Why Do Cats Bite Their Fur — Understanding Your Pet’s Behavior

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Why do cats bite their fur?


Cats may bite their fur for a variety of reasons.

  • One common cause is skin allergies, which can lead to itchiness and discomfort that cats relieve by biting or licking the affected area.


  • Stress, boredom, separation anxiety, and even overgrooming are all possible triggers for this behavior.


  • Other medical conditions such as flea allergies, mites, and ringworm can cause cats to bite their fur.


  • Sometimes, a dietary issue may be the underlying problem, so it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis if your cat is exhibiting excessive grooming or biting behavior.


In addition to medical causes, cats may bite their fur as part of their regular grooming routine.


This behavior is widespread in long-haired cats, who groom more often to keep their fur clean and tangled-free.

Brushing your cat regularly can help reduce the amount of fur biting and help keep its coat looking its best.

Finally, it’s important to remember that cats are curious creatures and may bite their fur out of sheer boredom.

If your cat is left alone for long periods, it’s essential to provide them with interactive toys and playtime opportunities that can help keep them entertained and reduce the amount of fur biting.

Ultimately, if you notice your cat excessively biting or licking its fur, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian for a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

This can help ensure your cat stays healthy, happy, and free of fur-biting behavior.


Why Do Cats Bite Their Fur — Common Causes



Since your cat is so furry, you may forget that it also has skin under that coat — and that skin can be pretty sensitive. Cats can be allergic to all kinds of things — most commonly food, but also pollen, grass, mildew, fabrics, and cigarette smoke. 


Allergies often manifest themselves as itchy rashes in humans, and it’s no different with cats. Check your cat’s skin if you notice overgrooming, scratching, and biting fur. You’ll likely spot welts or little wounds, which indicate that something in the environment doesn’t sit well with your cat.



If you have an indoor-only cat, it’s unlikely to contract fleas. However, a cat free to roam the neighborhood or hang out with your dog can quickly become their target. 


These nasty bugs are a real nuisance both for you and your kitty. Most of the time, you’ll notice your cat excessively scratching and losing its coat. Some cats, however, can develop flea allergy, which causes their skin to become red, inflamed, and extremely itchy. Your cat will have no other recourse but to bite its fur in hopes of relieving the itch — but that only worsens things.


To ensure that fleas are the culprits for your cat’s fur biting, look for them in your cat’s coat. That works best if the coat is pale — but if it’s dark, check the cat’s droppings or bedding. You might see tiny red spots, which are telltale signs of fleas.


Nutritional Deficiency


While your cat might enjoy eating leftovers from your table, don’t let it have them too often. Cats need appropriate nutrients that human food doesn’t always have — but cat food does. Nutrient deficiency can cause skin irritation, itchiness, and coat loss. So naturally, your cat will try to solve this problem the only way it knows how — by incessant fur scratching and biting.



Mites, ringworms, lice — your kitty can become a target of any number of parasites. All of these can cause itchiness, hair loss, and fur biting. Unfortunately, it can be hard to spot them, so check your cat’s fur regularly for any changes.


Stress and Anxiety

Cats always seem calm and collected, so it’s hard to imagine they can suffer from anxiety. However, it’s more common than you think — cats are excellent at hiding weakness. Thus, you must pay attention to minor signs and changes in their behavior.


Overgrooming is one such sign. Cats use grooming to soothe themselves, so if it’s excessive, you can assume something is stressing them out. You’d be surprised to learn how sensitive cats are to their environment and that even the slightest change can cause them anxiety. So always be careful when you’re introducing your cat to something new — whether it’s a baby, another pet, or a visitor.


Joint Pain

Cats don’t only groom when they feel anxious or stressed — they also do that to soothe themselves when they’re in pain. And if your cat suffers from chronic pain, such as arthritis, it may engage in excessive grooming and fur biting. A telltale sign that joint pain is causing fur biting is hair loss around the affected area.



Who would have thought that an animal awake for less than eight hours a day could get bored? But cats most certainly can and do. When they lack mental and physical stimulation, cats may start exhibiting unpleasant behaviors such as tearing curtains, scratching furniture, and biting their fur.


This biting is usually accompanied by excessive licking and scratching — overgrooming, in other words. Overgrooming, in turn, causes skin irritation, leading to more of the same behavior. Thus, your cat enters a vicious cycle it can’t break alone.


Why Do Cats Bite Their Fur — Solutions


Now you know why cats bite their fur — the next step is to find out how to end this behavior. Of course, different causes will require other solutions, but we recommend taking your cat to a vet. They will precisely determine the cause of fur biting and advise you on what to do next.


In the meantime, here are some usual remedies for fur biting and overgrooming.


Minimize Exposure to Allergens

Just like you’d avoid peanuts if you were allergic to them, your cat should avoid environmental allergens. But, of course, the cat doesn’t know that — but you do, so it’s up to you to minimize its exposure. 


Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. It’s tough to establish what exactly is causing an allergic reaction in your cat. Tests are unreliable, so vets usually try to eliminate unlikely causes and zero in on the possible ones. Once you get a list of potential allergens, do your best to remove them from your cat’s environment.


Change Its Diet

If your cat is allergic to some food or suffering from nutritional deficiency, there is only one solution — change its diet. You can do this independently if you suspect you know the problem, but it’s always safer to consult a vet. You can plan a new, hypoallergenic diet for your cat. The results can take a while to become visible, so don’t give up if you see no change immediately.


Don’t Stress Your Cat Out

We’re not saying you should never have guests over or that babies and other pets are out of the question. Unfortunately, some stressors must remain, whether your cat likes them or not. However, try your best to minimize them as much as possible. That means you shouldn’t yell at your cat or punish it — it will only get anxious and probably won’t learn what you’re trying to teach it.


In addition, try not to change your cat’s routine unless necessary. Cats are creatures of habit; if you travel a lot and keep sending it to a friend or family member, it will get anxious. Of course, there are anxiety meds for cats that your vet can prescribe, but do what you can to avoid having to go that far.


Stimulate Your Kitty

You get pretty antsy when you get bored, too, don’t you? Well, imagine how it must be for your cat, who can’t correctly tell you it needs stimulation. Cats are little predators that need to hunt, run, and jump to feel fulfilled. We understand you want to keep your furry friend inside to protect it, but don’t forget — you’re not taking care of a fluffy toy.


So find ways to stimulate your cat even if it can’t go outside and hunt pigeons. There are so many cat toys out there that are sure to keep your cat entertained for hours. And if you don’t feel like spending that much money on your cat, no problem — it can easily play with any household items you’re willing to give it or even your hand!


Why Do Cats Bite Their Fur — To Conclude


Cats are y mysterious animals, so you have to make lotit of effort to understand them. For example, why cats bite their fur is a question many owners ask — and we hope we have shed some light on it. And next time your kitty starts biting its fur, don’t just ignore it. Believe us; your cat will eventually appreciate the trouble you go through for its well-being!


Our Cat Secrets Guide.

Just before you go, I hope I have answered the question you asked today, and I invite you to go and have a look at my Cat Care Guide. It is an absolute must for all cat owners, and you can get immediate access to it right now by clicking here.

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