How to stop your cat chewing on electrical cords and other objectsChewing on electrical cords can burn or shock your cat, causing respiratory problems, cardiac arrest and even death. Cat's sharp teeth and their inquisitive nature can put your cat at high risk. This is especially an issue with kittens.
Here's what to do to:
1. Tape cords to the wall with electrical tape to help prevent your pet from gaining access to them.
2. Stow excess lengths of cord behind furniture or appliances, hidden from your cat's view. Cats are attracted to dangling cords and may think they are toys.
3. Block access to visible cords by wrapping flexible safety cable (available at hardware stores) around them. Tin foil works well too, or even a thicker model or extension cord (that is too big for a cat to chew on)
4. Place contact paper, sticky side up, in the general area of electrical cords to discourage your pet from approaching them.
5. Apply unpleasant-tasting substances to exposed cords. These could include bitter apple spray, menthol, toothpaste, mouthwash or lemon juice. Experiment with different flavors, since cats' taste aversions vary. You can also use Crittercord... It's a cord cover with a deterrent infused in it. Be sure to use a product for Cats though- similar products are available for killing rats so be careful what you buy!
6. Have favorite toys available to distract your pet from the cords, and rotate toys every few days to prevent boredom.
7. Keep your pet out of any room with exposed electrical cords until your furry friend loses interest in chewing on them.
My favorite solution is rubbing the cords with a bar of soap.
Moisten the soap, it makes application easier. The soap will last longer than the Bitter Apple sprays and is more effective than hot sauce (even habanero, which incidentally can get in the cat's eyes and be really painful). This works so well that you will probably see a reluctance to even reach for untreated cords, like a mouse or keyboard cord, where the same cat consistently would bite these before.
You need to understand that cats are smart creatures though they are also creatures of instinct. If you have something dangling around, such as a cord for a fan, your cat will naturally want to swat at it. She may even chew on it as it moves (literally moving your cat around like in old cartoons, just a bit slower).
Every interaction with your cat trains her. If she does something you don't like, and you pick her up and tell her she's naughty and put her in another room etc she's actually learning that if she does that bad behavior, she'll get attention from you! Which means she'll do the bad behavior more and more.
It's far better to ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior. To stop bad behavior interrupt her pattern with a squirt of water or use the above methods to make the experience not as pleasant as she thought it would be. (For example, chewing on cords might look like fun, but if they taste terrible, she'll soon learn that it's better to chew other things).
You should also know that problem behavior in cats is often a sign of stress, boredom or bad socializing when they were a kitten. To deal with stress and boredom provide lots toys, perches and places she can get away and relax and remember that love is the best medicine so give her plenty of attention.
If your cat is out of control due to bad socializing when she was a kitten, you can fix her behavior, though it may take longer. For example, giving her attention needs to be on HER terms...you may only be able to pat her for a small amount of time in one go, though over a few months she'll gradually allow you to pat her more and more as she gets used to it.
It's better to give her some attention and leave her wanting more then over doing it and only stopping when she scratches you and runs away.
Cats are amazing creatures, and once you understand their psychology, you'll get along with them like never before, enjoying perfect behavior from them and an even deeper bond.
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