Feline family members can bring a lot of joy to our homes, but their quirky behaviors can also lead to a few headaches. One particularly annoying and dangerous habit is chewing on electrical cords. Not only is this potentially hazardous for the cat but also for unsuspecting family members who don’t realize a cord has been gnawed. Protect your loved ones (furry or otherwise) with these important tips.
Get to the Root of the Problem
One of the best ways to keep cats from chewing cords is to determine why they’re doing it in the first place. That’s often easier said than done given the number of possibilities. Here are a few of the most common reasons cats chew cords:
- Instinct – A popular theory is that to a cat, cords resemble another animal’s tail and their predator instincts compels them to attack it. Even once they realize it isn’t a tail, a compulsive drive to keep chewing could be at play. In fact, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) that involve constant gnawing can develop in certain breeds of cats, such as Burmese and Siamese. Your best bet is to hide cords as much as possible or disguise them to make their appearance less tail-like.
- Health issues – Persistent cord chewing could be a sign of a dental problem. Another possibility is hyperthyroidism, which can create a proclivity for chewing. Either way, your cords are not what the doctor ordered. Talk to your veterinarian to have your cat checked out for any health concerns.
- Boredom – They may sleep 75% of the day, but cats can still get bored. Older cats in particular are susceptible as their physical capacity declines. Mix things up with a new toy (try one with a similar rubber material to mimic the cords), treat, or scratching post. A fresh distraction can help divert a cat’s attention away from dangerous wires.
Protect Your Cords
Another way to dissuade your cat is to make your cords as unappealing as possible. Pet stores carry several options for “no chew” sprays or animal-specific cord covers. If you prefer to go the homemade route, the strong taste of hot sauce or scent of menthol are natural deterrents (check with your vet before using), while running cords through PVC pipes is a cheap way to restrict access.
Get Help from the Professionals
If your cat’s cord chewing habits have led to a more serious electrical problem, don’t try to fix it yourself. As Webster’s most trusted electrician, we at Lon Lockwood Electric are fully certified to handle projects big and small. Call our team today at (585) 617-0633 or schedule an appointment online for expert repair or replacement of any damaged cords.