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kitten chewing on electric wires

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a sweet, 7 week old kitten. He is playful and curious about everything. In his quest to become familiar with his new home, he occasionally chews wires, such as to the computer, TV, lamps. How do I control this, so he doesn't do it when I'm not around to stop him?
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hepcat
I have a sweet, 7 week old kitten. He is playful and curious about everything. In his quest to become familiar with his new home, he occasionally chews wires, such as to the computer, TV, lamps. How do I control this, so he doesn't do it when I'm not around to stop him?
There are sprays or liquids designed for stopping chewing for people, so maybe for cats also? Tell him no, redirect him to something safe to do instead? Look into getting some wire covers that keep cables bound together and protected etc.. thats all I can think of, never really had that problem except with game cords once and had to keep an eye on them when in use if the cat was around.
post #3 of 17
cirque is right, there is bitter apple spray, but i dont know... liquid...? electrical cords...? hmm... better to get the covers... wally world(wal-mart) has cheap thin flexible, but firm(if that makes sense) tubing that you can put over electrical wires...
sorry this is so long...
another idea, (i use this for my headboard and my computer desk) both the desk and the headboard are positioned right in front of electrical outlets so all the cords are dangling down underneath them...get all the cords tied together neatly, go buy poster board or something similar... make sure it is the width of you headboard and high enough to reach the top of the bottom of the headboard... slide the board down so it is behind your headboard, but make sure that the electrical cords are behind the posterboard... then we have a nightstand on each side of the headboard, up against the wall so she cant walk around behind it... we dont have anything holding it up, but you could use tape or very tiny nails or whatever.... it stands up all by itself, it leans against the wall of course and if she leans on it, it bends a little, but there is no way she can get around it.... now i know that doesnt work for things like lamps and whatnot, but it is a big help when it comes to areas with lots of wires like the bedroom or computer desk, or entertainment center... just make sure you have something on the sides as well, so they cant walk around behing it... we have file cabints on each side of our comp desk so she cant go behind it... it is cheaper than the tubing was... and it took me all of 35 seconds to do
its worked like a charm since she joined us, the other single wires around the house have tubing on them... she just sees something dangling and wants to play, but now when she bights it, she is not bighting into electrical cords
post #4 of 17
Telling a kitten no, doesn't usually work. They are not of that attention span yet where you can hold their focus

This product works well

http://home.flash.net/~stpshock/

So does some tube wrap from Radio Shack, or even just cutting short boards and taping the wires to the board with electrical tape. Then just flip the boards over so the cords aren't dangling like mice tails and tempting the kitty to come and play with them. It isn't safe to put anything wet on wires like bitter apple- so your best bet is to buy the product above or tuck the cords out of the way.
post #5 of 17
Another trick I have used that is inexpensive is to get the long foam insulating wrap arounds from a hardware store - generally less than a dollar for a 6 foot length - and slip it over all of the cords from outlet to appliance. That works well for things like lamps and stereo systems, toasters and such. The only problem is one of appearance as they are thick and bulky and come only in gray, black and a light blue. They work, though.

We use the cord protectors and cord coil protector for the computer equipment that is obviously tempting.

Kathryn
post #6 of 17
Ah ha! Something I had to deal with too! (I used to tell people that I thought my cat was asking for electro-shock therapy...)

The easiest thing I found to cover cords was the inner roll from paper towels, gift wrap, etc. The different sizes fit in different place. I thought she might chew these, too, as she likes cardboard, but they weren't tempting.

Wishing you well!
Kate
post #7 of 17
Welcome to TCS! You have received some good advice.
post #8 of 17
For wires that run against the baseboard colored duct tape works amazingly well. I have surround sound speakers here in my room, and to keep the cats from getting tangled up in the wires I used brown duct tape to secure them to my baseboard. Unless someone were to look closely, they wouldnt' know any wiring or tape was there at all.
post #9 of 17
maybe duct tape, or toilet tube them THEN put the bitter apple on?
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks! i'm going to try as many suggestions as possible & see what works best. i want to keep my baby as safe as possible!
post #11 of 17
We had that problem, too. It started one night when I couldn't go out and buy anything to use right away. I used a paper towel to rub some Tabasco (just a bit) on the wire that was giving us the trouble. They stopped bothering the wire pretty quickly. lol
I was so pleased with the result that I have used the technique more than once. My babies have not bothered any more wires.
post #12 of 17
...but the solution is still up in the air for me. I've had my kitten for 5.5 weeks and I squirt her every time she bites/claws at the wires around, but she still goes back. I don't want to simply cover them because then how can she learn that I don't want her to chew them?

It turns out that her entire family liked playing with wires, pulling the plugs out of the sockets, etc. So I imagine this is like an addiction for her. But I would think that, being so afraid of water as she is, being punished with a squirting every time she meddles with the wires would be punishment enough to stop doing it.

I've tried moving the wires as high up out of her reach as possible, directing her attention to her toys, saying no, squirting her, putting tape on the wires. As a last alternative, I've put powdered cayenne pepper on all the tape I already put on the wires. Still, she knows there are wires too far to reach without all that and she's trying desperately to get at them now. I don't know what to do anymore, but this is driving me crazy.

She does play with her toys and enjoys them thoroughly when she does. She just always seems to want to add a new toy to her list. Wires are her first choice, but anything is fair game to her, whether or not it moves.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexie
...but the solution is still up in the air for me. I've had my kitten for 5.5 weeks and I squirt her every time she bites/claws at the wires around, but she still goes back. I don't want to simply cover them because then how can she learn that I don't want her to chew them?
whether she learns that you dont want her to chew them or not, she is probably going to anyway... and if you are getting mad and squirting her when she does it, she is just going to learn to wait till you are out of the room to do it... it doesnt matter if they are moving or not, i have seen my cat attack walls and books just sitting on the floor, mobility is not always something that cats are concerned with when looking for something to attack and hunt...
as for the cayenne pepper, not such a good idea, i have read on some other posts about different spices being really bad for cats, and i can only imagine what cayenne pepper would do to their insides, besides bad diarrhea and puking it could make her very seriously sick...
post #14 of 17
Cayenne pepper is not a spice as far as I'm concerned. It's first and foremost a herb. One that is very good for circulation and can be taken by us in very large amounts. When my older dog started looking sluggish, I started opening a capsule over his food every day and he became as spunky as a puppy all over again within a week. I'm neither a doctor nor a herbalist, but I do read a lot on herbs and I can't say I expect any adverse reaction from it at all.

She's almost stopped bothering the wires since I put it. Sometimes, she will swat at them once or twice, but nothing more. I started limiting her toys and noticed less destructive behavior in general, so maybe it's really a matter of over-stimulation. She usually gets to the point where she's bouncing off the walls and running laps around the room.

I forgot to mention she's somewhat feral.
post #15 of 17
You can get these pipe insulators at any home improvement store. That's what I used. Not real attractive but it worked.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...einsulator.bmp
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexie
...but the solution is still up in the air for me. I've had my kitten for 5.5 weeks and I squirt her every time she bites/claws at the wires around, but she still goes back. I don't want to simply cover them because then how can she learn that I don't want her to chew them?

It turns out that her entire family liked playing with wires, pulling the plugs out of the sockets, etc. So I imagine this is like an addiction for her. But I would think that, being so afraid of water as she is, being punished with a squirting every time she meddles with the wires would be punishment enough to stop doing it.

I've tried moving the wires as high up out of her reach as possible, directing her attention to her toys, saying no, squirting her, putting tape on the wires. As a last alternative, I've put powdered cayenne pepper on all the tape I already put on the wires. Still, she knows there are wires too far to reach without all that and she's trying desperately to get at them now. I don't know what to do anymore, but this is driving me crazy.

First of all your primary objective is to keep your kitten safe and away from the wires. Put away the squirt gun please, that is negative energy your kitten does not need. Measure the amount the space the cords are hanging and cut short boards that size. Place the cords on the boards, and tape the cords down. Flip the board so it is facing toward the room and the cords are behind it. She is a cat and they see the world differently from us. Those cords to her could be mice tails and she is simply following her natural instinct to find out what that is. Yelling at her will only serve to make her more determined to find out why her human gets so excited when she is back there preying. I would remove from her toy arsenal anything with string, yarn, ribbon or rope. I would instead play with her with laser light- da bird, or other toys that feel natural to her. She is not programmed like a dog. Dog's learn differently. Just because you believe she should "learn" to stay away from the cords, sadly does not mean that she will. She is a cat, she is not a person in a fur coat (as Pam Johnson Bennett says many times in her books). Her world is limited to what she sees- and she sees those cords as an item of great entertainment value.

I highly recommend you purchase Wendy Christensen's latest book Outwitting Cats-
Here's the link:

Wendy's book
post #17 of 17
Another thing, while we're on the subject of hazardous objects:

Please insert solid plastic "baby guards" on every unused electric outlet in your home. A curious claw can lead to horrible consequences.
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