Cats are curious by nature. They love to get into anything and everything. This is mainly because they are hunters by nature. They are easily fascinated with toys, strings, cords, wires, and anything else that is dangling in front of them that can be potentially fun to play with or bite.
Living with a cat means that you will have to cat proof your home at some point unless you like hefty repair bills. One of the most common household problems are wires and cords. Think about how many different types of wires and cords you have lying around your home. From dangling earphones, to multiple phone chargers. The amount of technology we have today means everything has some sort of power cord or adapter.
Some of these dangling wires can prove to be a health and safety hazard for your cat, especially wires that are plugged into a power outlet. Cat’s teeth are razor sharp. All it takes is a few bites to make whatever wire they were chewing on completely useless.
In the next few sections I’ll go over how to cat proof wires as well as provide some answers to frequently asked questions to help keep both your cat and wires safe.
How to Keep Your Cat from Chewing on Wires
First things first. If you have an adult cat that recently started chewing on cords and they never have in the past, it may be time to take your cat to the vet for a full checkup. Once you have had your cat examined for any nutritional deficiencies or dental problems, the next step is to do your best to keep the wires and cords out of reach and sight of your cat.
If you’ve already tried this obvious solution, then you can also try some of these methods to cat proof wires:
- Citrus scent is a natural deterrent for cats. You can make your own homemade cat deterrent out of boiled orange peels and water, or you can purchase one already made like this one on Amazon.
- Another thing you can do to cat proof your wires is to wrap the exposed cords in a rubber cord protector or PVC.
- You can even try to train your cat to stop biting or chewing cords by distracting them whenever they approach a wire. You can try using a toy and treats to praise him when he plays with the toy instead of trying to chew the cord. Cat training should be used in conjunction with the other methods listed above for the best results.
Why Does My Cat Chew on Cords?
I don’t know anybody that is thrilled when their cat develops a bad habit of chewing on electrical cords. A cat chewing on various cords and wires can be costly depending on what the cord belongs to. It’s best to always tackle the problem sooner than later before you end up spending more money than you ever expected just to replace your most prized electronic items.
There are a few reasons that cats develop a habit of chewing on cords and wires. Here are some of the top reasons:
- Kittens will chew on many different items, including electrical wires. This is solely due to them just learning and exploring everyday life. Cats are very curious and will put almost anything in their mouth, and electrical cords are no exception.
- A cat that is bored is another culprit of wire chewing. Bored cats will often get into different sorts of trouble in your home because they need some type of extra stimulation. Running around the house rapidly, scratching furniture, chasing flies, and chewing cords are just some of the habits of bored cats.
- Some cats like the way that it feels to bite or chew on wires. This gives them an incentive to chew on them again in the future.
- If you have a senior cat that likes to chew on cords, then their may be an underlying issue. One issue that comes to mind is a dental problem or nutrient deficiency. Teeth problems are very common in cats as they age and get older.
Age of Your Cat
The age of your cat is one of the main reasons a cat will chew on wires. This is very similar to infants. The world is brand new to them and they are still experiencing all their senses and this includes their mouth. Just like a baby, a kitten will put things into their mouths to see if it is edible or not. Teething is another factor that also comes into play.
Kittens and babies alike both find comfort in chewing things while going through the teething process. A good way to help your kitten through this tough time is by getting chew toys or teething toys to help the alleviate the pain and discomfort. Chewing things as a kitten is a phase and will eventually pass as time goes on.
For cats of any age, one reason for chewing on things is for mental and physical stimulation of the environment around them. Your cat may be bored or wanting to play and this is why they may be chewing on cords and wires. If you find that your home does not have a lot of toys or activities for your cat, you may want to look into adding some things to help them keep themselves occupied.
Getting toys with strings would be a good start because they mimic wires. You could use positive reinforcement with them when they use the toy to help discourage bad behavior from chewing on cords. You can also add a cat tree or a cat scratching post in your home to add some more physical activities.
Health Related Issue
Another reason a cat may start to chew wires is because they are experiencing some type of medical of health issue. As cats age, so do their teeth. Dental problems become more apparent the older your cat gets. Chewing on wires may help ease some sort of discomfort that your cat may be experiencing from a dental problem. If you think your cat may be suffering from teeth issues or other nutrition deficiencies, then it would be a good idea to get your cat checked out by a vet.
Can Cats Get Electrocuted Chewing Cords?
Cats can and will get electrocuted if they chew on cords that are connected to a live power outlet. Not only can they get electrocuted, but this can also pose as a risk for a fire if the chewed wires are left exposed. If left untreated, you will run the increased risk of your cat being injured as well as a fire starting inside of your home due to live exposed wires. This can lead to dangerous life-threatening situations. Electrocution and house fires aren’t the only problems that you will encounter. There are also other dangers that chewing on wires can pose to your cat.
There is always the possibility that your cat will ingest some of the protective layer of the cords or wires being chewed. The side effects of ingestion can vary from vomiting, indigestion, and in worst case scenarios, intestinal blockage. If you have seen your cat chewing on different wires or cords and they exhibit any of those symptoms, immediately take them to the vet for a full examination.
Electrocution and Fires
Like I mentioned up above, exposed wires can pose a real threat in your home. The more your cat chews on wires, the greater the risk for electrocution and bodily harm to your cat. Electrocution will vary from small, minor shocks to more severe and life-threatening conditions which can include death. If your cat has suffered electrocution, they may display symptoms such as difficulty breathing, blue-tinged skin, abnormally fast breathing, or coughing. These are all signs that your cat may have come in contact with electricity.
Do Cats Eat Car Wires?
It is very possible for cats to chew on car wires, but it is very unlikely. Most cats like to hide underneath a car, or under a wheel well. It not common to find a cat in the engine bay since it is a very small and cramped space. Cats are not the animals that you need to be looking out for when it comes to car wires.
If you have damaged wires under your car hood, it will most likely be caused by rodents. Chipmunks, squirrels, rats, and other rodents are usually at fault for damaging car wires. The best way to stop rodents from damaging your car’s wires are to set traps and use repellents on and around your vehicle. It is very unlikely that your wire damage is coming directly from a cat.
Just ask yourself, how often do you find a cat inside of a car’s engine bay? I don’t think I ever witnessed the event. Not saying that it’s impossible, just very unlikely. Rodents also like to leave little surprises near and around where they are at. Look for small droppings or any other clues to see what type of rodent you are dealing with.
There are many different reasons your cat may be chewing on cords and wires. Regardless of the reason, the best way to deter your cat from wires is by using a citrus scented cat deterrent spray along with covering any exposed wires with PVC or by using some type of rubber cord protector. Also, don’t forget to train your cat to stop biting the cords altogether while implementing the above steps to help keep your wires intact.