Cats are known for their unpredictable and uniquely wild personalities. Over the course of their lives, domestic cats develop a number of strange habits. Unfortunately for cat owners, many of these habits are destructive in nature. Electrical cord-chewing is one of the more common (and more destructive habits) of the modern housecat.
A Dangerous Habit
Cord-chewing is both frustrating to owners and highly dangerous to cats. While it may damage expensive electronic equipment, a plugged-in cord can potentially electrocute your cat. Cords are also considered a serious choking hazard, as any severed pieces can get lodged in your pet’s throat.
Reasons for Cord-Chewing
Cats chew cords for a variety of reasons. One of the more common reasons is for their dental health; similarly to human babies, cats “teethe” when their teeth or gums hurt. This is especially true for kittens cutting new teeth, but older cats can also experience oral pains.
Cats with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are also more likely to chew objects like cords. OCD increases the urge to suck or gnaw on inedible objects like cords or blankets. Your pet may have OCD if they self-mutilate, chase their tail, or overgroom. While OCD is a common and livable mental condition, its symptoms can be difficult to manage.
Sometimes, cats chew cords or other objects for dietary reasons. They may know there is something missing in their diet and resort to eating just about anything they can find. In severe cases, this condition is called pica. Pica is dangerous, as it can lead to major digestive problems.
Finally, a cat’s environment can often influence their recurrent behaviors. Bored cats are more likely to chew or even destroy objects. Because cords look like another cat’s tail, they are a common casualty of boredom. Alternatively, a stressful environment may also cause unwanted chewing. In either case, you should reevaluate your pet’s living condition.
Cord-chewing, like any abnormal behavior, should be addressed at the source of the problem. Whether it is OCD or pica, a vet visit is always a good idea. However, due to its dangerous nature, cord-chewing itself must be immediately addressed.
If possible, tuck all cords away from your cat’s reach. This is the best solution, but it can be unrealistic in the modern home. Exposed cords should be as unappetizing as possible. You can smear bitter apple substance (a common cat deterrent) or a menthol-containing product on cords. These offensive smells and tastes should encourage your cat to steer clear of cords. You can also try to cover them up with PVC pipes.
At Claws N Paws Day Spa, your pet’s needs are always the top concern. Our professional grooming salon provides a wide range of services to both cats and dogs. Right next door, your cat can find comfort in our cats-only boarding facility. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 714-962-1005.