How to Keep Cats from Chewing on Cords

Cats Chew Power Cords

While a wonderful addition to the family, felines can develop the habit of chewing on electrical power cords. Besides being an obnoxious quirk, it can also be dangerous to you and your pet. Any gnawed power cord can pose a shock hazard to your pets and family. So how do you get them to cease and desist?

Let the pros at Mr. Electric® provide some helpful tips on how to keep cats from chewing on cords.

First, Why Do Cats Chew Power Cords?

The motivations of the feline mind for chewing cords are not fully understood, but there are a few theories. To a cat, a power cord may resemble the tail of a prey animal, which triggers their instinct to attack it. While no one is 100 percent sure why cats act the way they do, here are some other possible explanations for cord chewing.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Certain breeds of cats are more predisposed to develop OCD tendencies. These include Burmese, Siamese, and Oriental Shorthair breeds. Cats of these breeds may develop a desire to chew or possibly eat inedible items like power cords!

While OCD can manifest in cord chewing, it can also result in:

  • Repetitive tail chasing
  • Excessive grooming
  • Obsessive licking, chewing, or sucking of a fabric

Dental Problems

People are not the only ones that can get a toothache. Your feline friend may be suffering from dental discomfort, which could result in them gnawing to alleviate pain. A majority of cats develop periodontal disease by the age of three, so it’s important to schedule regular veterinary dental care. It will keep your cat healthy, and could keep your cords intact, as well!


Your cat’s compulsion to chomp cords may stem from plain old boredom. This is especially prominent in older cats, who develop arthritis and a reduction in their physical activity and capability. If your feline is less able to move around, explore, and exercise, they may be gnawing cords out of boredom.

Medical Issues

Medical issues that affect metabolism, such as hyperthyroidism, may create a propensity for chewing. Have your cat screened with a blood test for this and similar medical conditions.


A feline experiencing stress or anxiety could chew power cords to alleviate emotional discomfort. Find some new toys for your cat, preferably made of a material similar to the cords he or she likes to chew. Chewing on rubbery toys may soothe the anxiety and distract him or her from chewing on wires.

How to Keep Cats from Chewing Cords

If the cord chewing persists, take your cat to the veterinarian to assess and possibly diagnose a potential underlying condition.

For the time being, here are some strategies you can employ to protect your cords and your pet:

What to Put on Cords to Prevent Cats from Chewing

  • Cover cords in a protective wrapping such as rubber tubing, or run them through PVC pipes. This covering will make it more difficult or impossible for your cat to damage the cords and potentially harm themselves.
  • Coat cords with a menthol substance, such as Vicks VapoRub. The strong scent can stop cats from wanting to gnaw on the covered cord. A similar tactic is to apply hot sauce to the cord to make it taste unpleasant.  

Other Methods to Combat Cord Chewing

  • Offer your cat alternatives such as cardboard, crinkly toys, or a small canine rawhide chew. Having a substitute available to gnaw on could divert their attention away from live wires.
  • Keep your cat entertained by providing it with additional attention. This could alleviate stress and anxiety that may be driving the cord-chewing behavior.

Trust Mr. Electric for Your Electrical Repairs

Whether the result of instinct, health issues, or emotional stress, a cat chewing through your cords can damage your appliances and be dangerous to their health and yours. Don’t leave that potential danger lingering in your home. Call the licensed electricians at Mr. Electric at (844) 866-1367 or request an appointment today to have damaged cords repaired (or replaced) – and one or more of your cat’s nine lives spared!