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5 Ways to Prevent Your Cat from Chewing on Wires

 by jaime on 09 Aug 2014 |
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Anyone that grew up during the 1980s is familiar with the feature film National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The hilarious seasonal comedy contains an infamous scene during which a cat drags the lights off the Christmas tree and under a couch. The cat eventually chews the wire, cutting power in the house for a moment, and electrocuting itself.
This may have been a movie, but in reality cats are known to chew through wires. This not only puts the cat at risk, but puts everyone in the house at risk should a short circuit cause a fire in the home. As a responsible cat owner, it is important to prevent your cat from chewing on wires.

What is the best way to prevent this behavior in your cat?

1. Conceal cords
Many new parents are obsessed with baby proofing a new home. The same could be said of bringing home pets. The most obvious solution to this problem is to hide the object of obsession. Electronics retailers and home-improvement stores sell hollow tubing that you can use to cover cords. Many of these products are made of hard plastic and will deter your cats from chewing on wires in the first place. If your cat already has this obsession, the tubing will remove it from sight, and hopefully from its mind.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on the situation if your cat already has the habit though, just to ensure that it isn't chewing through the tubing and continuing to chew wires. This could not only cause damage to the wires, but also your cat's teeth.
2. Redirect chewing energy
The average cat toy available today is designed to prevent boredom and deter scratching habits that can damage furniture and fixtures in the home. Dogs, on the other hand, are often provided with toys to relieve chewing obsessions and help with excessive chewing energy. Some of these dog toys may actually help your cat by redirecting its chewing obsession onto something other than wires.
One good example is a rubber chew bone. There are multiple examples available from retailers, but any rubber chew toy with nubs on it should do the trick. The nubs give your cat a physical sensation from chewing, without the destructive results of a chewing on wires. Additionally, the nubs can help clean its teeth. One note though: purchase a small chew toy. Your cat's mouth is not as large as the average dog. Purchase a small enough chew toy for your cat to actually chew on.
3. Prevent boredom
Another obvious solution is to prevent boredom by purchasing toys for your cat that are enjoyable to play with. Chewing on wires is often a sign of boredom. Prevent this by buying your cat a new climbing house and scratching post to give it a fun place to roam.
4. Visit your vet
It is not common, but your cat could be chewing on wires because it has a health condition with its teeth or gums. Cats will seek out anything to chew on, including wires, when they are suffering from an issue with a tooth or gum discomfort such as that created by gingivitis.
5. DO NOT use sprays
A common solution to chewing issues with dogs includes the use of bitter sprays. While this could be a solution for cat, you need to exercise caution in using sprays. The idea is to create a negative association with chewing on cords, but many bitter apply sprays contain herbal extracts that pose a health risk to your cat. It would take a lot of the spray to negatively impact your cat's health, but stubborn cats that fight through the taste could suffer as a result.

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