong with your cat and this whole fur-eating melodrama is happening only because your cat wants more attention.
Weird, isn’t it?
In this case, when you have tried all possible options and the cat just won’t stop, I suggest you spend more time playing with him.
In the end, it all falls to how you manage your cat.
Making your cat comfortable and keeping him in check can be the least you can do for him but its impacts will be huge on the cat.
The cat will not only feel safe but also have a good time with you.
However, if you feel like the usual stuff is boring to your cat, try getting him some toys or a new cat playhouse.
After evaluating all the possible causes mentioned above, you can rest assured that you have done your homework and at-least for 95% of people, the above-mentioned plan would work.
In my opinion, if you are unable to find a solution online, you should seek help from a pet owner or a vet in this regard.
Above all, you can also stop your cat from eating hairballs if you train him from time to time.
Here is our Short Overview
Happy Cat Care!