Does your cat lick your hair after a shower or nuzzle your hair every chance they get?
Then you might be wondering what this funny cat habit means and why your feline is so obsessed with you.
All you have to do is keep reading, and you’ll find 6 unbelievable reasons why your cat kneads your hair.
6 Reasons Why Your Cat Licks Your Hair
Grooming has a lot of meanings in your cat’s world. It’s not only about keeping one’s fur clean, but it also makes your cat feel better when they’re emotionally stressed or lonely.
One of my tuxedo cats, Milla, loves to lick, nuzzle, and knead my hair whenever possible. She also tends to purr a lot while she is turning my hair into a sparrow’s nest.
So, I’ve got several pretty good guesses why your cat might be kneading your hair or biting your head when you’re trying to sleep.
But if you’re worried about your cat’s behavior and your gut is telling you that something is wrong, you should speak to your vet.
#1 I Love You
Have you ever seen a cat grooming someone they don’t like? You’re unlikely to witness such an event because grooming is reversed for people/animals cats get along with and family members.
It’s a common sign of affection, and cats often mutually groom one another to express how they feel. It’s not only about grooming hard-to-reach places.
So, your cat might be licking your hair because they love and trust you. Some felines might also groom you to show that you’re their favorite person.
For cats, proper grooming time is when the other person/animal is lying down. So, you shouldn’t wonder why your cat bites your hair while you’re sleeping.
They’re just expressing their appreciation and love and won’t understand why you’re so upset.
Related: why does my cat sleep at my feet
#2 You’re Dirty
Besides affection, your cat might be licking your hair because they’re trying to get you clean. After all, cats are neat freaks and like to keep their silky fur in pristine condition.
Since they love you so much, they might decide that you aren’t taking good care of your “fur” and help.
For example, you might have something stuck in the hair – debris, dirt, a rubber band.
From your cat’s point of view, they’re doing you a favor by washing your hair. Of course, you won’t get much cleaner, but it’s the gesture that counts.
Unfortunately, some cats aren’t very gentle when it comes to grooming since human hair has a different texture than cat fur. That’s why your cat might pull your hair or bite it while grooming.
#3 You Remind Me of Mother
When Milla licks my hair, she always kneads and purrs as loud as possible. She is over a year old, but she still seems to be looking for a place to nurse when she does that.
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So, if your cat does the same, they might be acting as kittens who miss their mother. They see you as a surrogate, and licking/kneading your hair brings back happy moments of their mother and siblings.
Usually, kittens who have been separated early display such behavior, but not always.
Milla remained with her mother for about four months, so she had plenty of time to nurse and grow out of this behavior.
For me, some kittens are “mama’s girls and boys,” and when their mother isn’t around, they attach to a replacement.
Since your hair is the only “furry” spot on your body, that such kittens are likely to lick and nuzzle your hair.
#4 I’m Marking You
Do you know why your cats like to rub against your legs and face? It’s not merely because they love you.
They have special glands in the cheeks that allow them to mark objects and people and warn other intruders to stay away.
Besides rubbing and urine marking, some cats also lick their owners to mark them as part of the family. It’s a form of affection that also serves as a warning to other cats.
So, if you’ve brought a new cat home, your old cat might start licking your hair or face because they’re jealous of the intruder. Your cat can become quite possessive if you don’t reassure them of their place.
#5 I’m Stressed
People do strange things when they’re stressed. Some bite nails, others munch on their hair. So, it’s not that strange that cats might lick your hair to relieve stress and anxiety.
The repetitive motions calm them and remind them of happy kittenhood memories.
I would say that any sudden hair licking is probably due to changes around the house that are making your cat nervous.
The same goes if your cat is suddenly obsessed with you and won’t leave you alone.
So, you should find what’s making your cat anxious and work with your vet to fix it.
#6 You Taste Good
Last, your cat might be licking and biting your hair because they like the taste. You might be using hair products that appeal to your feline’s taste buds.
While some cats are capricious, some are known to eat fruits and vegetables.
However, if your cat has a penchant for swallowing non-food items, such as your hair, you might be dealing with pica.
It might be due to improper nutrition, disease, or compulsive disorder.
Is It Okay For My Cat to Lick My Hair?
Since you already know why your cat nuzzles your hair, you might be wondering if it’s ok for your cat to lick your head. You might also want to know how to stop it.
In general, it’s not harmful to your cat to lick your hair. It’s unlikely that they’ll swallow enough to cause problems, and their stomachs are made to digest fur.
However, the same can’t be said for you. As you know it, cats have rough tongues to remove debris and loose fur from their coat.
So, excessive licking is likely to irritate your scalp skin and might lead to bald patches.
Moreover, your cat’s saliva is full of bacteria, even if they’re indoor cats and vaccinated.
Not to mention that cats lick their privates and eat other nasty things.
Fortunately, you can get your cat to stop licking your hair:
- Get up and leave when your cat starts licking.
- Cover your head with the blanket.
- Distract your cat with a toy or a treat.
- Consider a repulsive spray.
While some people are ok with kissing their cats or letting the cat lick them, it’s not always safe or hygienic.
So, stop any hair licking the moment it begins if you’re not okay with it.
However, don’t punish your cat for grooming you. Your feline is trying to express their feelings, and if you’re too harsh, you might offend your pet or make them feel unloved.
What do you think about these six reasons why your cat licks your hair? Does your cat do it? Share your experience in the comment section.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.