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Why Do Cats Like to Scratch Themselves?



why cats scratch themselves

You may be surprised to learn that there are not one or two, but multiple reasons why your cat may be found scratching itself. These include a grooming perspective and a serious issue of fleas or parasites in its fur causing an itch. Here are some of the reasons why cats scratch themselves.

  • Cats like to keep their nails trim and clean and scratching helps in this
  • Cats may be trying to leave a scent around them as a signal of assigning a territory to themselves
  • It could be that the cat is simply bored and is whiling its time away by scratching
  • Sometimes out of sheer joy and cheer, cats may be scratching themselves
  • The cat may be feeling an itch caused by a flea and scratching due to that 

When Should You Get Worried?

If you own a cat and are concerned your cat is into scratching itself often, you would want to know if you should do something about it. The first sign that could cause concern is if you find that your cat’s fur is disappearing or thinning out in patches along its body. The compulsive scratching may be happening before you or even behind you. That’s when you should take some action to avoid any medical issues with the animal. Data shows that this tendency to scratch themselves is found more in Siamese cats and that too in the female cats, for reasons unknown.

The External Reasons Leading to Cats Scratching Themselves

As indicated, fleas and parasites can be one of the reasons the cats are scratching their body vigorously. It will be part scratching and part licking. Ticks, ringworms, and mites can also cause the itch to cats. Some of the other reasons can be 

  • Allergy: Cats can be allergic to some conditions in their environment. Something they consumed or came in contact with can be the cause of the irritant skin
  • Cat’s Skin Being Dry: If the cat develops a dry skin due to the weather conditions or lack of adequate hydration, the itching and scratching can result, in that order
  • Discomfort or Pain: Experts suggest that if you notice a cat licking a particular spot on its body repeatedly, the animal may be experiencing some discomfort or pain in that area   

What Can You Do to Eliminate the Undesirable Causes?

There are products available to control fleas and treating mites. You should be able to find these in the pet supplies stores or with the veterinary office. A few weeks later, you could check to see if using any of these products has reduced the scratching in your cat.

You can try and alter the food you are serving your cat and look at adding supplements that can aid in removing the dry skin condition. Your vet may be able to offer some useful suggestions.

You can also check with the vet if any medications can help with eliminating the habit among cats to scratch themselves. 

The other way to address the issue of your cat getting bored is to spend more time with it and engage in some play so that it is not distracted to return to scratching.

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