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When you take a cat into your home, most of us do it for the companionship, cuteness, cuddles, and funny antics. We are also taking on their safety and security. One of the scary tendencies of felines is their need to chew on inappropriate things such as electric cords.
Having a nibble on a wire can be very dangerous for your pet, yourself, and your home. Not only can it give your pet a shock that has the potential to be fatal, but it can also cause a house fire or at the very least it could ruin your cord and the appliance or electronics where it is connected.
That being said, there are some simple and easy ways to keep your cat from chewing on electric cords. Not only are these solutions easy, but they are also cost-effective and will keep you and your furball safe and healthy.
How To Keep Your Cat From Biting On Electrical Wires
It is a mystery why cats chew on electrical cords, but some of the most common theories are cat OCD, stress and anxiety, mistaken identity, boredom, medical issues, or dental issues. If your feline is bored, they may chew on anything they can get their paws on. Also, if they are having teeth issues, chewing on the smooth surface of the wire might help.
Additionally, issues such as OCD or other medical conditions can cause your pet to chew due to stress or anxiety. In fact, some cats compulsively chew or clean themselves for no apparent reason. There is also the idea that a cord resembles a tail that a cat will instinctively attack. Then again, they may just want to play.
Regardless of the reason why your pet chooses to gnaw on a dangerous object, the results can be disastrous. Luckily, there are some simple ways to curb that notion and save your electronics.
1. Cord Covers: A rubber cord cover is a great solution to this problem. They come in many different sizes and verities, plus you can find them at most local hardwood or home improvement stores. The cover will allow you to cover the sensitive parts of the wire with a tough rubber exterior. As a bonus, these handy items can also streamline a mess of wires into one neat bundle.
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2. Vet Visits: As we mentioned, the underlying cause for the chewing could be due to health or dental issues. Take your pet to the vet for a check-up to ensure they are not dealing with something you don’t know about.
3. Deterrent Sprays: Another solution for electrical cord chewing is using a deterrent or repellent spray. The spray is made of ingredients that are not tasty to your cat such as pepper. You can apply it to the length of the cord. Just be sure you are not spraying it near any electrical outlets. Two things to be aware of, however, is first not all sprays are effective. You may need to try a few different options before hitting the right one. Second, don’t spray the formula directly on the cord if it is lying on a carpet. Spot test it first to make sure it will not leave a stain.
4. Chest Rub: A menthol chest rub such as Vicks is another great way to keep your tabby away from electrical cords. The smell is very off-putting, plus the slimy texture will not be a winner with your feline. Be advised, though, you want to be careful on carpets, and it can make quite a mess. What’s more, if you are not a fan of the scent, it can be very overpowering.
5. Sounds: There are apps you can use that will emit a hissing or barking sound when your tabby goes near wires. This will startle them and after a few turns, they will no longer wish to go near the cords. You can also pick up a motion detector sound machine that will make the same noises, but they are usually more expensive.
6. Spray Bottle: A common item people use to keep their felines in check is with a spray water bottle. A quick squirt will send them running for cover. Usually, after the initial squirt, you will only have to point the bottle at them to deter them from going near the cord. Obviously, you want to be careful with electric cords and water. Make sure the bottle has a fine mist setting, and never use it close to an outlet.
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7. Charge Mats: This is a more controversial solution, although it does work. A charging mat gives a mild shock when it is stepped on. If you can place your electrical cords near or on the mat, it will keep your puss from gnawing on them. These mats can be expensive, however.
8. Replace the Cord: Some cats like to chew. Offering an alternative can make a difference in their habits and keep them away from things they shouldn’t. Some good alternatives are cardboard, paper, or even small rawhide bones meant for small dogs.
9. Fiber: Adding some fiber to your cat’s diet can also make them quit their chewing habits. For whatever reason, digestible fiber added to a feline diet has been proven to stop excess chewing. Meals that have fresh greens, lettuce, or green beans work well. Also, hairball formulas tend to be high in fiber, so you could potentially solve two problems in one.
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10. Relieve Boredom: As mentioned, your pet could be playing with your electrical cords because of boredom. Spending some extra time playing with your cat or giving them some fun toys can stop them from finding something else to do with their time.
11. Relieve Stress: Anxiety and stress can also be the reason your furball likes to chew on things they shouldn’t. Try to relieve their stress by keeping them on a schedule. Make sure they have plenty to eat, their litter box is clean, and they have toys, bedding, and good places to hide. Also, make sure there is not another animal in the house giving them trouble.
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12. Mothballs: No one likes the smell of mothballs including your cat. Take a few of them and place them in a small bag. Tie the end of the bag around the cord at even intervals. Your pet will not want to get near the scent of these little orbs, and it will keep them at a safe distance.
13. Calming Collars: Another good tactic is a calming collar especially if you believe your cat is chewing due to stress or anxiety. Calming collars give off scents such as lavender to keep your kitty mellow, which will, in turn, stop them from anxiety laced chewing.
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14. Get Rid of Cords: This is a pretty obvious answer, but we thought we would mention it anyway. Pick up any loose cords that are not in use. You can also go wireless with many electronics, so if you have the ability-do so!
15. Disguise Your Cords: Another solution is to disguise your electrical wires. The best way to do so is to use either tin foil or double-sided tape. Wrapping either of these materials around the wires will hide the cords, plus cats do not like the texture.
16. Coat the Cords: Another scent and texture felines dislike is citrus. You can coat your cords in either orange, lemon, or lime juice to keep them far away from anything that could give them a shock.
17. Move Furniture: Our last piece of advice is to move your furniture in such a way that it will keep your electrical cords out of your pet’s reach. Have your power cords run behind coaches or tables, plus you can anchor them to the floor, as well.
Our top priority is keeping you and your pet safe, happy, and healthy. Playing with electrical cords is not a good idea for anyone, especially your precious little tabby. We hope this information has provided you with some useful information to keep your cat from chewing on things that can be hurtful and destructive such as your electrical cords!
Written by Shannon MacDevine
Featured Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.