Why Does My Cat Lick My Hair? A Veterinarian Explains – The Dog Lovers

While you share your life with cats, you’ll know that the majority spend quite a few time grooming themselves, nevertheless you should have moreover noticed your mèo licking completely different objects, animals, and even you!

Quick Overview


Cats grooming each other as a method of enhancing social bonds and exchanging scents.


When a mèo licks their human’s hair, it’s usually on account of they’re attempting to bolster your explicit bond.


Usually, there’s no harm in letting cats lick human hair, as long as they don’t swallow it.


Not nội dung with licking their human companions’ pores and pores and skin, some cats develop the habits of licking our hair, too. Although this licking habits can seem barely odd, inside the overwhelming majority of cases it is a sign of affection and must be taken as a reward.

On this text, we’re going to give attention to grooming in cats, why they may start licking human hair, tips about learn how to discourage this habits if essential, and whether or not or not there are any effectively being points to focus on.

Terrific Tongues

Cat drinking with tongue

A mèo’s tongue feels robust on account of it is lined in an entire lot of small backward-facing barbs (spines) .

In case your mèo begins licking your hair you may uncover it is not primarily essentially the most good sensation on account of cats’ tongues are robust and abrasive (making them actually really feel lượt thích sandpaper). It is also most likely that your hair (notably whether or not it’s prolonged) seems to catch in your mèo’s tongue.

It is as a result of a mèo’s tongue is roofed in an entire lot of small papillae—small, backward-facing barbs (spines) made out of keratin. Keratin is analogous strong substance that claws and fur are made out of.

These papillae help cats take away không lấy phí hairs, filth, stale oil, and parasites as they groom themselves. A fascinating study has demonstrated that cats’ tongue papillae are fashioned lượt thích scoops and have gap concepts; these soak up saliva and distribute it onto the hair coat and correct proper right down to the pores and pores and skin flooring all through grooming. Not solely does this help cleanse the pores and pores and skin and take away tangles inside the fur, but it surely absolutely moreover helps to control the mèo’s temperature.

Moreover Be taught: Why Are Cats’ Tongues Robust?

Common Mèo Grooming Habits

why does my cat lick my hair?

Grooming by licking—self and others—is a regular feline habits.

Self-care is important inside the feline world. Some sources estimate that cats spend as a lot as 50% of their waking hours grooming themselves! Many cats moreover groom completely different cats of their household. So, the place does this habits come from, and should it make clear why they may start licking our hair, too?

Mother cats lick their kittens immediately after supply, an instinct-driven habits to remove the smells and tissues that may enchantment to predators. Mom cats proceed to lick their kittens over the following weeks, which stimulates them to go to the lavatory, retains them clear, and removes pesky parasites lượt thích fleas. By the age of 4 weeks, kittens start to take over the job and begin to groom themselves.

Moreover Be taught: The Full Feeding Info From Kittens To Seniors

Why Do Cats Lick Each Totally different?

why does my cat lick me?

Social grooming, often known as allogrooming, is a crucial part of bonding.

Many species of animals partake in social grooming; allogrooming is a particular time interval to elucidate two individuals of the equivalent species grooming each other. Allogrooming in cats usually focuses on the top and neck area, and is believed to spice up social bonds.

No matter cats’ great flexibility, the top and neck are the hardest areas for them to groom themselves, so one idea is that allogrooming is simply serving to their buddies to wash the hard-to-reach places.

Nonetheless, the top and neck area in cats moreover accommodates quite a few scent glands that secrete pheromones. Licking and rubbing these areas permits cats to unfold scents, which help to mark and reaffirm members of their “pack,” and set up nice individuals.

One study into the carry out of allogrooming in home page cats confirmed that better score (additional dominant) cats usually groom lower score kitties and that it was common for there to be agonistic (unpleasant) habits associated to allogrooming. This doubtlessly reveals that cats can use grooming as a method of avoiding overtly aggressive habits and battle (by displaying their dominance in a single different means).

Moreover Be taught: Why Do Cats Lick You?

So Why Does My Mèo Lick My Hair?

why does my cat lick my hair?

Cats groom the heads and necks of their most popular associates and buddies—that options you!

From what we now have talked about thus far it might appear that essentially the most actually motive to your mèo to be licking your hair is to point out affection and enhance their social bond with you by sharing their scent.

Cats groom the heads and necks of their most popular associates and buddies. It may also be that they profit from the consideration that you just give them in response to their hair-licking habits, notably in case you occur to stroke and rub their heads in return.

Some people describe their mèo licking their hair merely after they’ve showered. These cats could want to re-establish their scent on their freshly washed family member, or it could very effectively be that they are within the odor of any hair merchandise used.

Most of us can have seen the extraordinary response some cats current to catnip. As a result of it appears, mint is from the equivalent family of crops. In case your shampoo or conditioner is mint-scented this may be the reason your mèo is trying to lick and rub your hair.

Usually cats start to groom themselves better than common (overgrooming). This may increasingly have numerous causes along with:

Indicators of overgrooming can embody sore pores and pores and skin, patches of broken or missing hairs, and your mèo spending additional time than common licking, chewing, biting, and scratching themselves. In case your mèo is overgrooming itself, they may lengthen this habits to grooming you additional too, notably if the habits is attributable to stress. Your veterinarian can have the power to offer you additional help and suggestion in these often-complex cases.

Moreover Be taught: What Can You Give A Mèo For Ache? 6 Vet-Actually useful Decisions

Should You Let Your Mèo Groom Your Hair?

why does my cat lick my hair?

Licking human hair doesn’t usually carry any effectively being points as long as you don’t use hair or pores and pores and skin merchandise that comprise substances which may be dangerous for cats.

As long as not one of many merchandise utilized in your hair or pores and pores and skin are toxic to cats, there aren’t usually any effectively being points from them licking human hair.

It is a completely completely different matter in the event that they’re consuming your hair though, as a result of the completely completely different measurement and building of human hair could end in large hairballs forming inside the mèo’s bowel. These hairballs is also handed out inside the feces or vomited up, nevertheless can lead to intestinal blockages and over end result inside the need for urgent surgical process to remove them.

Consuming hair can also be a unusual measurement of pica in cats, which is the ingestion of non-food devices (e.g., wool, materials, picket, paper, and mèo litter). There are quite a few causes for pica, and it is best to tìm kiếm help out of your veterinarian to hunt out the set off and determination.

Moreover Be taught: The 6 Best Mèo Meals For Hairball Administration

How To Stop Your Mèo Licking Your Hair

While you don’t have the benefit of it when your mèo licks your hair, attempt distracting your mèo with one factor else lượt thích play time.

On the complete, hair licking should not be extra more likely to set off your mèo any factors, nevertheless many people would lượt thích to not have mèo saliva unfold by means of their hair, no matter how loads they love their feline companions! So how do you discourage your mèo, whereas nonetheless sustaining the actual bond they’re attempting to bolster?

In case you might be using a mint-scented hair product, swap it for a singular one. You would possibly take into consideration a scent that cats don’t lượt thích, just like citrus. Attempt distracting your mèo with one factor else, so that you simply’re nonetheless interacting and bonding nevertheless in any other case (e.g., having fun with with toys).

Some people use meals as a distraction, nevertheless take care to not inadvertently reinforce the undesirable habits. Cats are great wise, in order that they’ll rapidly affiliate licking your hair with getting a giảm giá khuyến mãi with—which might make them do it rather more!

If these methods aren’t working, chances are you’ll attempt totally ignoring your mèo after they lick you: rise up and depart the room, and don’t pet them or give them any consideration until they get the message to stop. As with the treats, getting any additional consideration after they lick your hair would possibly solely make cats do it additional.

Give your mèo a great deal of completely different outlets to utilize their mouth and tongue. Puzzle feeders, toys, and mèo grass to chew on are all strategies of enriching your mèo’s environment and redirecting their habits.

Not at all punish or shout at your mèo for licking your hair. This isn’t going to treatment the difficulty and may set off them stress and anxiousness, doubtlessly leading to behavioral factors and even aggression.

Moreover Be taught: Are Cats Smarter Than Canines? Scientists Lastly Have the Reply

Final Concepts

why does my cat lick my hair?

Some cats lengthen this habits to their human companions by licking elements of their our our bodies, which could embody their hair.

Most cats are fastidious groomers, and spend quite a few time conserving their pores and pores and skin and fur meticulously clear. Grooming may be essential socially to cats, and allogrooming (two cats grooming each other) is commonly seen in multi-cat groups as a method of enhancing social bonds and exchanging scents.

Some cats lengthen this habits to their human companions by licking elements of their our our bodies, which could embody their hair. It is usually a sign that you simply’re an important explicit particular person of their life, though in several cases it would merely be that they love the scent of your hair merchandise (notably in the event that they’re mint primarily based)!

Although there’s usually little to worry about as long as the mèo isn’t actually consuming the hair, many people select to softly discourage the habits by altering shampoo, ignoring the habits, or distracting their mèo with toys or treats.

Moreover Be taught: How To Give A Mèo A Tub

Incessantly Requested Questions

Why Does My Mèo Lick My Hair After a Bathe?

Cats groom, and rub each other’s head and neck areas to spice up bonds and share scents to ascertain nice individuals of their social group. After you’ve got gotten washed, it may be that your mèo licks and rubs your hair to try to re-establish their scent on you.

Another reason is also that they lượt thích the odor of the merchandise you’ve got gotten used. In case your shampoo or conditioner accommodates mint, likelihood is you may uncover your mèo is licking your hair as a result of the scent is far lượt thích catnip, which many cats love!

Is It OK To Let My Mèo Lick My Hair?

When you don’t ideas the sensation of your mèo licking your hair, then often there isn’t a such factor as a harm in letting them do it. Ensure that not one of many merchandise you make the most of in your hair, or on the shut by pores and pores and skin, are toxic to cats (e.g. pure vital oils, and lotions containing painkillers or hormones).

It’s best to stop your mèo in the event that they’re actually consuming your hair though, as this would possibly end result within the formation of hairballs of their bowel, and in primarily essentially the most excessive cases a life-threatening intestinal blockage.

Should I Lick My Mèo?

You can actually really feel compelled to reciprocate your mèo’s sign of affection by licking them once more, nevertheless this is not advisable. Cats’ coats can harbor bugs and infections just like ringworm, toxoplasmosis, worms, and micro organism which could set off us harm.

Our tongues have a extremely completely completely different building from cats, and your mèo would uncover you licking them sophisticated, unpleasant, and demanding. Even between cats, mutual grooming is a sophisticated enterprise, typically ending up in aggressive habits – so there is a extreme probability you are going to get scratched or bitten in case you occur to attempt.

So if the urge to lick your mèo comes over you, pet them instead – cats usually groom each other throughout the pinnacle and neck, so focus on stroking and rubbing them proper right here for a similar bonding experience.

View Sources

Eckstein, R.A., Hart, B.L. The group and administration of grooming in cats. Utilized Animal Behavioral Science 68(2):131-140

Van den Bos, R. The carry out of allogrooming in home page cats (Felis silvestris catus); a analysis in a bunch of cats residing in confinement. J. Ethol. 16, 1-13 (1998)

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