Why does my cat tear his hair


During the fall and winter seasons it is common for your cat to lose hair. The natural instinct of felines, associated with their daily grooming, further increases the chances of hair loss and ingestion, especially in long-haired breeds.


The worrying factors develop when your cat loses excess hair, causing excessive grooming, which causes baldness mainly on its belly, sides, hind legs, ears, along the back and also on the tail. The most common cause of this behavior is due to the itching, and the need to relieve it by licking.

If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, you should go to the veterinarian to rule out the presence of parasites, hormonal alterations, allergies, or even behaviors related to anxiety or stress. Blood tests and skin samples will help the veterinarian to rule out certain pathologies and determine the possible causes.

External agents, such as fleas, are one of the main reasons to consider. In cats, unlike dogs, the visibility of fleas by owners is lower, since felines tend to ingest them. Hence the need for the veterinarian to explore your cat in depth, and determine if the presence of fleas is the root of the problem he is suffering.

Allergies, whether of a food nature or due to environmental conditions (such as dust or mites), is the second cause of hair loss in cats. The insistent licking of your cat, in response to the discomfort caused by the allergy, can cause that, in addition to baldness, you detect dandruff or wounds on your skin. In these cases, the veterinarian will recommend an appropriate treatment to alleviate the situation (medication), as well as a specific dry diet (hypoallergenic food) to reduce symptoms.

If the veterinarian has already ruled out the pathological factors, he will be inclined to behavioral issues, which can also explain why your cat loses or tears its hair. In this scenario, you should contemplate stress and anxiety as some of the main reasons that justify the obsessive licking of your cat, and know the consequences that this produces on its fur and skin.

Cats are extremely susceptible to changes. Any alteration in your routine, or the presence of someone new in your environment, are elements that can distort your well-being, and cause an obsessive level of grooming that affects your coat. If this is your case, it is advisable to contact a veterinarian specialized in animal behavior (ethologist) so that he can guide you on the guidelines to follow.

Why do you tear your hair?

There are many causes for which a cat can start plucking hair strands, which are the following:

  • Food allergies: The itching caused by the allergy can be so intense that the animal gets hurt in that way.
  • External parasites: If you have fleas, ticks or mites, or a parasitic infection such as scabies, it may be the case that the cat runs out of hair in some areas of his body.
  • Physical diseases: If you have a kidney problem, it could also be that you ripped your hair trying to find the source of your pain.
  • Stress: If you live in a bad environment or if you have recently adopted it, you can react by tearing off your hair.

When do we have to worry?

The cat is very clean. It is groomed many times throughout the day. During the summer it is normal to lose a lot of hair, since it is a time of change. But nevertheless, when the feline plucks large amounts of its fur and if it looks very nervous and restless we will have to take it to the vet to examine it.

What to do to help you?

In the veterinary clinic they will analyze skin samples and they are going to perform a blood test. With this, the professional can know what is the cause of the cat's behavior and can give us a solution. Thus, if for example it is due to a food allergy, we will suggest giving you a hypoallergenic diet, if it is from external parasites, you will be given an antiparasitic treatment, if it turns out that you have a disease such as kidney stones, you will be given specific medications, and if What you have is stress, we can help you with these tips.

Know your cat

Anyone who has had the opportunity to spend some time near a cat, the first thing they will have noticed is how careful they are with their personal hygieneWell, in addition to sleeping, they invest much of their lives in grooming.

The cat is not only a clean animal by nature, but also veterinarians agree that their personal hygiene is so important that, when the cat becomes seriously ill or reaches old age, the inability to perform his bathing routine as before and The feeling of dirt are able to make him fall into depression.

However, it is important distinguish between cleaning habits and behavior that denotes a problem in your animal, as it is to tear off your hair.

When the cat rips its hair you can notice it in the strong pulls that it takes while bathing, which cause hairs, irritation in the area and sometimes wounds and redness in the skin.

That is why before this behavior the most important thing is to detect what situations generate that reaction in your cat, so that you can attack the root problem. The reasons for a cat to tease her hair They 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 that are in your environment. You may be affected by an allergy if you lick and tear your hair constantly in an area, it itches.

Cats are usually allergic to elements present in the environment such as pollen from flowers and trees (so discomfort loa attacks more in summer and spring) and dust mites. An allergy caused by human products, such as aerosols, 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 mites.
  • Go to the veterinarian to prescribe necessary medications that relieve irritation and itching.
  • Distract your cat with games so he does not try to tear his hair from the affected area.
  • In case of skin infection, wash the area twice a day with saline solution.

Food allergy

Some cats may develop allergies to the food they are given, or be allergic to a specific food. This allergy produces skin irritation, so that to relieve the discomfort the cat licks the area and ends up tearing 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 may take about eight weeks to be completely expelled from the cat's body. It may be enough to eliminate certain foods or change the brand of processed food, or it may be necessary to design a cat for your hypoallergenic dietFind out more about cat allergy by browsing Animal Expert.

The presence of external parasites, such as fleas and ticksIt will cause the animal to itch, causing it to scratch, lick or tear its hair if necessary to relieve discomfort.

Why does this happen?

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

The presence of fleas is easy to notice, not only because of the frequency with which the animal scratches itself or because of the considerable size of the parasite (not to mention ticks), but also because of the accumulation of black residues in the fur of the animal They are extremely dangerous, as they can cause feline anemia.

In the presence of fleas you should:

  • Go to a veterinarian to recommend the necessary product, which you must apply to all animals in the house for prevention.
  • Acquire an environmental spray that kills eggs and fleas to spray it in the house, as they are housed in furniture, cushions and carpets.

Cats are prone to stress when faced with some change in your environment, and one of the ways to prove it can be to start tearing off your hair.

When the cat licks its coat, it releases endorphins, hormones that make it feel comfortable and good, so it is common that in situations that are stressful the frequency of baths increases, causing bare areas where the cat licks more assiduously ,

What things can generate stress in the cat?

Usually, that your master or the person you are most emotionally linked to is on vacation, the arrival of another pet in the house or a baby, some other cat loitering around, moving, routine changes and in occasions until changes of place of certain objects inside the home.

If it's just a vacation, the cat will improve as soon as his master returns. In front of new pets or babies, it is necessary to give the cat its space in the house and fill it with pampering, so that it understands that it has not been relegated by the new family member.

He boredom It can also cause your cat to look distracted by tearing off his hair, so you should try to play with him and entertain him. If you usually spend a lot of time away from home during the day, leave toys and scrapers so that your pussy can entertain itself.


Your cat can show that he has a disease caused by a disease through the action of tearing his hair. The tub, fungal infection, is one of these possible diseases, as it causes burning and itching of the skin.

Also, some internal ailment, such as kidney stones or urinary infections, they make the cat tear the hair to try to eliminate the pain. This behavior can also be observed when faced with problems. hormonal or immune system, so it is necessary to consult with a veterinarian

Last tips

  • Never assume that your cat plucks her hair on a whim, because there is always a reason behind this behavior.
  • For any unusual behavior, go to your veterinarian to guide you in the search for possible symptoms that help determine the root of the problem.
  • When bringing a new animal home, introduce them calmly: you can put the new pet in a kennel and put it near your cat so that it sniffs and becomes familiar with its smell, or rubbing the newly arrived animal with a blanket that belongs to your cat. The adaptation process is not easy for some cats, but with patience you will achieve it. If they fight, avoid leaving them alone until you're sure they won't hurt themselves.
  • Play with your cat. Never interrupt your sleep cycles, but take advantage of the hours of the day you spend awake to have fun for a few minutes. This will relieve your stress.
  • Ask your veterinarian about the possibility of placing pheromone diffusers in your home, because they calm the felines.
  • When you notice that your cat cleanses without hurting itself, offer prizes and praise to associate this with a desired behavior.
  • If you notice that the coat is pulled and damaged, stop it immediately and distribute it.
  • During the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian (if any), you may need to place the cat an Elizabethan necklace to make it difficult for you to access the areas affected by your licks. Observe how you feel with this new object, because if it bothers you, you will only increase stress levels.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Prevent my cat from tearing her hair, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.