Do you know how to stop your cat from chewing on wires? Cat that are compulsive chewers are every cat parent’s nightmare. We’ve probably encountered a torn and chewed wire or two, but if every electrical cord becomes a chew toy for your feline, finding a solution could become so stressful, one that could last weeks or months and worse, at the expense of hundreds of dollars.
If you want your power cords to remain safe again, the first thing you must do is determine any underlying issue that drives your cat to behave that way.
Why Your Cat Chews On Wires
Pica is a condition characterized by insufficient nutrients. Every cat needs to have their dietary requirements met everyday, so if your cat is fed with food that are lacking in nutrients that she needs, she will feel compelled to chew on things that might give her satisfaction. Leaves and electrical cords are only some of the most common things she will chew on to meet the daily nutritional requirements she feels she is lacking.
2. Environmental stress and boredom
Cats exhibit their stress in a number of ways. What you should remember is that, cats don’t like changes in their environment. They heavily rely on routine to go about with their daily lives, from eating habits to where they relieve themselves. Any major changes in their world could cause them to display signs of stress, in the form of chewing, especially on your everyday things. What are these major changes that could throw them off? Examples of these are relocation, house renovation, or even a new member in the family. Additionally, having nothing to do can send your cat doing the most unthinkable things.
Cats like to be stimulated and engage in physical and mental activities. Therefore, when you cat is bored, she will waste all those untapped energy by chewing, scratching, and even peeing in the most unwanted places. In other words, your house will be a mess.
3. Health problems
As cats age, certain health problems begin to show up in their bodies. Their joints, for example, will suffer from painful wear and tear due to old age, obesity and even previous injuries. Arthritis is a joint disease that affects cats. Unfortunately, cats with such health problem will have difficulty moving and playing around, affecting their mobility. Arthrosis is a worse form of arthritis, characterized by connective and bone tissue around their inflamed joints. Cats that have joint health issues will find things to reduce the stress and boredom, such as chewing.
4. Dental and mouth problems
Cats are predatory creatures that use their mouth all the time, whether it’s for hunting, grooming and of course eating. As cats grow every year, they begin to show signs of dental and mouth problems.
Cats with dental problems can find relief in chewing to ease the pain their experience. Some common dental problems cats have are bad breath, swollen and bleeding gums, loose teeth and tooth pain. Cats will suffer from drooling, stop eating, avoid dry food all together and avoid chewing on one side of their mouth where they have pain. Cats with dental issues will find oral stimulation and temporary relief in chewing power cords. Likewise, cats that have joint pain have the urge the gnaw, so they chew on things such as wires to distract themselves.
5. Obsessive compulsive disorder
Some cats just have a destructive habit of chewing, unfortunately. It’s a habit they just can’t break. As long as you have a power cords, you either have to hide it or find ways to make it unattractive enough for her not to chew on it. Beating up or yelling at your cat will not in any way solve the behavioral issue, it will only terrify your cat for awhile but trust and believe, she will get around it.
6. Oral sensations and exploratory phase
Just like plastic bags, cats like the oral sensations that come with chewing on electrical wires because it’s stimulating. Kittens, on the other hand, chew on objects as a way to explore and learn more about their environment.
How To Stop Your Cat From Chewing On Wires
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your cat from chewing on electrical wires. There’s not a single solution that will work on every situation. You should follow multiple pointers here to ensure that your power cords and electrical wires remain safe from your cat’s teeth.
1. Take your cat to the veterinarian
If your cat chews on electrical wires, chances are he has an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed. Health problems such as arthritis should be determined so an immediate treatment will be given. She may also be suffering from some dental disease where chewing provides relief. Lastly, she might have nutritional inadequacy which means, you should pay more attention to your cat’s dietary and nutritional needs.
Giving your cat the proper treatment is just one half of the battle, however. You should also take care of her physical activity levels and her environment so no electrical wires will be ruined by her compulsive chewing.
2. Clear your house of electrical wires and power cords
Your home may be cluttered with electrical wires and power cords which could be lying in some random places. Your cat could reach these places and chew on them without you knowing. What you should do is search your home for all those power cords as well as appliances and gadgets that are now dead on unusable. Throw them all away so your cat will not sink her teeth into them.
3. When not in use, store gadgets and appliances somewhere safe.
Some people like to keep their gadgets and appliances lying around even when they’re not using them. Their kitchen countertop, for example, are filled with things like food processsors, blenders, toasters, and other small appliances that have their cords coiled or hanging around.
Instead of keeping them on places that are easy for your cat to reach, store them inside your closets so your cat won’t chew on the wires. Only take them out when you need to use them. After you clean them, dry them somewhere out of reach of your cat so she won’t dare chew on the wires.
4. If you can’t help it, go wireless.
Fortunately in these modern times, not every appliance and gadget has to be plugged by a traditional power cord or electrical cord. If you can help it, go wireless. More and more appliances and gadgets are now available wireless so you don’t have to worry about storing, clumping and coiling those long, dangerous power cords and wires.
Phones, toaster, kettle and other home and cooking appliances are now wireless, so they are now controlled by a remote. This is good news if you have a cat that likes to chew on wires – there are fewer to no wires for you to worry about.
5. Keep some spaces blocked.
Of course, it’s not realistic to have every home wireless and cord-free. In case of some appliances and gadgets, you can block the gap or space where the cords are so your cat won’t squeeze herself just to reach them. Put the fridge close to the wall. Same thing with your television set, laptop, or desktop computers and other stuff. Make sure there’s no space for your cat or the space is too narrow even for her tiny, little paw for her to reach into.
6. Use LED wall lights and pot lights
If you’re into lamps, a good alternative would have to be LED wall lights and pot lights. You can do away with lamps because they have cords which your cat will feast on. LED wall lights and pot lights are just as beautiful and are not that expensive as well.
7. Use cord protectors.
A good product which you can buy from retail stores are *rubber duct cord covers* which protect your cords and electrical wires from wear, tear and all sorts of damage. They are made of rubber, and all you have to do slip in the cord or electrical wire inside so it will be concealed well even when it’s placed on the floor. They are made with trip-free surfaces and are available in different styles and length. You can cut them with a knife or scissors and tape it with a duct tape.
8. Use bitter apple spray
A bitter taste is a cat deterrent. Cats have taste receptors for bitter taste so if you spray an effective bitter apple taste on objects you don’t want them to lick, scratch or chew on, she’ll have a reaction and will definitely not want to touch it again.
There are bitter apple sprays available from available brands. Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray, Veterinarian’s Best Bitter Cherry Spray, Yak-20 Anti-Lick Gel and Bitter Yuck! NO Chew Spray.
Before you spray your preferred product on anything, dab a cotton wool or piece of tissue in the spray and put it in your cat’s mouth. If she doesn’t like it, she’ll spit it out and will shake her head. Spray on wires and cords everyday so your cat won’t like the taste and the texture of the wire in their mouth.
9. Chew toys
To redirect your cat’s energy on to something else, rubber chew toys would a good outlet. Rubber chew toys are inexpensive so you can buy a bunch of them from pet stores. It’s not enough that you buy them and give them, hoping that she chew on them so the problem goes away. You also have to play with her to get her used to it. In other words, you should spend a lot of playtime with her and make sure she releases her energy so she won’t waste it on something else.
Chew toys are only a part of the whole solution, however. If you leave your cat alone with her chew toy, eventually she’ll get bored and find something else to do. That’s why you should not only take care of your cat’s playtime and activity, but her own surroundings as well.
10. Add fiber to her daily diet
If your cat is eating the same food everyday, it would be best to add more fiber to her daily diet so her nutritional requirements would not be lacking. Add more greens like green beans, psyllium fiber or even supplements to her food.
11. Giver her interactive cat toys
Cats may seem like solitary creatures but in reality, they still have their predatory instincts despite the fact that they have been domesticated. To hone these predatory instincts, interactive cat toys are a good choice. These interactive cat toys will help engage with your cat not only physically, but mentally as well. The good news is, there are tons of interactive cat toys available nowadays and as a cat parent, you can add more toys or change them up in case they get bored.
There are lots of interactive cat toys available today. These include floor scratchers, scratching posts, play tunnels and catnip kickers.
Here are examples of interactive cat toys:
Puzzle boards: This toy have hidden compartments, sliding knobs and swiveling leaves, and works by encouraging the cat to bat, dig and pounce to hunt for treats.
Food dispensing toy: First, deposit some treats so your cat bats them through small holes. This toy encourages the cat to work through the holes so the treat drops to the bottom.
Rollerball-scratcher combo: This toy encourages the cat to chase a light up ball around its circular track, and when it does it satisfies her desire to not only sharpen their claws but condition and stretch their muscles as well.
Your cat needs to be stimulated mentally and devote some time for daily physical activity. That’s why, have some time with your feline friend and play with her. Pet her, use some toys like toy mouse, fish toys, and fishing wands for her to stay engaged.
13. Use duct tape.
Use duct tape on wires and power cords or tape them in a clump and lay it flat on the floor. Cats are enticed by the dangling of the wires so when it’s clumped with a tape, your cat will have a hard time chewing on them.
14. Bring another cat or pet
Sometimes, a cat that is bored or lonely could have some fun in the presence of another cat. Maybe it’s time to bring another cat to the family so she could have somebody else to bond with and play with especially while you’re busy or away.
Introducing another cat to the family might be hard, though, because your cat might not be receptive at first. So, go get them used to each other’s presence gradually until they begin liking each other.
15. Have her watch some videos.
Not cat videos, duh. Some cats enjoy sitting comfortably while watching cartoons because they’re entertaining. You can turn on the laptop or tv and supervise her viewing time so always be around whenever she’s sitting up comfortably in the room. It’s a great way to keep her distracted and away from the wires.