Understanding Your Cat's Peculiar Behaviors: Hair Loss and Hair Licking

Understanding Your Cat's Peculiar Behaviors: Hair Loss and Hair Licking

Cats are creatures of comfort and mystery, often surprising their owners with behaviors that seem peculiar at first glance. Among these, hair loss and the odd habit of licking their owner's hair stand out as behaviors that can both intrigue and concern pet parents. This article aims to shed light on these topics, offering insights into the reasons behind them and providing guidance on when to seek veterinary care.

Why Is My Cat Losing Hair?

Hair loss in cats, medically known as alopecia, can occur for various reasons, ranging from benign to more serious health concerns. Understanding the root cause is key to addressing the issue effectively.

Common Causes of Hair Loss in Cats

  • Allergies: Similar to humans, cats can suffer from allergies to food, environmental triggers, or flea bites, leading to hair loss.
  • Stress: High stress levels can lead to over-grooming, a behavior where cats lick themselves excessively, resulting in hair loss.
  • Parasites: Fleas, mites, and lice can cause itching and scratching, leading to hair thinning or bald patches.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Conditions like hyperthyroidism can disrupt your cat's coat health, leading to hair loss.
  • Skin Infections: Fungal or bacterial infections can make your cat's hair fall out, often accompanied by other symptoms like redness or odor.

When to See a Vet

If your cat's hair loss is accompanied by other symptoms like skin irritation, lethargy, or changes in appetite, it's crucial to consult a veterinarian. They can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

Why Does My Cat Lick My Hair?

While it might seem odd, cats licking their owner's hair is a behavior rooted in affection and grooming habits. Here are a few reasons why your feline friend might show such affection:

Social Bonding

Cats groom each other as a form of social bonding. Licking your hair could be your cat's way of including you in their "social circle," showing affection and trust.

Comfort and Security

For some cats, licking their owner's hair is a comforting behavior, reminiscent of the grooming they received from their mother as kittens. It's a way for them to feel secure and loved.

Taste and Smell

Sometimes, the products we use in our hair can attract our cats, leading them to lick our hair out of curiosity or because they enjoy the taste or smell.


Licking can also be a way for your cat to get your attention. If this behavior is followed by petting or play, they might learn to use it as a tool to engage you.

Managing Your Cat's Licking Behavior

While generally harmless, if your cat's hair licking becomes excessive or bothersome, try redirecting their attention with toys or engaging in play. Ensure they have plenty of their own toys and spaces to explore, keeping their mind stimulated and reducing the likelihood of such behaviors.


Both hair loss and licking behaviors in cats can stem from a variety of causes, from health issues to expressions of love and comfort. While understanding these behaviors can deepen the bond between you and your cat, it's important to monitor their health and consult a vet if you notice any concerning symptoms. Remember, every cat is unique, and what's normal for one may not be for another. By paying attention to your cat's habits and health, you can ensure they lead a happy, healthy life by your side.