How To Stop Your Cat Chewing On Electrical Cords and Other Objects
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2007
by Mike Ray
Chewing on electrical cords can burn or shock your cat, causing respiratory problems, cardiac arrest and even death. Cat's sharp teeth and their inquisitive nature can put your cat at high risk. This is especially an issue with kittens.
Here's what to do to:
1. Tape cords to the wall with electrical tape to help prevent your pet from gaining access to them.
3. Block access to visible cords by wrapping flexible safety cable (available at hardware stores) around them. Tin foil works well too, or even a thicker model or extension cord (that is too big for a cat to chew on)
4. Place contact paper, sticky side up, in the general area of electrical cords to discourage your pet from approaching them.
5. Apply unpleasant-tasting substances to exposed cords. These could include bitter apple spray, menthol, toothpaste, mouthwash or lemon juice. Experiment with different flavors, since cats' taste aversions vary. You can also use Crittercord... It's a cord cover with a deterrent infused in it. Be sure to use a product for Cats though- similar products are available for killing rats so be careful what you buy!
6. Have favorite toys available to distract your pet from the cords, and rotate toys every few days to prevent boredom.
7. Keep your pet out of any room with exposed electrical cords until your furry friend loses interest in chewing on them.
My favorite solution is rubbing the cords with a bar of soap.
Moisten the soap, it makes application easier. The soap will last longer than the Bitter Apple sprays and is more effective than hot sauce (even habanero, which incidentally can get in the cat's eyes and be really painful). This works so well that you will probably see a reluctance to even reach for untreated cords, like a mouse or keyboard cord, where the same cat consistently would bite these before.
You need to understand that cats are smart creatures though they are also creatures of instinct. If you have something dangling around, such as a cord for a fan, your cat will naturally want to swat at it. She may even chew on it as it moves (literally moving your cat around like in old cartoons, just a bit slower).
Every interaction with your cat trains her. If she does something you don't like, and you pick her up and tell her she's naughty and put her in another room etc she's actually learning that if she does that bad behavior, she'll get attention from you! Which means she'll do the bad behavior more and more.
It's far better to ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior. To stop bad behavior interrupt her pattern with a squirt of water or use the above methods to make the experience not as pleasant as she thought it would be. (For example, chewing on cords might look like fun, but if they taste terrible, she'll soon learn that it's better to chew other things).
You should also know that problem behavior in cats is often a sign of stress, boredom or bad socializing when they were a kitten. To deal with stress and boredom provide lots toys, perches and places she can get away and relax and remember that love is the best medicine so give her plenty of attention.
If your cat is out of control due to bad socializing when she was a kitten, you can fix her behavior, though it may take longer. For example, giving her attention needs to be on HER terms...you may only be able to pat her for a small amount of time in one go, though over a few months she'll gradually allow you to pat her more and more as she gets used to it.
It's better to give her some attention and leave her wanting more then over doing it and only stopping when she scratches you and runs away.
Cats are amazing creatures, and once you understand their psychology, you'll get along with them like never before, enjoying perfect behavior from them and an even deeper bond.
Find out much more about everything cat related with our free newsletter at http://UltimateCatSecrets.com We cover health issues, behavior and training, cat selection and even non verbal cat communication, cat massage and more.
This Article has been viewed 23,609 times. (Not updated in real-time.)More comments
» left by zach from wisconsin 5 years 42 days ago.
i tried the crittercord with my little kitten and it worked amazingly. she hardly even glanced at a cord in days. i think she wanted attention because i was away to work for atleast 7 hours a day and ive had her when she was less then 3 months old. Anyways thanks for the tips and tricks Sincerely, Zach
» left by Mallory 4 years 317 days ago.
LOI. My kitty is destructo-cat. She has 'killed' (permenantly) two pairs of head-phones, my telephone, and the powercable to my modem. She is a stealth-chewer, operating only under cover of darkness. I'll try the soap.» left by James from Sandy, UT 4 years 291 days ago.
My roommate's cat is ridiculous. It has chewed through 2 pairs of my headphones, an XBOX Live headset, a bass guitar cord, a USB cord, and an ethernet cord. All of these things are my property, not my roommates. The cat has only chewed through 1 pair of headphones that are owned by my roommate, thats it! We have tried spraying him with water, giving him attention, and coating a cord in Tabasco/hot sauce. The cat hasn't chewed anything in over a month, but I'm still skeptical. The biggest problem....we had never caught him in the act. He always does this at night it seems, while we are asleep. My roommate and I are parting ways in 2 months cause we will be done with college.
» left by Matt P. from Milwaukee 4 years 160 days ago.
My cat chiclet chews through fricken everything, and I have a feeling none of these are going to work. I lost 3 pairs of headphones from her, and she just chewed right through our Christmas tree cord. AND she chewed through our computer speaker cord, and my usb for my iPod. !!!!!
» left by Songbird24 from Medford,Oregon 4 years 87 days ago.
We just got a brand new Guitar Hero:World tour. Get it out of the box, play with it, wake up to find our two teen aged cats chewed up one of the only small cords it comes with, yes,yes i know it's small and they like the small ones, i also know that they are teething. Is there some type of teething ring for cats available? They have a to just chew on the small cords and towels. The water bottles don't work, they think it's a toy. They love tin foil so that's out. lemon juice doesn't work, we've bought the cat spray from petsmart. i'm wondering any brand of soap? maybe any brand of vicks vapor rub? heard anything about how well cayanne pepper works? We've been advised to keep them in the spare bedroom,and away from all cords possibly found in the living room, but that's just crool... they need to be out and running around... but as soon as they get out they chew on the "NEWLY, FRESHLY,OWNED" things!!! another bad habbit they did not obtain when they were small kittens but once they got bigger is jumping on the counters. DISGUSTING!!! it makes me so angry, PLEASE What do i do?!?!?!
» left by Griffen Farrell from Santee, California 3 years 139 days ago.
Thank you for the article i just got a new mac book for christmas and my cat charlotte is addicted to chewing cords and when i was playing with my computer it suddenly turned off and i look down to find my brand new cord chewed TROUGH by my cat i started to cry because my mom had spent 1,400$ on my computer I told her and now i have to pay 75$ just because of my stupid cat
» left by Sylvia Robbins from Rome, NY 2 years 315 days ago.
I'll try the soap..Hope it works..my boyfriend has already called the Humane Society to get rid of our cats.
» left by Anonymous 2 years 268 days ago.
This was bloody amazing, i did a test with a cat food pouch as my cat nicks them off of the side and tears them open, I put lemon juice on at first and he still went to grab it but soon backed off. With a second pouch i rubbed vicks vapour rub on the packet, He took one sniff and walked away. Thank you very much. Ever so helpful :)
» left by Anonymous 2 years 190 days ago.
My cat is bad about being yelled at. Just as mentioned in the article, he will do bad things just for the attention of me yelling at him. Like my poor paper floor lamp. He has no front claws but I still dont want him "scratching" at it like he chooses to. But when I tell him no, he will stop then look right at me and pull one paw up slowly to hit it again, lol. It's adorable but so wrong at the same time.
One thing that really works with my cat is rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer! So weird, but I discovered it after I had used some on my hands, he hates the scent and will run away immediately. The problem is I have to be very quick to make him smell it just as the unwanted behaviour occurs. However, this has now permanently saved my ipod cord. He won't even go near it anymore. =)
» left by Laura from Kissimmee FL 156 days 4 hours ago.
Mom's cat chews on cords, she will lick anything plastic, bread bags, plastic bags. i had this minature alumina tree with lights included. had it for several years. brought it over to mom's for Christmas decorating. put the tree skirt on. and low and behold, she chewed the cord in half!!! GRRRR. So now, i am saving my paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls. i will use these to to cover the cords. i also will use the soap trick on the plugs and antenna's!!!! the router (i guess you call it that) that gives us wifii, the top of antenna has been completely chewed! but you gotta love 'em!!
» left by Laura` from Kissimmee 156 days 4 hours ago.
i have all the same woes as all of you. i will try the soap trick but will always save tp rolls and paper towel rolls. will put these rolls over the cord! hope it works!! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! 12.13.12