Cat chewing is an abomination! No seriously, when your cat chews on electrical wires or anything alike it is very dangerous. Hot wires can burn your cat so they could get very hurt, also the burning wire could inflict respiratory problems, cardiac arrest and possibility death. Sadly, their inquisitive nature and sharp teeth could be the very thing that’s threatening their life, particularly kittens. Thus, we need to be alert at all times when our dearest kitties are going through this chewing phase, which is usually around the teething age and upto 1 year.
Soon after rescuing our kitten (now 1.5 years) we realized we had to take some action because he loved thin wire, he literally chewed through all our earphone wires, a computer mouse wire, keyboard wire and our $100 super fast wifi cable in a matter of days. Our rescuing him cost us more than we bargained, probably in the region of $300.00 plus.
I’m talking about the skinning wires not the thick wires, kittens and cats are not attracted to thicker wires. Sadly, it’s the skinny wires that cost the bigger bucks.
Steps to conquer inquisitive cat chewing
These are some great tips of how we and my cat loving friends discouraged cat chewing:
1. Stick electrical tape to your wall to help prevent your pet from having access to electric cords.
2. Excess wire should be put behind furniture or appliances and rolled up, this keeps them hidden from your cat’s view. Please beware that cats, especially kittens are very attracted to dangling wire because they may think they’re toys.
3. Block access to visible wires by wrapping flexible safety cable around them.
4. Tin foil works pretty well, all cats hate it.
5. Wrap a thicker wire around the thinner wire which will be too thick for cats to chew, cats dislike thick wire.
6. Try placing some contact paper sticky side up onto the electrical cords to discourage your pet from approaching them.
7. One friend applied an unpleasant substance on her exposed wires. She tried various substances such as bitter apple spray, menthol, chilli, toothpaste, spices, mouthwash or lemon juice.
You can also buy critter cord specially for cats, but be careful what you buy as some products are for killing rats.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend any of these substances due to the possibility of a bad reaction.
8. Use the distraction method by using toys like you would with children. Make sure you use a variety of toys to prevent boredom.
9. Eventually your cat will grow out of chewing so until then you could keep all rooms sealed off that have exposed cables until your cat displays that he’s grown up enough to be left unsupervised.
My favorites to discourage cat chewing
My friends favorite is rubbing the wires with a bar of soap; well, whilst this does the trick it is very time consuming if you have a lot of wires hanging around. She does this by wetting the soap and lathering it up then simply rubs the wires with it.
As for me, obviously I needed to replace my keyboard, mouse and wifi so I bought wireless. Plus, we needed new earphones so rather than buy skinny wired ones we bought bigger earphones with thicker wires.
To prevent further cat chewing of our remaining skinny wired earphones we simply kept them in a draw when not in use. Our living room is a love haven of skinny wires so the most obvious thing to do was to keep the door closed when no one was in there.
Thankfully, my cat is now 1.5 years and has grown out of cat chewing so our living room door no longer needs to be sealed.
I am going through this right now with my 8 month old cat. I read about different unpleasant tasting substances you can put on the wires/cords to deter cats from chewing them but that seems like so much work. And I am worried the my cat could have a reaction if the substance didn’t deter her and she ingested it.
I haven’t heard of the tinfoil trick so I will give that a try. For now I have moved most of the wires away, however she always seems to find some.
I am glad to hear that this is a phase and shouldn’t be something that I have to deal with over the next few years.
Yes it is a phase and foil is an excellent deterent, they hate it with a passion.
I just got myself a rescued kitten recently and she has managed to transform herself from cute to catastrophic, precisely by chewing on the carpet, shoes and yes, her favorite electrical wires.
I used tip #2 and #3 because if she doesn’t see it, she will play with other things less fatal. Now, she seems to be interested in fabrics and she has started to chew the corners of bed sheets and cushions.
Oh God, help me! Do you have any preventive tips for that??
Oh dear I empathize with you, this has happened to me and it’s a nightmare to say the least. I will do an article on this, but for now I’d suggest constantly watching her and when you can’t watch her then she needs to be put in a room where she can’t chew anything ie the bathroom and make sure her litter tray is in there as well.
Cathy, our old cat, now dead of very old age, used the lounge for chewing and scratching. I found a special fabric at the pet store that sticks to the item and has an unpleasant texture on the outer side. Cats don’t like this so don’t scratch or chew. Don’t know if it is available in your neck of the woods but you could ask the pet store people.
Thank you Helen, I will definitely check this out. Thank you for all your wonderful tips that you send me 🙂
Sharon, now do a post on stopping on my cat from shredding paper. She is 8 1/2 years old so I don’t believe age has anything to do with her! Fortunately she doesn’t swallow it.
A friend of mine used to train her cats not to catch birds by using the unpleasant tasting stuff on the dead ones the cats used to present to her. She dusted the carcasses with hot mustard powder and stuck them back in the cats’ mouths. That didn’t take long to discourage them.
My cat has the weirdest of habits too, though I’ve never heard of a cat shredding paper lol, you probably save money by not having to buy a machine hehe. Your friend did well to discourage her cats, well done to her 🙂
Great article. Having worked as an electrician for years we were trained to support wires properly and often conceal them for asthetics. I would definitely tie them with zip ties and keep them off the floor. Chewing through them can cause a short and can be devestating for the little cats. I love cats…..lol
Thanks for all the clear tips! I think It’s smart to use contact paper sticky side up onto the electrical cords. And I’ve never known that they hate tin foil ha! Also, I’m wondering that if they are going to find other things to chew when there are no wires anymore? Like something with similar shape or even other stuff? Thanks!