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post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a problem with my kitten's destructive chewing and need a cure fast!

I have a 9 month old mixed-breed kitten, Marty, that is declawed, neutered, and shares my home with an 11 month old Airedale Terrier. The cat and dog get along fine.

The problem is Marty's destructive chewing. I have never witnessed this behavior and have therefore never been able to correct him when it occurs.

For the first few month in my house I kept Marty confined to a small area of the house so that I could monitor his activities. As he got older I let him roam throughout the house since he appeared to be showing no behavioural problems. That changed!

His first destructive act was to chew the binding around two pieces of carpeting. The carpets are 4 feet x 3 feet and he destroyed about 10% - 15% of the binding on both carpets.

At first I thought that the puppy was the culprit, but later learned this to be an inaccurate assumption when I made a decision to keep Marty confined (only at night) in the area of the house in which he stayed when first entering my home. I confined him because I was concerned about the possibility of him chewing on Christmas decorations, electrical cords, etc.

Marty chewed a piece (about 1.5 inches x 0.5 inches) of the frame around a closed door that he obviously wanted opened during one of these nights. He also chewed - and ate - the carpeting on which he had previously destroyed the binding. I know it was Marty because at the time I was keeping the puppy in a crate at night.

All of this damage occured at night in an entry room near the garage, so it was not of major concern from a cosmetic standpoint. I talked to my vet and she recommended leaving Marty out at night, which I did, and there was no further damage - until yesterday.

I was gone during the day and came home to find that Marty had chewed the corner of a carpeted step on the second floor of the house. It is quite noticeable and will need to be repaired. Other than the damage that MArty is inflicting on my house, I am concerned about his health because he appears to have eaten the carpet fibers. My vet told me that carpet fibers can be extremely dangerous to cats so I am seeking a solution.

I have searched the internet and read that he may be bored and need another cat to play with. I already have one destructive cat in the house and do not want two, so this is not an option. Also, the dog and cat both roam freely through the house while I am away and play well together when I am home. Marty has many toys, a cat gym, and scratching post to keep him entertained. I have tried bitter spray on the carpet that he first chewed without success.

I enjoy Marty's company but do not appreciate the destructive behaviour.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
post #2 of 4
i've been mainly lurking on this board but your question is something i have experience with.

i have 3 cats, they were all adopted as adults (neutered & declawed by previous owners). 2 of them are littermates, and they are the ones that used to chew. when i first got them they chewed on my carpeting (it was berber). they just shredded it. i lost that pet deposit! i used tape (clear packing tape) and that would stop them from chewing certain spots anymore. they also used to chew on our wood futon frame and wood coffee table. they destroyed my husbands leather computer chair (chewed the underside).

they did grow out of this behavior, but you may want to try bitter apple spray. i wish i would have known about bitter apple when i first got raven and nabu. oh, they were around 1yr to 1 1/2 yrs when i adopted them, they are now going to be 7 yrs in may and no longer chew on everything.

i hope this helps a little.
post #3 of 4
You need to talk to your vet about pica, as that is what is sounds like Marty has. It could also be that the behavior is a result of the declawing, a sort of frustration point for the cat, so he just chews things in his angst. Provide for him other alternative places to be, a cat condo, make him a ball bin, just get a large cardboard box, toss a few ping pong balls inside and let him get some of his anxiety out that way. Keeping the balls inside, allows them to play for hours and you don't have to worry about fetching balls under furniture etc. Make some cat size holes in the sides (off the floor)

You say you keep the cat "out?" I hope you do not mean outside? Putting a declawed cat outside means leaving him open to other predators with no weapons but his teeth.

Some people argue that pica is a chemical imbalance, others say it is a nutritional defienciency. You need to introduce fiber into this cat's diet. You can give him cooked and mashed green beans with a tiny amount of butter, or canned pumpkin. Even a small bit of organic catnip will work to introduce fiber and not cause this cat to become blocked.

I read a lot of frustration in your post, please don't punish your cat for a behavior he cannot help.

Good luck-
post #4 of 4
Originally posted by hissy
It could also be that the behavior is a result of the declawing, a sort of frustration point for the cat, so he just chews things in his angst.
i think that was one factor in my cats' chewing when they were young (raven and nabu had been neutered/declawed only 3 months prior to my adopting them--i was lucky, they came with vet records.). i agree that a vet check is in order, though. i forgot to add that earlier.
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