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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3921
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Why does our cat chew & lick our hair when we sleep at

Customer Question

Why does our cat chew & lick our hair when we sleep at night?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Tipper & he's 2 years old. We rescued him & 3 of his sisters when they were about 6 to 7 weeks old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about he 's?
Customer: Not really . he gets along well with the others, he eats well & loves attention & playing.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 11 months ago.

Hi! I'm CalCatDoc and I can help with your question.

And unlike the automated response you got a minute ago, I am actually a live human being typing here, and am a veterinarian.

Are you available to answer a few questions about Tipper to help me get started figuring this out?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 11 months ago.


Has he always done this?

How old was he when you got him?

Is he Siamese or part Siamese?

Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 11 months ago.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He's been doing this for about a year. He was about 6 - 8 weeks I think & he's a short haired tiger.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We rescued him & his three sisters when they were eating on their on outside our house.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sorry, they were eating on their own when we brought them into the house. We caught their mother with a 'Have A Heart cage' & took her to Animal Allies.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Are you still there?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm sorry, I have an appointment to make & I can't wait for your answer.
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 11 months ago.

Sorry, had to be AFK for a couple of minutes.

Does he lay there purring and drooling while is sucking on your hair? Or is he standing up and yanking at it and bopping your head?

This behavior can be either a retained kitten behavior that is displaced nursing activity, in which case you can gently discourage it, but it's not necessary a bad thing he has to stop. It can also be a type of play behavior that, especially if it happens at night, is not something you want him doing since it will likely get worse over time. You can be more firm in discouraging nighttime play behavior.

I've had a couple of cats that did this and I suspect both of them were weaned too young and hung onto the nursing behavior as form of self-comfort. And I currently have a former bottle baby who sucks/nurses on his own tail (with its long fur), though he does not chew the fur. I let him do it since it doesn't affect me directly.

You can respond when you get back and the system will (hopefully) alert me. If you have additional questions or need clarification, please let me know.