Unfortunately, “curiosity killed the cat” can be an apt saying when it comes to electric wires and cats. They are known for their constant inquisitiveness and love for exploring every nook and cranny.
Some cats are also mouthy and tend to bite and chew on anything that looks interesting. But it can be quite serious if a cat chews on electric wires. There’s the potential for choking, electrical burns, and electrocution.
As a cat parent, you’ll need to find a way to prevent your cat from chewing on wires. Here are 10 tips that should help protect your cords and your cats.
The 10 Solutions for How to Cat-Proof Wires
1. Use Wire Wraps
Cord protectors can be used on one or a bundle of cords at once. It’s also a great way to hide a bunch of messy cords. You can also look for split wire loom, also known as convoluted tubing, in hardware or office supply stores.
Most of these protectors can be cut down to fit the length of your cords, so even if your cat still tries to bite them, they are covered in a layer of protection.
2. Use a Spray Deterrent
You can try using a spray deterrent for the cords. Bitter sprays will taste foul and stop your cat’s interest in wires, or you can try a scented spray so your cat won’t even approach them. Cats are put off by certain odors that we humans tend to enjoy, such as citrus and peppermint. Just be aware that essential oils are toxic to cats.
The final spray that you can consider is a motion-detector spray, but this might not be convenient. It works by making a loud spray sound every time someone goes near it, but you would need one everywhere there are wires, and it will also spray when you go near it. This can work for when you’re not around, however.
3. Use Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape is commonly used to protect furniture from cat scratching but can also be used on cords. Cats dislike anything sticky on their paws (and mouths), so putting double-sided tape on cords will definitely keep them away.
However, this means you’ll likely end up with a sticky residue on your cords. But if you notice your cat continuing to avoid the cords, try removing the tape, and hopefully, your cat will stay away.
4. Put Down a Training Mat
A training mat can be placed next to your wires, which will prevent your cat from walking or sitting near them. This type of mat is harmless but uncomfortable for your cat’s paws because it’s covered in small nodules, so they won’t go near the cords.
You can also use the mat in any place that you want to keep your cat away from, such as tables or counters.
5. Hide & Cover the Wires
Ensure that all wires run under or behind large furniture, so your cat just doesn’t have access to them. Place items in areas that your cat might be able to squeeze into in order to block their path, like filling the space next to your fridge so they can’t chew on the fridge’s cord.
You might need to move furniture around and try tacking any loose cords along the baseboards. You can use duct tape for this purpose.
Also, consider investing in a few new cabinets or other pieces of furniture that you can store a few of your electronics in.
6. Keep Things Turned Off
If you’re not using certain appliances or electronics, keep them unplugged and put the cord away, especially if your cat seems to gravitate to any of these specific cords. Otherwise, keep them turned off.
Taking these steps is essential if you’re not around to supervise your cat. This is probably the cheapest method, but it takes more work to stay on top of unplugging everything.
7. Go Wireless
In today’s society, it’s getting easier to go wireless. Maybe you don’t need that DVD player anymore because you can stream almost everything. Perhaps you have extra appliances sitting around collecting dust that it’s time to donate. The fewer wires around, the fewer wires your cat has access to.
8. Spend Time With Your Cat
Sometimes, cats chew on wires because they are bored. After all, if you react every time your cat starts chewing on a wire, they have your attention!
Spend time playing with your cat. Try to wear them out by making them chase an interactive toy for a while. A tired cat won’t be that interested in chewing cords.
9. Give Chew Toys to Your Cat
Invest in toys designed to be chewed by cats. There are also chew sticks made with catnip and silvervine. Giving your cat another outlet for chewing might make them less interested in your wires.
10. Reduce Your Cat’s Anxiety
Some cats might chew things because they are stressed and experiencing anxiety. There are special products for this purpose, such as Feliway, which is a diffuser that you plug in and it emits pheromones designed to keep cats calmer.
Why Do Cats Chew on Cords?
There are several reasons that cats might start chewing wires beyond curiosity and just because they’re there.
- Dental issues: Some cats might have discomfort or pain in their gums, and chewing helps relieve it. The chances of a cat experiencing dental problems increase as they age, so it’s vital that they have regular checkups with your veterinarian.
- Pica: A cat with pica will experience cravings to eat inedible material. This can include dirt, paper, or other materials commonly found in the home. Pica is sometimes attributed to some form of malnutrition, but most commonly, it’s from anxiety, boredom, stress, or other behavioral issues.
- Boredom: Cats that are bored or have gotten older and can’t be as physically active as they used to be are more prone to act out with destructive behaviors.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): This is relatively common in Burmese and Siamese cats, but all cats can potentially develop it. One sign of OCD is cats sucking and chewing on items. Other signs include overgrooming and self-mutilation, with a focus on the tail. Wool sucking is when cats suck and chew fabric.
- Medical condition: As cats age, they might experience a metabolic issue like hyperthyroidism. This can raise the cat’s activity level and increase the urge to chew.
As cat parents, we want to keep them safe from harm. Unfortunately, some cats tend to go after wires, which can prove dangerous.
Following any of these tips should help stop the behavior, though you might need to try out more than one option to prevent problem behaviors like destructive chewing.
See your vet if you’re concerned about your cat’s chewing, particularly if they find something else to chew that’s inappropriate.
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Featured Image Credit: e-leet, Shutterstock
- 1 The 10 Solutions for How to Cat-Proof Wires
- 2 Why Do Cats Chew on Cords?
- 3 Conclusion