How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Eating Her Hair?

Cats are fascinating creatures with their own unique personalities and habits that we can’t help but adore. However, when your feline friend starts munching on her own hair, it can be a cause for concern. While grooming is a natural behavior for cats, excessive hair ingestion can lead to serious health issues like hairballs, digestive problems, and even intestinal blockages.

As a devoted cat owner, you’re probably wondering how to put an end to this bizarre habit. The root cause of this peculiar behavior is typically excessive shedding due to changes in temperature, stress, or poor nutrition. Thankfully, there are several effective ways to prevent your kitty from eating her hair and promote her overall wellbeing.

In this post, we’ll explore various methods that can help stop your cat from ingesting her hair. From regular grooming sessions and high-quality food to environmental enrichment and behavioral training- we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re new to the world of cat parenting or have been at it for years, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to keep your furry companion healthy and happy.

So, let’s dive in together and discover the most effective ways to tackle this peculiar feline habit head-on.

Understanding the Underlying Cause of Fur Mowing

This behavior is known as “fur mowing” or psychogenic alopecia and can be a result of various underlying causes. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the potential reasons why your cat might be eating their fur and what you can do to help them stop.

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Stress and Anxiety:

Cats are sensitive creatures that can easily get stressed or anxious due to changes in their environment, loud noises, strangers, or unfamiliar smells. This stress can lead to excessive grooming, eventually resulting in hair loss and ingestion of hair. If you suspect that your cat’s fur mowing is due to stress or anxiety, it’s important to address the root cause by providing them with a comfortable and safe environment, reducing exposure to stressful stimuli, and giving them plenty of attention and affection. You can also try using pheromone sprays or diffusers to calm your cat down.


Like humans, cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy. If they don’t have enough toys to play with or outdoor access, they may start grooming excessively as a form of self-soothing behavior. Providing your cat with interactive toys to play with, scratching posts, and access to outdoor spaces can help reduce their boredom and prevent excessive grooming. You can also rotate their toys regularly to keep them engaged.

Medical Issues:

Medical issues such as allergies, infections, or parasites can cause itchiness or discomfort, prompting cats to groom excessively. If you suspect that your cat’s fur mowing is due to a medical issue, it’s important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Your vet may prescribe medication or recommend a special diet to help alleviate your cat’s symptoms.

Behavior Modification:

One way to discourage your cat from eating their fur is to provide them with alternative outlets for their grooming behavior. This can include providing them with toys to play with, grooming them with a brush or comb, or providing them with cat grass or other plants to chew on. Additionally, using deterrent sprays that taste bad can help discourage your cat from biting their fur. You can also try distracting your cat with play or treats when you notice them grooming excessively.

Providing Alternative Outlets for Grooming

This can be a sign of stress, anxiety, or boredom and can be detrimental to their health. Fortunately, providing alternative outlets for grooming can help prevent this behavior and promote healthy habits in your cat.

Interactive toys are a fantastic way to keep your cat mentally stimulated and occupied for long periods. Puzzle feeders or toys with hidden treats not only provide mental stimulation but also encourage your cat to stay active and engaged. It’s a win-win situation as it reduces the need for excessive grooming and keeps your cat entertained.

Scratching posts are another excellent alternative outlet for grooming. Cats love to scratch and groom their claws, and scratching posts provide them with a safe and healthy place to do so. Not only does this help prevent excessive grooming behavior, but it also helps keep their hair intact.

However, providing alternative outlets for grooming is just one piece of the puzzle. A nutritious diet can also play a significant role in preventing excessive grooming behavior. A well-balanced diet can help prevent skin irritation and other health issues that may cause excessive grooming. Regular exercise is also essential as it reduces stress and anxiety in cats, leading to less grooming behavior.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Cats

Excessive grooming, which can lead to hairballs and other health issues, is one common symptom. However, if your cat starts eating her own hair, this could be a sign of wool-sucking or pica due to stress or anxiety.

To help alleviate your cat’s discomfort, it’s crucial to identify the root cause of their stress or anxiety. Common triggers include changes in the environment, such as moving to a new home or the addition of a new pet. Illness, injury, or pain can also cause stress and anxiety in cats.

Here are some effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety in cats:

Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Cats need a designated space where they can retreat when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your cat can help reduce stress levels. Ensure they have plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them entertained.

Use Pheromone Therapy

Pheromones are natural chemicals that cats produce to communicate with each other. Synthetic versions of these chemicals can be used to help calm cats and reduce their anxiety. Products like Feliway diffusers or sprays can be highly effective in reducing stress-related behaviors such as wool-sucking.

Incorporate Regular Play and Exercise

Regular play and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety in cats. Interactive toys such as feather wands or laser pointers provide mental stimulation and keep your cat engaged.

Consult with a Veterinarian

If your cat’s wool-sucking behavior persists despite these measures, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian. They may recommend additional behavior modification techniques or medication to address the underlying stress or anxiety causing the behavior.

Addressing Allergies and Parasites as Possible Causes

Allergies and parasites are two of the most common culprits behind this peculiar behavior in cats. However, take heart, as addressing these issues is a straightforward process that can help your cat feel more comfortable in no time.

To begin with, let’s explore allergies. Allergies can arise due to multiple factors, including food, environmental irritants, and fleas. If you suspect your cat is allergic to something in their environment, it’s imperative to identify the allergen and eliminate it from their surroundings. This may involve changing their diet or using air purifiers to reduce airborne allergens. Flea prevention is also crucial since flea bites can lead to allergic reactions.

Moving on to parasites, mites and lice can cause itching and discomfort for cats, leading to excessive grooming and hair-eating behavior. To prevent parasite infestations, regular vet check-ups and flea prevention treatments are essential.

If you suspect that your cat’s hair-eating behavior is due to allergies or parasites, it’s vital to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform tests to identify the underlying cause and suggest appropriate treatment options. In some cases, medication may be necessary to reduce itching and inflammation, allowing your cat to stop excessive grooming and hair-eating behavior.

In summary, addressing allergies and parasites as possible causes of your cat’s excessive grooming and hair-eating behavior is a simple process that can significantly improve your feline friend’s quality of life. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Identify the allergen causing discomfort and eliminate it from your cat’s environment.
  • Flea prevention is essential since flea bites can lead to allergic reactions.
  • Regular vet check-ups and flea prevention treatments help prevent parasite infestations.
  • Consult a veterinarian if you suspect allergies or parasites are causing your cat’s behavior.
  • Appropriate treatment options, including medication, can alleviate itching and inflammation.

Toys to Help Distract a Cat from Eating Its Fur

This behavior can be a sign of boredom or anxiety. But fear not, toys can be the perfect solution to distract them from this habit. Not only do toys keep your cat entertained, but they also provide mental stimulation and exercise. Here are some top picks to keep your furry friend occupied:

  • Interactive Toys: These toys require your cat to play and chase them, making them an excellent distraction from their fur. Puzzle feeders, in particular, can be a great way to keep your cat mentally stimulated and engaged.
  • Soft Plush Toys: For cats who enjoy cuddling and chewing on soft items, plush toys are the way to go. Look for toys specifically designed for cats that are easy to chew on and won’t damage their teeth.
  • Catnip: This natural herb can have a calming effect on cats and make them more playful and relaxed during playtime.

When selecting toys for your cat, consider their individual preferences and personality. Some cats may prefer toys that they can bat around and chase, while others may prefer toys they can snuggle with.

Grooming Your Cat Properly to Reduce Hair Loss

As grooming your cat properly can reduce hair loss and keep them healthy. Regular grooming sessions are essential to keep your cat’s coat clean and healthy.

Here are some tips on how to groom your cat like a pro:

  • Choose the right grooming tools: Tools like a slicker brush, a comb, and a shedding tool can help remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from your cat’s coat. The slicker brush is ideal for removing loose hair and tangles, while the comb is perfect for removing any remaining knots or mats in your cat’s coat. The shedding tool can be used to remove any excess fur during shedding seasons.
  • Be gentle and patient: Start by brushing your cat’s back and sides, then move onto their legs, chest, and belly. Avoid brushing too hard or pulling on any knots or mats as this can cause discomfort to your cat.
  • A healthy diet: A healthy diet can help reduce shedding and promote healthy skin and fur. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is getting the right nutrients for their specific needs.

Add supplements: Consider adding supplements that support healthy skin and coat to your cat’s diet.

Proper grooming techniques also provide an excellent opportunity to bond with your cat. Use this time to talk to them, pet them, and show them some love.

Providing Cat Grass or Other Plants to Chew On

This behavior can be problematic, but providing cat grass or other plants for them to chew on can help alleviate the issue. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all plants are safe for cats to consume, so ensure that you’re offering them safe options.

Cat grass, also known as wheatgrass, is a popular choice for indoor cats. It’s easy to grow and can be found at most pet stores. Catnip is another plant that can be offered to cats, but it should only be given in small amounts as it can act as a stimulant and cause hyperactivity in some cats.

While providing plants for your cat to chew on may not guarantee that they will stop eating their hair altogether, it can redirect their attention and provide a healthier alternative. It’s important to monitor your cat while they are consuming the plants to ensure they are not consuming too much and that they are not exhibiting any negative reactions.

In addition to providing cat grass or other plants, addressing the underlying cause of why your cat is eating their hair is crucial. This could be due to stress, boredom, or medical issues such as skin allergies. Consulting with your veterinarian can help identify any underlying issues and provide appropriate treatment options.

Using Medication When Necessary

When you notice that they’re grooming and eating their hair excessively, it can be concerning. While there are various ways to address this behavior, using medication should always be a last resort and done under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Medication can have potential side effects, and it may not be necessary for all cats. However, in severe cases where your cat is experiencing anxiety or compulsive behavior, medication may be necessary to manage the behavior. It’s important to understand some critical points before turning to medication.

Firstly, consult with your veterinarian, who is the best resource for determining whether medication is necessary for your cat’s hair-eating behavior. They can evaluate your cat’s individual needs and suggest a course of action that is safe and effective.

Secondly, there are different types of medication that may be prescribed for this behavior, such as anti-anxiety medication or anti-depressants. Your veterinarian will determine which type is best suited for your cat.

Thirdly, it’s crucial to combine medication with behavioral modification techniques like providing environmental enrichment, reducing stressors in the environment, and implementing positive reinforcement training. These techniques can help address the underlying cause of the behavior and reduce the need for medication over time.

Lastly, if your cat does require medication, it’s important to follow all instructions provided by your veterinarian and monitor them closely for any side effects or changes in behavior.


In conclusion, it’s crucial to address excessive hair ingestion in cats as it can lead to serious health issues like hairballs, digestive problems, and even intestinal blockages. Identifying the root cause of this behavior is key to preventing it from happening.

Stress, anxiety, boredom, medical issues like allergies and parasites are potential reasons why your cat might be eating their fur. To prevent this behavior, provide alternative outlets for grooming such as interactive toys and scratching posts. A well-balanced diet plays a significant role in preventing excessive grooming behavior. Regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety levels in cats.

Reducing stress and anxiety is another effective way to prevent excessive grooming behavior. Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your cat, using pheromone therapy, incorporating regular play and exercise, and consulting with a veterinarian are all ways to reduce stress levels.

Proper grooming tools such as slicker brushes, combs, shedding tools can help remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from your cat’s coat. Adding supplements that support healthy skin and coat to their diet can also help reduce shedding.

In severe cases where medication may be necessary to manage the behavior of hair-eating cats; however, it should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. Combining medication with behavioral modification techniques like providing environmental enrichment and implementing positive reinforcement training can help address the underlying cause of the behavior.