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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:59 PM
MissPurryJess's Avatar
MissPurryJess MissPurryJess is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bethesda, MD
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Question Safe leather or wire for cat to chew?

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my cats are both chewers. From what I can gather they have pica, which isn't uncommon, but they chew very different things. Daisy chews plastic/tape/paper/carpet, and Fitz chews leather/cords/wires. With Daisy it's relatively easy to prevent her from chewing things, as we don't leave any plastic/paper/tape out that she can get to. As far as the carpet, our current home is rented and the carpet is AWFUL and CHEAP and she'll pull it up in the corner and chew on it, and then I'll find a little puddle of barf with carpet bits in it, find the pulled-up carpet, and try to fix it.

But with Fitzy - it's an issue to hide all the cords in the house. We've done a pretty good job, but in our living room there's still 3 cords he has access too, and we don't have much of a choice since we have limited outlets in here. We keep the cords covered with this:

But it's not a deterrent - he loves chewing on the covers. We don't have any dangling wires, all cords have been consolidated and covered, but it doesn't matter - he still ruins them. He ate through the cable for my laptop charger. He gets in this weird trance state and does it - like he'll be on our laps, all curled up and happy and purring, and suddenly he'll jump down and stumble over to the wall and start chewing on the cord and the plug. It's like he's in a trance - so weird. We've had him checked out, his teeth, his blood work, x-rays and exams and all that, and he's fine. He's done this for a long time - it's nothing new. And I don't think it's boredom, because he'll do it when we're petting him or loving him. It seriously mystifies me.

SO! The other day I was at my wits end and I had this epiphany - chewing on foil isn't pleasant. So on a whim I covered all of the cords he has access to with strips of tinfoil. IT WORKED! Neither he nor his sister will chew on the wires now - they want to, they try to, but they won't actually do it. So this is good news.

Now he's just acting upset when he gets into a cord-chewing mood. He walks around the room pacing back and forth, in his trance-like state, and since there's nothing to chew on, he just sort of stands there. I try to distract him with cuddles or toys, he's not really interested. This afternoon there was an incident near the basement door - he pooped in front of the basement door. Now I don't know why - there are a few reasons this may have happened (it's possible someone was in his bathroom at the time) - and I know I'm projecting, but what if he's angry about the lack of cords to chew on? I know this sounds ridiculous - just an idea.

So my question is - what can I give him to chew? My husband gave me an old leather belt and some old cords - they're in the "donation" box in our basement, so if he decides to destroy them, it's fine. I gave him a leather belt to play with for a minute and he WENT TO TOWN on that thing. Gnawing on it, biting it, etc. And then I realized this may be a bad idea - considering it's a cheap leather belt made in China, and who knows what kinds of chemicals they use to tan the leather? Do you guys think the leather is a bad idea? And would an old cord be any better? That's still plastic - I mean he can't really hurt himself on it because it's not plugged in, but it's still not a cat toy. I'm not sure what to do - I want to give him something safe to chew on that he'll enjoy.

Any help is appreciated. I'm really glad I found a solution to him chewing up the wires we have plugged in (yay tinfoil! ), but I'd like to give him a safe alternative.

Last edited by MissPurryJess; October 8th, 2012 at 01:10 PM.
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chewing, cords, pica

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