Cat tearing his own hair, how to avoid it?

Cats are caring animals that become the ideal companionship of many people, thanks to their hygienic habits and their independence, which allows us to believe that they have the capacity to take care of themselves by themselves with very few attentions.

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However, if there is something that all people who have a cat at home should understand from the outset, it is that they treat animals with habits, so at the first sign of changes in their behavior one needs to be aware of what triggered this behavior .

That is why in YourCatCareguide we are going to give you some advice on how to prevent your cat from starting your hair , in addition to the possible causes and what steps can be taken to end this situation.

You may also interest you: How to avoid hairballs in cats

Know Your Cat

Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to spend some time near a cat, the first thing you will have noticed is how careful they are with their personal hygiene , since in addition to sleeping, they invest a large part of their lives to sanitize themselves.

The cat is not only a clean animal by nature, but also the veterinarians agree that their personal hygiene is very important, because when the cat gets very sick or reaches old age, the impossibility of performing his cleaning routine as before and feeling of dirt can make you fall into depression.

However, it is important to distinguish between cleaning habits and behavior that denotes some problem in your pet, such as tearing your fur.

When the cat pulls its own fur it can notice in the strong tugs that it does while it is hygienized, which causes stains without hair, irritation in the zone and sometimes sores and redness in the skin.

That is why, faced with this behavior, the most important is to detect what situations cause your cat to react to the root problem. The reasons for a cat plucking fur are divided as follows:

  • Environmental factors
  • Food allergy
  • Parasites
  • Stress
  • Diseases

Environmental factors

Like people, it is possible that your cat is allergic to certain elements found in your environment. You may be affected by an allergy if you see yourself licking and plucking your hair constantly in an area because it causes itching.

Usually cats are allergic to elements present in the environment such as pollen from flowers and trees (so the malaise attacks it more in the summer and spring) and dust mites. An allergy caused by human products such as sprays, perfumes and other substances that are used near the animal should not be ruled out.

These environmental allergies are difficult to diagnose even through laboratory tests, so you should:

  • Avoid the use of aerosols, candles and derivatives near the animal.
  • Vacuum the house weekly to get rid of dust and dust mites.
  • Consult your veterinarian to prescribe the necessary medicines to relieve irritation and itching.
  • You distract your cat with games not to tear the hair out of the affected area.
  • In case of skin infection, wash the area twice daily with saline solution.

Food allergy

Some cats may develop allergies to food that gives it, or be allergic to some food in particular. This allergy can cause irritation to the skin , so to relieve the discomfort the cat licks the area and ends up pulling the hair.

There are no laboratory tests for this type of allergy, so you and your veterinarian should apply a diet to detect what food is causing the problem.

The substance in question can take about eight weeks to be completely expelled from the body of the cat. It may be enough to eliminate certain foods or change the brand of processed food, or a hypoallergenic diet may be necessary . Find out more about allergy in cats by consulting this other article.


The presence of external parasites , such as fleas and ticks , will cause the animal to itch, causing it to scratch, lick or start the hair to relieve the discomfort.

Why does this happen?

When the parasite sucks your cat’s blood, its saliva enters the feline’s body as a powerful allergen, causing the itching.

The presence of fleas is easily noticed, not only by the frequency with which the animal itches, but also by the rather remarkable size of the parasite, as well as the accumulation of black residues in the animal’s hair. They are extremely dangerous as they can cause feline anemia.

In view of the presence of fleas should:

  • Consult the veterinarian to recommend the necessary product, which should be applied to all animals of the house for prevention.
  • Acquire some environmental aerosol that kills eggs and fleas to spray at home as they are housed in furniture, cushions and rugs.


Cats are prone to suffer from stress when they undergo some change in their environmentand one of the ways they can demonstrate it may be to start tearing the hair.

When the cat licks its hair it releases endorphins, hormones that make it feel good, reason why it is usual that in situations that are stressful for him the frequency of the baths increases, causing areas without fur where the cat licks itself more frequently.

What can cause stress in the cat?

Usually when your pet owner or the person closest to you is on vacation, the arrival of another pet at home or a baby, another cat prowling, moving house, changes in routines and sometimes even the site changes of certain objects in home.

If it is just a vacation, the cat will improve when its owner returns. Before new pets or babies, it is necessary to give the cat his space in the house and give him many pampering, to understand that he has not been replaced by the new member of the family.

The boredom can also make the cat at the start, so it should play with him and entertain him. If you are often away from home during the day, leave toys and scrapers for your cat if you can entertain yourself.


Your cat can demonstrate that you have some disease through the action of plucking the hair. The ringworm , a fungal infection, is one of these possible diseases because it causes burning and itchy skin.

In addition, some internal disease, such as kidney stones or urinary infections , also causes the cat to pull out the hair to eliminate the pain. This behavior can also be observed with hormonal or immune system problems , so it is necessary to consult a veterinarian.

Latest advice

  • Never assume that your cat plucks off fur at whim, as there is always a reason behind this behavior.
  • Before any unusual behavior, consult your veterinarian to help you in the search for possible symptoms that help determine the root of the problem.
  • When bringing a new pet home , introduce them calmly, you can put the new pet in a transport box and place it near your cat to sniff it and become familiar with its scent, or rub the newly arrived animal in a blanket that belongs to your cat. The process of adaptation is not simple for some felines, but with patience you will succeed. If you quarrel, avoid leaving them alone until you are sure they will not hurt you.
  • Play with your cat . Never interrupt your sleep cycles, but enjoy the hours of the day that you spend awake to have fun for a few minutes. This will relieve your stress.
  • Check with your veterinarian about the possibility of putting pheromone diffusers in your home as they calm the felines.
  • When you notice that your cat is hygienic without being hurt, offer him rewards and praise to associate this with a desired behavior.
  • If you see that it pulls your hair and it hurts, stop it immediately and distract it .
  • During the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian, you may have to wear an Elizabethan collar to make it difficult for you to access the areas affected by your licking. Notice how you feel about this new object because if becoming uncomfortable will only increase your stress levels.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to see more wikizers similar to Gato pulling off his own hair, how to avoid it? , we recommend that you enter our section on Other health problems .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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