When you get a new kitten you must be ready for the possibility of destruction. Until they mature and settle the chances are that your kitten will scratch, climb, and chew things they’re not supposed to but these are things that they eventually grow out of. Although, it’s not uncommon for your mature cat to develop these behaviors.
If your cat chews cords or even plastic bags, it may be a sign of something troublesome and you should make immediate efforts to prevent them from doing it in the future. Not only could you help your furry friend by identifying the reason behind why they chew cords, but you could also prevent serious repercussions such as electrical burns, electrocution, or choking.
Why does my Cat Chew Cords?
There are numerous reasons why cats chew cords. Like other young animals, as their teeth grow, younger cats will chew on objects to help relieve their discomfort. A cat may also attack a rogue cord believing it to be prey or a toy although this is short-lived when they realize it’s not one of their usual cat toys.
Also, young kittens and cats love to play, prowl, and chew, so it’s in their nature to want to sink their teeth into something. Although, excessive or obsessive chewing may be a sign of something a little more serious. Below we have listed some of the things you should take into account if you notice your cat chew cords inordinately.
As your cat gets older they will still have the urge to hunt and play. If they don’t have enough mental stimulation this can cause them to find alternate ways of entertaining themselves including chewing and scratching things they shouldn’t.
It is also worth noting that older cats that suffer from mobility issues are prone to boredom as it is in their nature to prowl and play vigorously, so when this is no longer an option they will also find other ways of eliminating boredom.
Stress is caused by a number of things including some things listed in this segment, such as dental issues and OCD. Others may include a change in living arrangements, loud noises, and other health-related factors. Fortunately, there are various ways to relieve stress for your cat including toys, diffusers, and supplements. The sooner you introduce something to combat stress the less likely your cat is to find electrical cords to chew.
Older cats are likely to develop a dental disease that will cause them to start chewing on cords. This is because the gnawing will temporarily relieve or dull any aches or pains that your cat may be feeling. Keeping your cat’s dental health in good condition is a way of preventing them from developing the urge to begin chewing on cords.
Excessive cord chewing is a telltale sign of OCD in cats. This disorder is uncommon, but it’s worth understanding that it is still possible for your cat to develop it. In addition to chewing behavior, they may over-groom themselves causing baldness, and even excessively lick or suck on items around the house.
Can my Cat Get Hurt if They Chew Cords?
If you’ve picked a playfight or two with your cat you will know how sharp their claws and teeth can be. So chewing through an electrical cord will be easy work for cats. When cats chew on electric cords they can cause themselves serious harm and even risk your home. If you notice damaged cords, or marks and indents, on your power cords, turn them off and remove them immediately.
Electrical cord/Burn Injuries
Not only can cats receive a painful and threatening electric shock after chewing on cords but they can also be severely burned. After finding and removing damaged wires or cords you should check your cats for the signs below:
- Burns on their mouth, lips, and tongue
- Constant coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Abnormal heart rate
- Slight blue color to gums and/or skin
Finding evidence of an electric cord bite injury will mean you will need to see a vet immediately as these symptoms could turn out to be fatal. Cats chewing electric cords can damage their nerves cells, tissues, blood cells, and lungs if they penetrate through to the wires.
How To Stop Cat from Chewing Wires
Now we have the bad news out of the way we can get to all of the ways you can stop your cat from putting themselves at risk. Luckily there are plenty of ways to stop cats from chewing on cords.
Tips To Stop Chewing Activity
Cover Electrical Cords
Cords are everywhere in every home so you may be wondering how to cat-proof wires. Firstly, you can neatly store cords inside PVC tubing or PVC pipes. You can also look at wrapping cords inside rubber covers, that can be found in a home supplies store, or anywhere else that will sell electrical supplies or home repair supplies. Some pet owners also use double-sided tape as a deterrent as cats hate surfaces or items that are sticky as the residue can leave paws and fur dirty and uncomfortable.
Spoil Them With Toys
Most cats will not bother chewing on rubber cords if they are occupied with other things that they can bite and bully. Sometimes it’s just a case of redirecting them. Shower them in toys that are more appealing and will keep your cat interested. Specifically, cat chew toys can be purchased as well as cat grass and teething balls for young cats struggling with discomfort or pain whilst new teeth are coming through.
Non-toxic deterrent spray
Did you know, in most pet stores, you can purchase a bitter apple spray to prevent your cat from chewing electrical cords. Cats dislike the bitter taste of the apple spray and will therefore avoid it in the future. In addition to this, you can use things from your home providing that they are non-toxic to your cat. For example, you can grab a spray bottle to dilute homemade citrus, hot sauce, or menthol scented remedies to use on cords that will make the taste of cords a lot less appealing to your cat.
Many cats chew or scratch due to anxiety or stress so it’s important that, if this is the cause, it is handled as delicately as possible. Introducing diffusers or removing the causes of stress can help your cat feel safe and calm which will reduce the chances of your cat chewing cords.
By maintaining your cat’s teeth and gums you can prevent them from giving the cords even an evil side-eye or second thought.
Check Your Cat’s Diet
As an added note, when cats chew cords, this could signal that their diet may not be fulfilling their needs. By adding digestible fiber you may be able to reduce or even stop them from chewing altogether.
Other Things To Consider To Stop Your Cat Chewing On Cords
Cats are born hunters, which means that dangling cords can fall prey to their instincts as they make every effort to bite and kill the threat. So make sure that these are either tucked away or concealed by wire covers to keep your cat safe from electrocution.