How to Keep Pets from Chewing on Cords

While pets are a wonderful addition to the family, they can develop the habit of chewing on cords around the house. Besides it being an annoying quirk, it can also be very dangerous for both you and your pet. Any chewed power cord poses a shock hazard to your family and pets. So how do you get them to stop?

Let the experts at East-West Electric give you some helpful advice on how to keep your pets from chewing on cords.

Why Do Pets Chew Power Cords?

The motivations of our pets’ minds for chewing on electrical chords are not fully understood, but we have some theories. To a cat, for example, a power cord may look like the tail of an animal they would prey on, and that can trigger their instinct to attack. While there is no certainty on why any pet acts as they do, here are some other explanations on why they might be chewing on cords.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Certain pets, like cats, are more likely to develop OCD. Breeds like Burmese, Oriental Shorthair and Siamese are very nervous cats. These cat breeds may develop the need to chew or even eat electrical power cords.

Dental Problems

Toothaches are not exclusively for people. Your pet may be suffering from dental pain or even teething, if it’s a young pet, resulting in gnawing to relieve the pain. Some cats and dogs develop the periodontal disease when they’re three years old. This is why it’s important to have regular veterinary dental care. It will definitely help keep your pet healthy and hopefully your cords intact, too!


Your pet’s compulsion to chew on cords may come from simple boredom. This is pretty common in puppies and older cats. If a puppy is not stimulated enough it can get boring, resulting in destructive habits like chewing on cords. Older cats, on the other hand, can develop arthritis and their physical activity can get reduced, resulting also in boredom.

Medical Issues

Some medical issues like hyperthyroidism can affect your pet’s metabolism, creating a propensity for chewing cords. Have your pet screened at the vet with a blood test for this condition and others?


A pet that experiences stress or anxiety can start chewing on cords to relieve some emotional discomfort. You can get some toys for your pet, preferably made of similar materials to the cords they like chewing on. Rubbery toys can help with soothing anxiety and distract them from chewing on cords.

How to Keep Pets from Chewing Cords

If your pet continues to chew, take them to the veterinarian to assess and potentially diagnose an underlying condition. However, for now, we have some tips on how to protect your cords and your pet:

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

What to Put on Cords to Prevent Pets from Chewing

  • Wrap your cords in rubber tubing or have them run through PVC pipes. This will make it harder or even impossible for your pet to damage the cords and potentially themselves.
  • Cover the cords with a substance containing menthol, such as Vicks Vaporub. Vicks has a strong scent that can stop your pet from gnawing on the cords. Similarly, you can apply hot sauce to the cords to make it an unpleasant taste for them.

Other Ways to Fight Cord Chewing

  • Offer your pet alternatives to chew on such as crinkly toys, rawhide, or even cardboard. This can help divert their attention from live wires.
  • Keep your pets entertained by giving them extra attention. This can help them reduce stress and anxiety that may be causing them to chew on cords.

Call East-West Electric For Your Electrical Repairs

Whether your pet is chewing on cords because of instinct or health issues, if they’re chewing on cords they can damage your appliances. And, what is worse, it can be very dangerous for you and your pet. Don’t allow that potential hazard in your home. Call the expert electricians at East-West Electric at (727) 771-9403.

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