Cats are mostly associated with mischief, sharp claws and deadly scratches. So, cats and scratching go hand in hand, but not many people associate them with chewing. However, it is very normal for many cats to chew and gnaw on different things. However, this may sometimes lead to more severe injuries or accidents. Therefore many people are curious to know how they can stop their cat from chewing.
It is crucial to stress the fact that the cat’s chewing behavior is normal most of the time. It should not be a cause for any alarm. But if the cat is chewing in a noticeably compulsive pattern or seems to have a taste to chew on the more hazardous objects inside one’s homes such as wires and cords, then this behavior should be checked at the earliest.
What are the reasons to stop a cat from chewing?
Some cats start chewing because of stress or anxiety. Usually, when this is the case, the cat’s chewing behavior will become compulsive, which means that the chewing will persist despite it having adverse effects on the overall health of the cat.
Compulsive chewing will sometimes lead to the cat inflicting injuries to itself, especially if the cat is chewing on harder objects, which may take a toll on its teeth and gums and even the state of this mouth. Sometimes the cat might also chew on its own paws and tail, thereby injuring itself in the process.
Therefore to help prevent the cat from hurting itself further, the owner must take the required steps to stop the compulsive chewing behavior.
Risk to safety
A cat cannot tell the risk involved in chewing on certain things, which may cause big accidents. Sometimes cats will chew on the foot of bulky furniture or even on electrical wires and cords. Even though it may seem unlikely that this may lead to anything serious, accidents may happen despite the low chances.
Chewing on heavy furniture in the house may cause it to fall on the cat itself or even on unsuspecting victims nearby, which can potentially cause serious injuries. Whereas, when the cat chews on wires and cords, there is a chance of it chewing through the wires, which will lead to short circuits and electrocution.
When the cat chewing becomes a risk to the safety of the cat and others around it, then this becomes a good reason for coming up with ways on how to stop a cat from chewing.
Incurring heavy losses
Sometimes cats like to chew on anything that might interest them irrespective of how expensive the things might have cost their owners. There are instances where cats chew up expensive gadgets and home decor. Some cats even chew and tear away at their owner’s clothes and shoes. Others may chew and cause noticeable damages to household items.
In cases like this, the owners bear the costs involved in repairing or replacing the damaged items on their own. For this reason, it becomes necessary to stop the cat from chewing everything in the house.
Methods to help stop cat from chewing
Although it may be impossible to stop a cat from chewing completely, there are ways that one can follow to improve the issue. Some of the methods which can help to prevent the cat from chewing up to a certain extent are as follows-
Physical exercises in an outdoor environment
Usually, when the chewing habit stems from an underlying issue related to boredom, anxiety, or stress, it helps to encourage the cat to be more active physically. Taking the cat on outdoor adventures and play sessions can help with the compulsive chewing.
Most of the time, compulsive chewing behavior is more apparent in cats that spend too much time indoors in an artificial home environment or, in particular, cats, which may have a naturally fearful disposition. The build-up of stress and anxiety in these situations manifest themselves in the form of a compulsive chewing tendency.
The cat will improve significantly in a short time following a routine of regular outdoor sessions. These sessions will help to get the cat to connect with its natural instincts on a better level and even reduce its boredom, thereby improving the compulsive chewing behavior to a great extent or also helping the cat to recover from the obsessive-compulsive disorder fully.
When the cat continues to chew a specific body part or parts over a long period, this usually means that the cat may be experiencing some discomfort or pain in that area. It may be chewing on that area to attain some relief from the pain.
Getting any necessary medical procedures done or getting medications for pain relief for the cat from the vet will help with the chewing problem. Once the pain goes away, the chewing will also go away shortly afterward.
Giving proper training
Usually, cats start to chew during the start of their teething period, which is the period during which the cat’s teeth begin to grow in. It usually begins around 3-4 months of age for kittens and can last up to five months.
During the teething period, providing the kitten with proper chew toys will help to stop the cat from chewing any other objects. This period is the best time to help train the cat to chew only its chew toys and thus prevent the cat from chewing other things even in the future.
Although training can be given later on in the cat’s life, it is always better and more effective if we address the chewing from the start and not midway.
Providing a good alternative
Sometimes the solutions to a problem are more simple than we can ever imagine. Even when it comes to cat chewing problems, providing a better alternative for the cat is sometimes all that is needed.
For instance, most cats will immediately switch from the item it is chewing when provided with a good toy which they can chew on.
How to stop cat from chewing specific things
There are more specific problems associated with cat chewing, especially if the cat’s favorite items to chew are more hazardous and risky such as wires, cords.
Some of the things which one can do to solve these more specific problems are:
How to stop cat from chewing wires
Cats have an excellent affinity for stringy things. So, when cats are left alone, with all the electrical wires out in the open, then these become an easy target for the cats.
The cats will most definitely chew on the most interesting and easily available item they can find, and sometimes, electrical wires become a very attractive target for the cats to chew, especially if they have nothing else to chew.
To answer the question ‘how to stop cat from chewing wires’ is to provide an alternative option to the cat. So, the best solution is leaving the cat with plenty of toys it can chew on rather than the wires.
How to stop cat from chewing cords
One can handle a cat’s cord chewing issues in a variety of different ways.
- Cover the cords with hard “poly” tubing to make it harder for the cat to chew.
- Limit the cat’s access to cords by setting up minor physical restrictions around the cords.
- Another way on how to stop a cat from chewing cords is to apply some bad-tasting material on them so that it will become unpleasant for the cat when it chews on the cords.