General Question

soethe6's avatar

Cats and electrical cords?

Asked by soethe6 (537points) March 23rd, 2008
17 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

I’m about to get a cat. I’ve never owned a cat before. The cat book I bought has a section on making your house cat-safe, and it suggests covering all electrical cords with hard plastic tubing or tape or whatever.

At first, that seemed logical. Now I’m realizing (1) that I have a lot of cords here and there in my house, from speaker cables to printer cables to lamp cords, and (2) that probably most cat owners don’t bother to do this. So…two questions for people with cat experience:

1. Should I bother to cover all the cords in my house, or will keeping them relatively out of the way suffice? If I should do it, do you recommend a specific product?

2. Have you had any problems with your cat damaging electrical cords? Has your cat been injured? What about your appliances?


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eambos's avatar

All I remember is that I heard a strange noise and my cat walked into the room with hair on end…

gooch's avatar

My wife’s cat ate my iPhone cord, telephone cable, and chewed a lamp cord.

squirbel's avatar

My kitten just hit one year.

Cats love cords, from skinny iPod headphones (most vulnerable) to ones as thick as LAN cables and FireWire.

Hide the cords! Buy BitterYuck! Cover them! I have spent so much money replacing obscure cables. You will get used to stuffing you iPod charger cables in a drawer or under a pillow for its safety.

I found sprays and tabasco don’t last long. The best remedy I have found was a wet bar of soap, and soaping cables and cords. It takes a while for it to wear off and is cheap and very effective.

Cats chew cords when they are bored, as well as plants and shoe strings.

squirbel's avatar


Poor kitty !!!

eambos's avatar

She was fine. At first I was a little freaked out, but now we laugh at the incident =p

hearkat's avatar

Wow. I’ve had cats my whole life (at least a dozen from kittenhood) and we’ve never had this problem. I guess that’s why they say you learn something new every day.

hollywoodduck's avatar

I’ve never had a problem with my cats and electrical cords. It might depend on the cat and how accessible they are.

Now, curtains and christmas tress…that’s another story :-P

andrew's avatar

@soethe6 Are you getting a kitten or a cat? If you’re getting a grown-up cat, you shouldn’t need to worry about it.

Kittens, on the other hand, are real jerks. Hide your cords. My kitten ate through the cord on my Wii in 3 places. Jerk.

squirbel's avatar

I think, like fetishes, you have cats that like strings and cords, and those who love plants and other things. I know for sure my cat, even though she’s an indoor kitty, prefers the squirrels outside the window than the freakin14dollar video of gerbils and fish I play on the tv for her.

And she has like zero interest in plants….sigh.

Since I’m like a gadget-chick I would totally prefer a plant-tv cat to a shoestring-iPod cord monster…

squirbel's avatar

/pat Andrew.

I feel your pain, my PS3 power cord had the same fate.

syz's avatar

It depends on the individual cat. My cats have never chewed cords, but I’ve seen plenty of kitties in the emergency clinic with severe burns. I wouldn’t take proactive action, just watch the cat and intervene if it seems interested in cords. You can try behavior modification (squirt her with a water bottle any time she looks at a cord) or you can treat the cords with a product called “Bitter Apple” that tastes foul and will dissuade her.

syz (35695points)“Great Answer” (2points)
Zaku's avatar

I’ve had quite a few cats and never had an electrical cord problem except sometimes them bumping into one and un-plugging something.

It depends on the cat and how bored it is. Electrical cords tend not to be the most exciting thing, and except for a kitten probably aren’t going to result in a problem even if they do fool with one.

Just give your cat more opportunity for fun than an electrical cord can supply. Like a bent twist-tie, a shoelace you play with them with, a yard, a pillow in the window… the cat that resorts to seriously attacking cords is probably bored and/or berserk (e.g. unsupervised kitten).

soethe6's avatar

Wow…great responses, everyone. Thanks!

It will probably be a kitten. I’ll either take preemptive action or, at the very least, will keep a close eye on things to see how interesting cords end up being. Thanks again!

oneye1's avatar

I have never had any problems with them chewing but playing with and pulling a lamp off the table yes

Zaku's avatar

When I think “unsupervised kitten” some things I worry about include fabrics I don’t want to get shredded and chewed up like upholstery, loose tablecloths with items on them, nooks I couldn’t get them out of, kitchen counters, climbable curtains, and not leaving it alone for long periods of time.

Also anything litter-box-like that isn’t a litter box. (That means bags or piles of loose stuff.)

yannick's avatar

Well I’ve had a cat for about… 2 and a bit years. As a kitten, she ate the rubber wristband off my watch (making it useless and irreplaceable) and also chewed on various thin cables (such as the aforementioned ipod headphones).

However, my cat has never really been that interested by actual electric cables such as for the TV, stereo, etc… I guess it depends on the cat, to a certain extent, but I would recommend that you keep small, tempting chewable objects away from your kitten, and watch out for electrical cables that are clearly visible in your loungeroom, for example.

soethe6's avatar

Ah, my loungeroom….

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