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China is ripping out and eating my hair!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
This started about 2 days ago. China has never been "mine" she's always been a daddys girl. So imagine my suprise when she started licking my hair. Next thing I know, she's yanking my hair out and trying to eat it. Now everytime I see her, she's trying to get to my hair. I know the term is "pica". I'll be picking up some vitamins from the vet tomorrow but, in the meantime, what could be her reason for chawing on my hair? (And I haven't change shampoo so I know it's not cause I smell good. LOL)
post #2 of 11
One of our cats does this to us, and I've always seen it as a sign of affection. Our cats are brother and sister, and when they're feeling friendly sometimes they'll lay on the couch and groom each other. This usually involves licking each others' heads, insides of ears, etc... places a cat might find difficult to groom themselves. It sometimes involves biting as well, which I assume is to try to get out tangles in the fur, or maybe to relieve itches.

Anyway, when they try to eat our hair, it looks to be a similar action. I've always just taken it as a compliment. Hopefully that's true, and hopefully it's the same in your case!

ETA:
Does your cat try to eat other things as well (blankets, socks, etc), or just your hair?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just my hair, thankfully. I just find it odd she doesn't do it to her human Daddy. I get paranoid when her behaviour changes. We lost her fur-Daddy at a young age and I fear for her as she was walking a fine line between life and death for her first 10 weeks of life. (China's turning 2 years come July) So, with the history of her Dad and her Mom not being around anymore, I freak out. LOL

I don't think it's affection, though. She hardly notices me anyway and the way she rips (not tugs or licks) my hair is painfull. She has the "kid in a candy store" look when she does it.
post #4 of 11
Daphne is still a baby but she goes crazy over my hair if I let her. She will crawl up on my shoulder like she is going to sleep (which she does sometimes) and next thing I know I have a sever case of cat hair! She gets all tangled up inside it while biting my scalp.

I think she sees the back of my head as a big furry toy! OUCH! I gently remove her, tell her NO and place her on the floor. Its kinda cute now, but I know when she weighs 8lbs or more, it won't feel cute

Not sure if this applies to your situation since your girl is older. At least she isn't ignoring you any longer.
post #5 of 11
Ok I must say when I read the title I forgot you had a cat named China and you were talking about the country because of the recall

Karma does this too. She LOVES to eat my hair, it makes for interesting litter box cleanings. I tried all kinds of shampoo, nothing works. It has gotten to the point that she will actually hang from my hair and I can walk around with her just hanging there. She has superkitty strength.

For you this may just be her way of warming up to you. It was the first thing Karma did when we brought her home, she was a stray that we rescued. It alarmed me at first but after a few weeks of her just eating my hair she moved on to cleaning my whole head. Now it is a daily thing. She MUST clean me everyday or I will pay for it. For you and China it may just be that she does not know of any other way to show you she likes you. If it really bothers you direct her attention elsewhere, play with her or try just putting your hand in place of your hair and see wha she does. If she starts to lick your hand than you know its affection.

I don't know if any of this helps. Just look at it this way at least she is showing you some kind of attention.
post #6 of 11
Odo tries to pull out my hair when he really wants me to wake up and feed him. He literally pulls it, too. He takes some in his mouth and then uses his paws for leverage.

Willow is much more delicate. She licks my hair until she gets a single strand, and then she chews on it. She knows that this will wake me up, and then I can lift the covers for her so she can come under them and snuggle.

I think it's a training tool--they eat your hair, you give them what they want.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
I think it's a training tool--they eat your hair, you give them what they want.
LMFAO...I would think you would want to teach them that this is not the way to get what they want. But it is up to your hair and your scalp I suppose.

Chrissy, I understand about not being sure how to take it. I have a similar situation with the kneading/massaging. I know it means they are blissing out and lovin on me (if not marking me with their scent), but I really dont' like the claws and can only stand about 30 seconds of this. Even keeping them clipped doesn't keep them thick and rounded. They are always sharpening those things hehe.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
Odo tries to pull out my hair when he really wants me to wake up and feed him. He literally pulls it, too. He takes some in his mouth and then uses his paws for leverage.
That is exactly what Leopold does (for the same reason)!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekgrl View Post
LMFAO...I would think you would want to teach them that this is not the way to get what they want. But it is up to your hair and your scalp I suppose.
With Willow, I'm usually sleeping, so it's hard to train her not to do that when I'm not conscious enough to tell her no. Therefore, she gets her way. Odo, however, does not. He gets shoved off the bed (or occasionally kicked out of the room if I can wake up enough). I also refuse to get out of bed when he does that, so he really doesn't get what he wants. The problem is that he finds new ways to wake me, such as purring very loudly in my ear while kneading my hair. Again, hard to sleep through, but I'm usually not awake enough to do much beyond shoving him off the bed.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrissyR View Post
This started about 2 days ago. China has never been "mine" she's always been a daddys girl. So imagine my suprise when she started licking my hair. Next thing I know, she's yanking my hair out and trying to eat it. Now everytime I see her, she's trying to get to my hair. I know the term is "pica". I'll be picking up some vitamins from the vet tomorrow but, in the meantime, what could be her reason for chawing on my hair? (And I haven't change shampoo so I know it's not cause I smell good. LOL)
Ok first of all, like another poster I had to giggle because I thought this was regarding China and the recalls.

I had a tortie who occasionally 'groomed' my hair. I didnt' think of it as in the pica spectrum, though a vitamin wouldnt' necessarily hurt (you can check with your vet too).

And like other said, some cats just know what works to get you up and moving. My Roo plops RIGHT down on my BLADDER in the morning. He knows I have to get up then!!!

Frodo chews something, anything in the vicinity of my hearing because she knows that drives me mental.

Overall I take it as a sign of affection
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
LOL Didn't even dawn on me about the China connection. I busted laughing when I read that, Karmasmom!

Well, I picked up the FeliVite or whatever it's called. As I'm typing this, she's back to plucking my hair. I put my hand in the way and she slapped me to get me to move it. LOL She can be demanding when she wants to be. She didn't wash my hand, though. Smacked it, clawed it then bit my finger. She's now running around like a loon in a mood. It's annoying to no end but I can live with it. Like everyone said, at least she's showing me attention. Maybe I can "steal" her away to my side of things while Daddy is at work. LOL
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