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Cats eating human hair?

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Fri May 9, '08 7:53am PST 
Recently, Harvey's habit of eating my hair to get my attention (usually because he wants junk food) is getting worse. Usually he puts his front paws on my shoulders and starts ripping the hair on my scalp out by the roots, but recently he's discovered that when I am lying down, asleep, my head is even more accessible, and you haven't lived until you've been woken up at 3 am by a 15 pound Maine Coon ripping out your hair.

Actually, my question is not so much regarding the behavior (who knows what's going on in Harvey's mind? Probably not even Harvey), but the health issues involved. I have long hair, and even when my kitties aren't actively chomping down on it, they often ingest hairs that have fallen to the floor (yeah, I should vacuum more often, but people shed, too). I know that they are ingesting my hair because sometimes their stools come out connected to each other like beads on a string because they are all connected to one of my hairs. This is all very amusing, but I'm wondering if it could be harmful to them, the way string is. Granted, I've had long hair, cats, and the above problem for well over 20 years, and no one has gotten sick over it, but I'm just wondering if this could pose a serious health concern. If so, I'd better start vacuuming more.
shrug
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Dulci (In- Loving- Memory - you

Kitty's final- rest in a grove- of trees
 
 
Purred: Fri May 9, '08 7:56am PST 
Yeah, it can be harmful.
1) hair is actually kinda "sharp" in it's own way, and very strong. if, as it works its way through the intestins, it gets stuck, one end could literally cut into his intestine when being pulled by the other end.

2) i've seen poop sticking to the butt, haning by the hair connected to other poop still inside. that can't be healthy.

Harvey, HAIR IS NOT FOOD !!!... silly rabbit.
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Fri May 9, '08 8:32am PST 
Yeah, I've seen that too. That's one reason I find the occasional, random poop somewhere on the floor--it got stuck to the cat because the hair was still inside the intestine, and finally just fell off onto the floor. Oh, the joy of cats!!! cloud 9
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