Cat Chew Cords: Why Cats Do This And How To Prevent It

Cat Chew Cords: Why Cats Do This And How To Prevent It

Every home is bound to have cables, from the television to the computer and phone cords. All these power chords are responsible for the day to day running of our electrical gadgets. While this conglomerate of dangling and intertwining cords are very useful to us, they can create a genuine threat to our furbabies. These cables may be seen as chew toys by some cats, exposing them to the dangers of injury or electrocution, and still portend damages to our household gadgets.

If you observe your feline friend gnawing away at your cables, you need to first understand the underlying reason behind the chord chewing. Once you have solved this mystery, you can then focus on the possible solutions that will serve as a deterrent from such unpalatable behavior.

Kitten playing with wires

Why Do Cats Chew on Cords?

The idea of cat chewing cords is surrounded by some unexplainable mysteries; for one, the chord has a close resemblance to the tail of another animal. Note that a feline’s basic instinct compels any kitty to launch an attack on anything that resembles a tail. However, this reasoning fails to address why a feline would still insist on chewing away at the chord upon realizing that it is not part of any animal. There are so many other reasons why cats chew chord that include;

  • OCD: This is known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is a gnawing and chewing behavior often evident in Oriental-heritage kitties like Burmese, Siamese, Oriental Shorthair, and many more. These cats have the propensity to suck, chew, and ingest inedible objects, comprising majorly of chord and other unpalatable items.
  • Dental problems: Cat chewing cables can be attributed to dental problems. Dental issues can cause pain in a feline’s mouth, and many of them resort to chewing behavior in a bid to get some relief from the pain. From age three, 70% of the feline population may likely end up with periodontal disease. Recommendations are for pet parents to be proactive with tackling feline dental issues – go for professional dental care regularly, both for the cleaning and for the check-ups.
  • Inactivity or boredom: For older cats, you may observe a combination of problems that might likely prompt gnawing behavior. With age, almost all kitties are bound to develop arthritis in varying degrees – this engenders a drastic decline in their level of activity. When a kitty finds itself unable to move freely, explore, exercise, and interact with its world, the inactivity will lead to boredom. Leading the cat to seek out other outlets, one of which is chewing chord.
  • Medical problems: Old age in felines is often accompanied by metabolic impairments like hyperthyroidism – this increases a kitty’s activity level, increasing the urge to chew away on any accessible object like a chord.
  • Pica: The instances of the nutritional deficiency known as pica are quite rare in felines; however, it is associated with ingesting odd objects. According to speculations, a kitty will intuitively seek a replacement for the nutrient it has perceived to be lacking its diet, but the item it might choose to eat may be inappropriate. Felines that start targeting uneatable objects all of a sudden are usually found to be anemic.
  • Stress or anxiety: Abnormal behaviors in felines like gnawing on chords are often linked with stress. The chewing alleviates anxiety level and calms the cat down in the process.

Cat chewing cable

How to Stop Cats From Chewing Cords

Several tips abound on how to stop cats from chewing wires, they include;

  • Hide the chord: The chords should be concealed behind heavy furniture where your cat cannot access them. Besides, appliances can be put away in the cupboard when not in use, or you may decide to go wireless.
  • Encase the chords: For one, you can leverage plastic wire wraps to encase the entire chord, and the taste of the casing should be one that can repel the cat. There are still management covers for plastic chords good for encasing chords that run across the floor or along the wall. The double-sided tape can also come in handy here as cat are averse to the stickiness. Ultimately, you can get the chord encased in split tubing. You are free to adjust it to the size of your choice with the aid of a pair of scissors. Also, the covers can be attached by opening the split and then wrap it around any chord you wish to encase. Your cat will eventually give up when it tries to nimble on the chord without luck.
  • Use repellants: Various repellants like a dish soap, spring soap, hot sauce, citrus oil, and sports liniment can be rubbed around the chords – this will repel the cat as it doesn’t like the taste. However, avoid using any substance with salty content as cats do love salt. Another humane and safe way to repel a cat from chewing chords is by using bitter anti-chew s With this, they will stop chewing, licking, or biting on random things.
  • Velcro/cable ties: This is effective at tying up all excessive lengths of a chord. When the chord is not so readily available, the cat may not be tempted to chew. The dangling chords may be attached to the walls or table legs – this reduces the attraction it holds for your feline friend.
  • Provide alternative chew items: This entails providing your furbaby with something that is less risky for it to gnaw on. Consult the vet on feline-safe chew items and treats – this goes a long way in satisfying the kitty’s innate chewing instinct, reducing its tendency to seek out chords and wires. Increase your cat’s interest in the chew toys by smearing them with some catnip.
  • Increase your feline’s playtime: A tired cat is less likely to go looking for chord – this can be achieved by increasing the cat’s daily playtime. You may also decide to be actively involved in the playtime by introducing toys like Interactive food toys – this enables your cat to hunt out the food inside the toy. The fishing wand type of toy is also good as it can tire the kitty out both mentally and physically. Your feline friend’s exercise time can also be increased by training it on simple behaviors like down, sit, and many more – this is also good for bonding.

Take a look at our guide on the Best Cat Repellent.


  1. Debra Horwitz, DVM, Cat Behavior Problems – Chewing and Sucking, VCA Hospitals
  2. Jordana Fetto, DVM, Electrical Cord Injury, The MSPCA–Angell

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