Cat Clawing Crisis
Love Your Cat
Removing Pet Urine Smells
We have several cats. A couple of them like to chew through wires. My husband installed a new set of speakers for his computer a week ago, and the wires have already been chewed through four times! Do you have any ideas on how to stop this (short of getting rid of the cat)? Thanks!
We had a dog that did the same thing, and our vet told us it was due to boredom. Try going to a hardware store and looking for electrical conduit pipe (metal) and enclose your wiring in that. Or look for some wire-reinforced hose through which to run the wires. He/she will get a nasty surprise and won't be able to cause much damage.
Don't use PVC piping. Your kitty can actually wind up ingesting little shavings from bite attempts, and plastic can lead to cancer in animals (I lost a mouse to cancer after she insisted on eating her exercise wheel). It can also lead to expensive vet bills should anything get caught in kitty's digestive tract.
Try tacking the wiring to the backside of the furniture on which your stereo, TV, or computer sits. If it's up off the floor, kitty probably won't go looking for it.
There is this spray called "Grannick's Bitter Apple." You can find it in pet stores. Just spray some on the wires. It is recommended to stop cats from chewing your plants and works very well. It doesn't hurt the cat, but makes the items that you spray taste awful.
Wrap aluminum foil around whatever you don't want the cat to chew. Be sure to press the foil, so that it doesn't move.
We used to have rabbits and they loved to chew wires also. Apart from being a health hazard to them, it creates a fire hazard for all of us. We solved the problem by coating our wires with liquid dish soap. The animals hate the taste and will leave the wires alone. By the way, if you have a whole bundle of wires, buy a piece of 3/4" pipe insulation and stuff the wires inside. It not only protects the wires from chewing, but it also looks a lot neater than wire spaghetti!
Terry in VA
There may be a few things going on here to check out. First of all, if cats are chewing on non-food items, it can be a sign of malnutrition. Even if the cat is chubby, s/he may not be getting the type of vitamins that they need in their food. If you're using a super-cheap store brand of food, you might consider a short cycle of food from the vet to test the theory.
Also, perhaps the cat is bored. This is often the case with electrical cords specifically. My cousin had a cat that would turn off the power strip to his computer if he'd been there too long and then moved on to unplugging it from the wall. He eventually resorted to chewing speaker wires out of frustration. Make sure your cat gets enough quality playtime.
Lastly, if you've ruled out vitamin deficiency and boredom, you could coat the wires with a bitter substance, wrap them in duct tape or brush on Tabasco sauce. This will usually deter most cats from chewing. Lastly, consider a kitty garden, something specifically for them to chew on. Perhaps a catnip plant in a broad, low planter or something just for kitty to chew.
I have kept my cats from scratching the furniture by putting double stick tape in the places they frequent. The chewing could further be avoided by putting some double stick tape and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper on the wires. I find the cayenne pepper to be indispensable for keeping the cats away from my garden and I'm sure it could be applied in your situation. If you are concerned about sticking tape to your wires, simply wrap some scrap paper around the wires first then apply the tape over the scrap. Please be safe and make sure there are no exposed areas of wiring before doing this. Give it a month or so and they should be broken of their chewing habit.
We used to buy a spray called "NO" because our cat kept getting in the Christmas tree. Cats hate this spray. I would suggest going to you pet store to see if they still carry it and then spray it along the wires. Your cat will surely avoid chewing the wires if this stuff is sprayed on them.
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