Cat Chewing Cords? Here’s How To Stop It
The behavior might be attributable to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or other environmental or health-related causes when cats chew on inanimate items, such as electrical cords. It may be a dental problem, a way for the cat to alleviate tension, for instance, or just a case of mistaken identity.
It’s dangerous for cats to chew on electrical cords, whatever the reason behind it, not to mention that this action can kill your electrical equipment or at least cause you to replace the cords. Fortunately for you and your cat, you can handle this activity in a variety of ways.
Reasons to Chew
There is some mystery about why cats want to chew on electric cords. One explanation is that the cord resembles the tail of another animal and that simple feline instinct drives the cat to target something that looks like a tail, but this rationale does not explain why the cat would continue to chew the cord until it learns that there is no attached animal. Further reasons for chewing the cord may include:
In Siamese and Burmese cats, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) that include chewing and gnawing actions most frequently develop.1 These felines can develop a strong desire to chew, suck, and even eat inedible items sometimes.
While the main OCD activity that you find in your cat may be cord chewing, you may also spot other signs. There does not seem to be a reason as to why certain cats experience a specific combination of symptoms of OCD.
Among the first OCD symptoms are self-mutilation, especially involving the tail, and repeated tail chasing.
Overgrooming is also popular, characterized by a cat licking and chewing its fur so vigorously that it begins to fall out in spots.
A disease referred to as wool sucking, obsessively sucking, licking or chewing on fabric.1 This behaviour is not well known, though different reasons have been proposed, including the premature separation of the cat from its mother. If your cat has Siamese-like tendencies, genetics can affect your chewing.
Cats who suffer from OCD can also suffer from feline hyperesthesia. Symptoms such as rippling of the skin and self-mutilation behavior can be seen in a cat with this condition.
In an effort to alleviate the discomfort, cats who have pain in their mouths caused by dental problems can engage in gnawing actions. Between 50 and 90% of cats older than four years suffer from some type of dental disease, so routine veterinary dental care, including checkups and cleanings, is necessary to treat this proactively.
Boredom or becoming inactive
It could have a mixture of problems that prompt chewing behavior if your cat is older. It is normal for cats to develop osteoarthritis as they age, which may result in a dramatic decline in their level of activity.4 If a cat is unable to walk about and exercise, explore, or communicate as often with the environment, it may be induced to seek other outlets by boredom and the resulting stress.
There may also be metabolic problems at an older age, such as hyperthyroidism, that boost the level of activity of a cat and increase its urge to gnaw. A blood screening panel may disclose a treatable problem that resolves the behavior of chewing.
Pica The Pica
In rare cases, consuming unusual materials is associated with a nutritional deficiency called pica.5 It is speculated that the cat naturally knows that a nutrient is lacking from its diet and tries to replace it, but can choose improper products to be eaten. It is noticed that certain cats that unexpectedly begin targeting inedible objects are anemic.
A large variety of unusual behaviors can be caused by stress. In such situations, chewing is used to alleviate anxiety and simply make the cat feel emotionally better.
How You Should Stop Chewing
If it exhibits excessive chewing activity, take your cat to the doctor for a checkup so that any potential health issues can be identified and treated. Take action to keep your cat safe in the meantime.
Cover electrical cables by passing them into pipes made of PVC. By using hot sauce or a commercial bitter apple substance to paint them, you can also make them less appetizing.
To keep your cat at bay, smear the cords with a menthol-containing material, like Vicks VapoRub, as the scent can be very off-putting. A humane kitty deterrent could also be the Ssscat motion detector, which “hisses” if the kitty gets close.
Provide substitutes, such as cardboard, for the cat to chew. Some cats also love gnawing on canine rawhide chews of the smallest size, dipping them in warm water and zaping them first to soften them a little in the microwave.
Apply digestible fiber to your cat’s diet, which allows certain cats to decrease or even avoid their chewing habit entirely. The trick can be achieved with new cat greens, green beans or lettuce added to the cat’s food bowl. Some of the commercial diets of “hairball formula” can also work, as they also have increased fiber.
Reduce discomfort in order to reduce the need for chewing. To alleviate tension and soothe your pet, consider trying a synthetic kitty facial pheromone. Otherwise, make sure the litter box of your cat is spotless and that it has enough toys and play time to stave off boredom with you.