There are some things in a household that are harmless for humans but can be a potential threat to cats. For instance, cats have been known to chew on cords, wires, and cables. This is bad for humans because such behaviors can disrupt the devices that we use on a regular basis with what can sometimes be disastrous consequences, but this is even worse for cats because such behaviors have high chances of causing them serious harm. As such, cat owners need to put serious effort into preventing their cats from chewing on cords, wires, and cables.
It is difficult to tell why a cat chews on cords, wires, and cables. After all, they can’t communicate their intentions to cat owners, meaning that the latter are forced to come up with various potential explanations based on contextual clues. For instance, there is some speculation that cats are compelled by their predatory instincts to attack cords, wires, and cables because of their resemblance to an animal’s tail, though this has a serious weakness in that it doesn’t explain why cats would continue chewing on cords, wires, and cables when it becomes clear that they aren’t actually attached to an animal. Having said that, there are a number of other potential explanations that have more explanatory power.
One, it is possible for cats to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder, which can come with chewing behavior. If cat owners are curious about whether their cats have become obsessive-compulsive or not, they can check for other signs such as overgrooming, self-mutilation, and wool sucking. Should they notice these issues, they might want to bring their cats with them to see a veterinarian so that they can get a diagnosis as well as further forms of assistance.
Two, discomfort can cause cats to engage in chewing behavior as well. Sometimes, this discomfort is physical in nature. For instance, a cat might have a tooth problem that is causing mouth pain, meaning that they are chewing in an attempt to relieve some of that feeling. Other times, this discomfort can be more abstract. One example would be a cat that is feeling stressed out so they chew to make themselves feel better, while another example would be a cat that is so bored that they are seeking out new outlets for their excess energy.
Three, there are medical issues that can cause cats to chew as well. Hyperthyroidism can cause cats to become more active when it comes to chewing as well as other behaviors. On another note, cats can suffer from a nutritional deficiency called pica that can cause them to start eating very strange materials. It is speculated that such cats have an instinctual understanding that they are missing something in their nutritional intake, thus compelling them to eat things that they wouldn’t eat under normal circumtances in an effort to fill in that gap.
In any case, chewing on cords, wires, and cables can be quite dangerous for cats. In part, this is because the material can create a choking hazard. However, there is a very real chance of the cat being electrocuted, which is by no means a laughing matter. As for humans, chewing can cause considerable damage to the cords, wires, and cables that will necessitate repairs and replacements. Even worse, it can lead to electrical fires.
How Can You Prevent Your Cat From Chewing on Your Cords, Wires, and Cables?
Here are some potential solutions to the problem of cats chewing on cords, wires, and cables:
- Reduce the Number of Cords, Wires, and Cables – For starters, interested individuals should consider cutting down on the number of cords, wires, and cables in their home, which can be done through a couple of ways. One, they can get rid of the devices that they don’t need anymore. Two, they can choose to go wireless. The fewer the cords, wires, and cables, the fewer opportunities for cats to chew on them.
- Cover Cords, Wires, and Cables – Of course, there is another benefit to having fewer cords, wires, and cables, which would be having fewer cords, wires, and cables that need to be covered up. Simply put, the best way to prevent cats from getting at them is to cover them in something that cats can’t get through. There are various options that can be purchased from hardware stores, with common examples ranging from rubber covers to PVC pipes.
- Spray Something Unpleasant – Speaking of which, it can be useful to spray cords, wires, and cables with something unpleasant to cats that will discourage them from getting closer. One option would be a strong smell of citrus. Another option would be hot sauce, though interested individuals might want to be careful when smearing such substances on their covering of choice. On top of this, it should be mentioned that there are commercial products that can let out a hissing sound when it detects a cat getting close, which can convince them to back off without disturbing them too much in the process.
- Give the Cat Something Else to Chew – It might be a good idea to divert the cat’s attention by giving them something else to chew. Something like cardboard can work surprisingly well. However, there are also claims of cats enjoying the sensation of chewing on the smallest-sized rawhide chews for dogs provided that they have been softened up a bit by dipping them in warm water and then microwaving them for a very short while. If cats have a strong compulsion to chew but have a much more convenient option than a bad-smelling cover that they can’t get through, chances are good that they are going to go for the former rather than the latter.
- Spend More Time with the Cat – Since a lot of cats chew because they are bored, it tends to be a good idea to see if spending more time with them will reduce their chewing behaviors. By providing physical stimulation and mental stimulation through playtime as well as other activities, cat owners can prevent not just but also a whole host of other potential cat problems.