How To Stop Your Cat from Chewing on Electrical Cords

Prevent your cat from chewing on cords and wires
by Updated September 25, 2010

A cat that likes to chew on electric cords is just asking for danger. Biting live electrical cords can not only burn, shock or kill a cat, but exposed wires caused from a cats chewing can also be a dangerous fire hazard in your home. As a cat owner, it’s up to you to try and reduce the temptation for your cat to bite into cords lying around in your house.

To help prevent your cat from chewing on cords try implementing the following:

  1. As a precaution make sure you don’t have an electrical cords where the insulation has been broken and the wires are exposed. If you do spot any cords that are badly chewed or damaged, make sure you stop using the cords immediately and replace them.
  2. Try to hide any cords from your cat so they can’t be enticed into chewing on them. Dangling cords are sure to draw the attention of your cat and it will probably think the cord is a toy and want to play with it.
  3. Secure cords to a wall or leg of a table using electrical cord covers or cord clips. If you have a bundle of cords from your computer, then you may want to use a flexible corrugated wire loom to provide full protection for your all wires. If you’re looking for something a little more attractive to hide all your cords then you may be want to go with a cord concealer from the likes of Belkin. If you’re on a budget then try using PVC pipe found at your local hardware store.
  4. Any cords that can’t be concealed should be coated with a substance that your cat will not like the taste of. Bitter apple spray found at your local pet supply store or a hot pepper sauce like Tabasco can work well. Depending on your cats taste preferences, one may work better than the other. I’ve used both and can say that they each have been good taste deterrents for stopping my cat from chewing on cords. Use gloves when handling bitter apple spray to avoid getting it on your hands and prevent it from getting into your mouth, trust me it tastes awful.
  5. Train your cat to understand that chewing on cords is bad by using a verbal queue such as "NO" whenever you see him starting to chew or bite on something he shouldn't. If “NO” doesn’t grab your cat’s attention then try smacking your hands together while issuing the verbal warning. If that still doesn’t work then get a water spray bottle and squirt your cat when he starts chewing on something. Cats don’t like water so this will most likely get your cat to stop.
  6. Make sure you give your cat attention, it may be that your cat is really just looking for someone to play with it. A laser pointer or a little furry mouse toy can be a great way to keep your cat entertained and help distract him from chewing on cords.
 


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anonymous by Seth on 8/29/2007
Should have named her Chewbacca... I like to play PS2 and apparently so does Lola, our Flamepoint Himalayan. She was cuddling up next to me and covertly chewing the cords as I played Lego Star Wars... Right in front of me!!!!! AAAHHH!!!
anonymous by Pam on 12/30/2007
OH MY GOSH! My cat has chewed every cord in the house. I have replaced several more than once. SO far all I have used as a deterrant she has not been bothered by. HELP!
anonymous by Woofie on 1/9/2008
wire chewing... How about just get rid of the damn cat
anonymous by Katty McWoofPeeer on 1/10/2008
Re: wire chewing... Maybe your spouse/significant other/mother should get rid of you.
anonymous by cathy brown on 1/29/2008
i have tried all of that and she still dose it.
anonymous by Ms. Green Eyes on 1/29/2008
I have tried everything, from the "bad-tasting" spray (which she still chews whatever it's on), water bottle (she likes water), "NO!" (till I'm blue in the face), and the usual "Hide the Cords" game (but she still manages to destroy them). She is a great kittie, loving and playful. I play with her and she has tons of toys, but she won't stop with the wires.
What other options are there?
anonymous by Lidsey on 2/9/2008
My 5 year old female cat who is not spayed chews on electrical cords all of the time. I have another male cat who is fixed that she plays with so it is not like she does not get any attention. But we do have a small apartment so I am starting to think she is just bored in the tight space, thank goodness we are moving soon. But also I notice that when she is in heat she does it a lot more..could this be why she is chewing the cords? Are any of your cats female that does this also? My male cat has never, ever chewed through a cord and I just do not have the heart to get rid of her. But when she chewed through our laptop charger that scared me because it could have caught fire if my fiancee hadn't immediately found it. If you have any suggestions please let me know, I am going to try the bitter apple spray, and hope that it works, my fiancee is getting irritated...she just chewed through number 3 or 4 of his phone chargers....Argh!!!!!
Doug by Doug on 2/13/2008
Well another idea that you may want to try would be to get some real catnip or natural grass (pet grass) for your cat to chew on. Usually, you can find a little container or box at the pet store. Essentially, you give the grass a little bit of water, and within about 3 days it begins to grow. Leave the grass on the floor so your cat can bite/eat it. It may help to at least deter your cat away from bitting cords...
anonymous by melody on 3/13/2008
try soap I hear soap works well, just moisten it a bit and rub it on the cords...
anonymous by Very Angry Yours Truly on 7/8/2008
UGH!!! You're SO right, woofie. I even wish to put that fur-brain in my house to sleep. OH WHY DID I ADOPT SUCH A IDIOTIC, CRAZY CAT???!! She bit on my cord, which atctivates my nature's fire volcano, which was a souvenier from a science museum that costed me 43 bucks+tax!!! I don't think there is a separate adaptor, u HAVE to buy the whole thing AGAIN!!!
anonymous by casper on 8/6/2008
to stop the cat from chewing on cords cover them in tin foil till it stops.... cats hate tin foil
anonymous by charrmaine on 9/2/2008
I've tried bitter apple spray, my kitten doesn't seem to mind it, he also doesn't mind being sprayed continuously with a water bottle. Any other suggestions?
Doug by Doug on 9/5/2008
You may want to try getting your kitten a few different cat toys to chew on.
anonymous by Garrett on 9/25/2008
Damn Cat. My 6 month old cat has chewed through a total of $250 worth of stuff and I am going to kill her...that's all.
Hey Garrett,
That's too bad, I definitely know how you feel. Anyway, just wanted to say that it takes time for a cat to settle into it's new environment. While all cats are different, I'm no longer that worried about my cat chewing on cords lying around the house. For over a year though, I would always close the door to my office, so my cat couldn't chew up my cords (like, headphone, ipod, computer mouse, and cell phone cords). At one point he did chew into a space heater cord that was on the floor, which could have been extremely dangerous. Anyway, I just wanted to say it may take some time before your cat feels comfortable, and no long feels the need to chew on your cords.
anonymous by kevfla on 10/17/2008
My cat has been in the house for 3 years. She seems to have started chewing on cords in the last year or so. I'm a musician so I have lots of cords lying around for speakers, guitars, mics, computers and so forth. I have no idea how to make her stop...
Cables are expensive!! I have never witness her doing it but my cables all have little pin holes in them and then eventually they stop working.. Maybe my vet can pull all her teeth out.
anonymous by Heather on 11/3/2008
First i would like to say that with most cats telling them no will not work. A cat is a cat and in the end they do and always will think that they are the real boss and not the owner who feeds them ect. I understand from a childs point of view that seeing a valued gamer cord or that of a small appliance is hard for them to take but larger more expensive and more importantly hard to replace cords that cost 90 plus to re purchase hurts alot more. The plastic tubing can work but is not easy to put on, spray works but can be costly to find one that works( oh and then theres the fact that you will no want to ever touch said cord again) then there are the cheaper solutions, ether foil tape or foil itself, this allows you to wrap many cords without bundling them all together.... As for the smaller ones that you cant really wrap.... Hate to break it to you boys but if u cant put away the cords to your controlers to your games or put ur headphones away when not in use and u know the cat chews then u cant get mad at the cat. we dont leave out drinks around alcohalics so dont do it to your cat!
anonymous by ed on 11/12/2008
I have a 5 year old male cat that I have spent hundreds of dollars on replacing audio and electronic cables and wires that he has chewed. It was the little wall charger cords at first, then stereo and computer wires. Now he even chews 110 volt power cords and I have seen him jump from the shock he got. I worry about fire from him shorting the wires. My last attempt at stopping him is black automotive wire loom and
anonymous by David on 11/14/2008
Try CritterCord! Our company developed the product several years ago to remedy the exact issue of cord chewing each of you is facing, just as I once did. It's clear flexible cord cover, engineered with bitter taste and citrus scent deterrents. See more at www.crittercord.com.
anonymous by Melissa on 11/18/2008
I've had my cat since July, adopted her from the pound. She's currently about 9 months old and she has a problem chewing my laptop cord. She's an indoor cat and she sleeps/eats/lives primarily in my room...where my laptop is. I try to keep the cord out of her reach, but she likes climbing on things. So far, my dad (who's skilled enough in computers) has spliced the cord three separate times. Today, I found flames and smoke pouring out of a section of the cord. Fire Hazard written all over it. She has trained me ("me", mind you, not the other way around) that she wants food. All. The. Time. Her pregnant-looking pot belly is proof enough. And when she's hungry and there is only a few morsels left in her food dish she is too lazy to eat, she will paw at the door I keep her food behind. If I ignore her, then she seeks revenge by chewing on my cord. It's really only when she's hungry that she chews my cord, but she has a serious weight issue and I can't leave her food dish filled up all the time because she'll sit and eat...all the time. I guess I could try a deterent, but do you have any suggestions for a cat who's hungry all the time and so chews my cord?
Melissa... you may want to try getting a small catnip pillow, for your cat to lick when she's hungry. You may also want to get a cat toy on a string, then position the toy so it is always dangling. The idea being... when your cat is hungry she will chew on the cat toy string, instead of your laptop cord.

I've used both of the above, and they seem to have helped stop my cat from continuing to chew on electrical cords.
anonymous by Bunny on 12/4/2008
at our last witts with our older cat...
i want to know what we can do about our one yr old car he likes to chew our our wires he already went through 3 of our cell phone chargers and a lap cord and also a play station the play station was when we just had him but we have an other cat that will be a yr old next month do u think he is doing it to get our attention because thats the way i feel
anonymous by tekphnx on 11/21/2011
Pets chewing on electric cords is no joke! If you have a pet who chews on cords, either keep your pet separated from cords at all times or install electrical safety measures - GFCI's will reduce the risk of shock, and AFCI's reduce the risk of fire - look them up!
anonymous by rudycooper on 12/21/2012
I'm just glad that I am not the only cat owner having the whole cord chewing problem! I've had tons and tons of pets, and she is the first one to do this... laptop and phone chargers mostly, but now, she stole Christmas! Chewed through the lights. I am going to try the bitter spray or something of that nature, and maybe tin foil on smaller cords- any other things you all have found that works? What have been the best suggestions?
@Rudy My cat loves eating my mini plastic Christmas trees this time of year as well. But I started spraying the plastic limbs with bitter spray, and since then I haven't seen him try to chew on it. So easy the bitter apple spray does work.

As far as cords go, the best thing to do is try to conceal them as much as possible so your cat won't have a chance to chew on them. I hide all my earbuds / headphone cords or else my cat will completely chew the cords. I've had a number of apple earbuds ruined, so I've learned that I just can't leave them out anywhere or else I risk getting them chewed up.

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