My cat is chewing on cords

by Jean
(Chilton, Wisconsin)

Will someone tell me how to stop this problem of chewing on cords?

Editors' note: Some cats are chewers for sure. In young cats, s/he may be teething, and the chewing may stop after a time. The best way I know of to deal with inappropriate chewing, Jean, is to follow a few steps.

1) Tie up the cords and hide them as best you can. Wire loom tubing works for tying them up and you can get cord covers for floors and the tops of desks. Most likely, you won't be able to hide all of the cords, but do your best.

Products to consider (cord covers):

Chewsafe cord cover

PetCords cord protector - Unscented and good primarily for protecting electrical cords but can work on other types.

Critter Cord - Has a citrus smell that some people can't stand, but it works similar to the others.

A cheaper way to cover your wires, however, would be to get something like 50 feet of this Split Wire Loom tubing.

2) Coat the cord covers/wire loom tubing and/or the cords themselves in something your cat doesn't like the taste of, such as bitter apple spray. Make sure you disconnect the cords when you spray them and let the application dry.

Products to consider (sprays that taste bad):

Bitter Apple Spray

Chewfix Bitter Spray

3) What some of our readers have done is place (dry) potpourri in a jar with scents that cats do not like near the cords that are being chewed.

This should act as a deterrent and help keep your
cat away from that area. The problem with this is that commercial potpourri may be toxic to cats (see this about essential oils and cats).

Homemade solutions, however, might be a better option to prevent toxicity. Each cat is an individual, but most do not like citrus, so lemon should work well. Use a mason jar with a metal lid and poke small holes in the lid. You don't want your cat to get to the fruit itself.

Also note that liquid potpourri can be toxic to cats and should never be used in a house with a cat.

4) Provide an alternative location and items for appropriate chewing, mental stimulation, and exercise. Create a "safe space" or sanctuary area in the house where your cat can climb and play.

Offer chew toys twice a day. Grow some "cat grass" and let your cat graze on it. Or, you can grow a catnip plant (if your cat responds to it) in a bird cage so that the leaves can be nibbled on.

Make sure that your cat has a scratching post or board to relieve stress.

5) Place treats around the house away from the cords so that your cat can forage for food and get some chewing activity. You can also get a device that dispenses plastic balls filled with treats that your cat has to chase and play with to get to the food.

6) Refresh the lemon and the bitter apple spray periodically to keep your cat from chewing the cords.

I hope that helps and please let us know how it goes.

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