If your cat won’t stop chewing cords, then her health is in real danger. Electrical cords carry live currents that will eventually shock your cat, so electrocution is a possibility.
It’s vital that you protect cords from pets. Learning how to cat-proof electrical wires and cords may save her life. You also need to understand why your cat is chewing wires, though.
- 1 Why Does a Cat Chew on Electrical Cords?
- 2 Why Do Cats Chew White Cords?
- 3 How Can I Stop My Cat from Chewing Cords?
- 4 My Cat Was Electrocuted After Chewing a Cord
Why Does a Cat Chew on Electrical Cords?
It’s possible that your cat is just feeling curious. A trailing cord will capture her attention. She’ll then investigate it with her mouth. There may be far more to it, though. Some of the most common explanations for a cat chewing on electrical cords are as follows:
- Dental Pain. If your cat has dental issues, she’ll draw comfort from chewing on plastic.
- Habit. Chewing on plastic is often pleasurable for a cat. They may find that, once she starts, it’s a hard habit to break.
- Boredom. If your cat lacks mental stimulation, she’ll seek it in any way that she can.
- Stress. If your cat is anxious, she’ll look for electrical wires to gnaw to in order to self-soothe.
- Attention Seeking. If your cat feels neglected, she’ll try to get your attention. If you react when she chews cords, she’ll make a mental note.
- Pica. This is a psychological condition that leaves your cat compelled to eat non-food items.
- Cords Resemble Animal Tails. Some experts believe that cats chew electrical cords because they look like animal tails, triggering hunting instincts.
- Cords Resemble String. Also, cats like to play with string. They may mistake an electrical cord for string or rope.
Why Do Cats Chew White Cords?
Many cats prefer to chew on white electrical cables rather than other colors. It may just be confirmation bias. Most trailing electrical cords are white, after all. However, we also mentioned that some cats mistake electrical wires for a piece of string. White cords most closely resemble string.
You can perform a simple experiment, in these cases. Wrap the white cables in black electrical tape. If your cat loses interest, you have a cheap and easy solution.
How Can I Stop My Cat from Chewing Cords?
Take a look at your cat’s teeth. If she has started chewing electrical cables all of a sudden, then she is very likely experiencing to be experiencing dental pain.
VCA Hospitals discuss the symptoms of toothache in cats. Periodontal disease is very common in cats that are older than three.
If your cat does have aching teeth or gums, she’ll chew to relieve the discomfort (self-soothing). This behavior starts with teething kittens and remains throughout a cat’s adult life.
If your cat is experiencing dental problems, she’ll need to get these issues resolved by a vet. Once the problem goes away, you may find that your cat stops chewing on cords and wires.
Keep Cords Out of Reach of Cats
Prevent cord chewing in cats by removing access. This could be achieved in the following ways:
- Apply wires high on a wall, fastened with tape
- Fasten wires down with tape
- Cover wires with another material
- Keep wires in cabinets
- Enclose and block any wires
- Unplug appliances that are not in use and wrap up the cords
Cats can be resourceful. If she knows that there is a path to something she wants, then she’ll attempt to find it. By clambering on furniture, she may be able to access the wires. This leaves her at risk of electrocution and falling from a height.
Fastening wires to the floor could be safer. You could also disguise the cords this way. Consider using strong, black electrical tape. If your cat is only attracted to white cables, she’ll be disinterested. It may not be appealing from an aesthetic standpoint. Black electrical tape is not decorative.
Consider the use of cabinets. If your wires are behind glass, your cat cannot reach them.
You should turn off appliances when they’re not in use, or if you leave the house for several hours. This means switching off at the mains, not just putting them on stand-by. This will not be an option for specific appliances, such as your refrigerator and icebox.
Instead, try to hide the cables. Tuck these wires behind the appliance and push it against the wall. Whatever way you can block access, you should do so. Remember that cats often wander around the house while you’re asleep at night. This is when they’re most likely to bite wires and cables.
Use a Cat Cord Protector
If you can’t hide cords from your cat, the next best thing is to protect them. There is a wide array of electrical cable protection available. Alternatively, you could construct your own cord protectors.
You’ll need to assess what kind of chewer your cat is. Some cats nibble electrical cables. She is acting out of curiosity and wondering how it tastes. A slight, thin protector is suitable for these felines.
Other cats have extremely strong jaws and will tear electrical cord apart. A cord protector designed for small animals will be of no use in these instances. You’ll need something industrial-strength.
You could also make your protector for cables if you are DIY-savvy. Split loom tubing is the ideal material due to its versatility. Split loom tubing is available in a range of diameters to suit cabling of any size. You can also cut to an appropriate length using scissors.
Make Cords Unappealing to Your Cat’s Senses
If you want to keep your cat away from cables, make them as unappealing as possible. This means applying adverse smells, tactile sensations, and even sounds.
The smell will always be the most effective way of keeping your cat away from cables. As soon as they get close enough to a disagreeable aroma, your cat will walk away.
Mint and citrus fruit are notable cat deterrents. Even applying a product like Vicks VapoRub will be effective. Alternatively, get a cat repellent spray from a local or online store.
If your cat is curious enough to ignore the unfavorable aroma, think about touch. Cats do not like sticky feelings under the paws. They certainly won’t like them around their mouth.
You cannot use glue because it is toxic when licked and swallowed. Consider double-sided sticky tape, though. This is available from any hardware store.
The tape can be applied to the wire or protective cover. If your cat paws it, she’ll find it unpleasant and will leave the cable alone. Apply the tape to the surrounding area for extra protection.
Cats hate loud noises, so distract your cat when she shows an interest in a cable. Blowing a whistle works. Hissing is arguably the most effective noise of all. Cats consider this the universal sound of danger. If she develops a slight fear of wires, it’s no bad thing.
Create an Enriching Environment for Your Cat
Removing a cat’s desire to chew is the best way to stop the habit in its tracks. If your cat is entertained in other ways, then she won’t even think about chewing cables.
Creating an enjoyable environment for your cat keeps her happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. Make sure that your cat has everything she needs in the home. This includes multiple scratching posts and toys. You should also make sure that you play with your cat.
Your cat may be ‘hunting’ cables. If you actively play with your cat, she’ll hone her hunting instincts this way. Play also tires your cat out, so she’ll be less likely to look for ways to pass the time.
If your cat is older and arthritic, get her some puzzle feeders. Cats with limited mobility will be more sedentary, but can still chew to kill the time. Puzzle feeders keep the gray matter alive.
There is also the possibility that anxiety is causing your cat to chew. Has anything in her routine changed? This could be as simple as a new brand of litter in her tray, or moving her tray.
If your cat is stressed, you need to find a way to calm her down. Establish a routine for your pet that keeps her happy and contented. This will mean that she’s less interested in wires and cables.
Provide Your Cat with Something Else to Chew
Plastic cat toys that are doused in catnip are an ideal solution. You could also give your cat some cardboard to bite and chew.
Why not make your cat a chewing device made from old cables? If your cat is so determined to chew wires, attach non-live cables to a box. As cats are territorial, these will become their wires.
This, in theory, means that they’ll leave live household wires alone. This is a risky move, though. Your cat may declare all the cables in a home to be their property.
Does Your Cat Have a Medical Condition?
If your cat continues to hunt down cables to chew, you should seel advice from a vet. Your cat’s tendencies may be a medical or psychological problem.
Cats with pica are drawn to plastic. They find this material calming and pleasurable.
My Cat Was Electrocuted After Chewing a Cord
Electrocution is painful and, in some cases, life-threatening. The severity of the shock depends on many factors. How high was the voltage? How hard did your cat bite? How long was the cable in their mouth? Some of the common symptoms of an electric shock in felines include:
- Burns around the mouth
- Pawing at the corner of the mouth
- Reluctance to eat
- Bad breath
- Accelerated heart rate
- Coughing and trouble breathing
According to Vets Now, a cat’s lungs fill with fluid when they receive an electric shock. This is called pulmonary edema. This condition often leaves cats unable to breathe and at risk of heart failure.
Is First Aid Required After a Cat is Electrocuted?
Start by switching off the source of electricity at the mains. Once you have done this, see if you can remove the cable from your pet’s mouth. Sometimes, electric shocks force a cat’s jaws to clamp shut. Take away the cable without touching your cat.
Check if your cat is still breathing. Be careful here. You may be stocked yourself if you touch your cat. If your cat needs CPR, follow PetMD’s instructions on how to administer this. If not, get her to a vet. Wrap your cat in a blanket as you travel. She may go into shock, but this will keep her warm.
Electrical cables and cats will always make pet owners feel uneasy. Wires endlessly fascinate felines. Take as many precautions as possible. Keep cats away from cables and make them unappealing.