My Cat Loves Hair
June 8, 2007 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Why does my cat love hair?

My cat loves to rub against hair (esp women). Lately he has taken to sleeping in my daughters bed - on her pillow, right next to her head. She's 4 and doesn't understand how to just push him away. I guess it doesn't seem dangerous or anything but what is the deal? He is somewhat needy and I don't like him in my room at night because he always climbs around and makes all kinds of noise.
posted by arh07 to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Because it smells good? Kitty probably likes the smell of their shampoo.
posted by Osmanthus at 8:07 PM on June 8, 2007

I've had way too many cats over the years, each of them closer to separate individuals in the household. The person they're close to is the person who gets the kneading, rubbing, and chewing behaviors. If the cat is just rubbing against her hair, it shouldn't be a problem. I would tell her it's a sign of affection, closeness, and/or bonding. She may occasionally feel a tooth nudge her if the cat rubs hard enough.
If the cat is chewing excessively on her hair, I'd separate the two for awhile. The chewing can lead to damaged hair, of course.
posted by ick at 8:22 PM on June 8, 2007

My cat loves to chew my hair, which is pretty gross and annoying. I've determined that he finds it almost irresistable when it's wet (I think he is sucking the tasty water out), with interest decreasing rapidly the dirtier my hair is. My guess is that your daughter's head smells wonderful, and he is just huffing the fumes of shampoo, detangler, or whatever other product goodness she uses.
posted by gatorae at 9:58 PM on June 8, 2007

When one of my cats was a kitten, she delighted in sitting on the end of the couch and chewing the hair of whoever was laying there at the time.

She grew out of it after a while.
posted by jjb at 10:16 PM on June 8, 2007

My older cats like to lick hair (I assume they do it as a grooming/affection thing)... My kitten likes to paw at, and chew, hair (I think it's just a playful gesture)... If your daughter isn't bothered by it, let the cat continue to sleep in her room... But, if she IS bothered by it, keep the cat away during bedtime... You daughter's comfort is more important.
posted by amyms at 10:35 PM on June 8, 2007

How odd...then again, there's no accounting for cats, which is why I love threads like these.
All cats I have known well enough for them to get that close to me did try to groom my hair (which is longish) and then reacted in much the same way anyone would on finding a hair in their mouths. They would maybe try again once or twice, but after that no more.
posted by ponystyle at 1:28 AM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

I used to have a cat that loved to get on the pillow while I was sleeping and knead my hair. On several occasions I woke to find him completely entangled - unwrapping a cat from your hair at 4 a.m. is not a fun process. After that he slept downstairs. Something to think about if you're daughter's hair is long, not dangerous, but possibly frightening for her.
posted by poissonrouge at 1:50 AM on June 9, 2007

She just sits up in bed and cries. He obviously doesn't get it because he goes right back up there. The shampoo thing makes sense and I have often found him sniffing out the tub. I feel bad because he is really nice.
posted by arh07 at 3:21 AM on June 9, 2007

Can you close the door and keep them apart? Or would a closed door distress your daughter?
posted by DarlingBri at 5:11 AM on June 9, 2007

My cat likes my boyfriend's hair, but not mine. I think it has to do with the length because I can't imagine my boyfriend's shampoo smells more delicious than mine. No, I'm not jealous.
posted by bluenausea at 6:12 AM on June 9, 2007

I started closing the door. I think it should be closed anyway. Usually she gets up to go to the bathroom and he sneaks in.
posted by arh07 at 7:49 AM on June 9, 2007

My cat loves to roll in the dog's hair after I've brushed it out and put it in a pile. It's incredibly gross. I mean, the cat lays in the hair which was shedding and I've brushed off. The cat doesn't really like the dogs either, but will happily roll around in the dog hair. Cats are bizarre!
posted by aliksd at 8:28 AM on June 9, 2007

My cat loves hair. I wouldn't really care that much, but she loves to swallow it, too. I am constantly pulling soon-to-be-ingested chunks of hair (still connected to my head) out of her mouth. Since I shed constantly (and, oddly enough, as a semi-hairless cat, she doesn't shed at all), she always has a strand or two of my hair hanging out of her mouth. This wouldn't bother me so much, except it causes disgusting digestive troubles for her on the other end. Ew.
posted by necessitas at 9:43 AM on June 9, 2007

I can't explain why she did it, but my cat was a hair chewer, too, once upon a time. The only thing that saved my blow-out was switching to a shampoo that has a strong citrus smell for a time. My cat couldn't stand the smell, and didn't resume chewing even when I switched back.
posted by non sum qualis eram at 4:11 PM on June 9, 2007

All three of our cats do this to some extent. One will knead my hair while I'm laying down and then sleep in it once it's arranged to her liking. The other will chew on it and play with it. And the third likes to sort of perch of my shoulder and knead and nuzzle until he's entangled in it. Then he purrs and drools. The drool is actually a little gross, but I haven't really worked out a solution yet since I don't have the heart to make him stop. It's really the only time he's affectionate and I feel like it's sort of a bonding thing between us.
posted by curie at 6:35 PM on June 9, 2007

My oldest cat loves to play "hairdresser" when my hair has been freshly washed and up until the next day. I'm pretty sure she loves the smell of the various shampoo and conditioners (since I use several different brands).

She will come up behind me on the couch, or on my pillow when I am propped up in bed and will stroke my hair gently with her trimmed claws as if combing it. Sometimes, I will hear her sniffing and breathing the scent deeply and then she will sometimes "bonk" my head with hers because she is so happy. So yeah, lots of cats have a "hair fetish", especially for freshly-washed hair...
posted by Jade Dragon at 11:43 PM on June 10, 2007 [2 favorites]

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