Happy Silly Cat

From Cords to Couches: Understanding and Correcting Cat Chewing Behavior

Cats are known to be curious creatures that love exploring their surrounding environment. They have a keen sense of smell that can detect even the slightest odor.

They also have sharp teeth that are essential for tearing and crushing their prey. However, sometimes cats exhibit biting and chewing behaviors that seem out of character.

This article explains some of the medical and common causes of chewing in cats.

Medical Causes of Chewing in Cats

Gum Disease: Cats may gnaw on hard objects such as sticks, shoelaces, and other items to soothe their mouth. This behavior often occurs when the cat is experiencing gum disease, which is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth.

The buildup of plaque leads to inflammation in the gums, causing redness and pain. As a result, the cat may become restless and try to soothe their mouth by gnawing on anything they can find.

Digestive Issues: Some cats may chew and drool excessively due to nausea caused by digestive issues. These digestive issues can range from simply eating too much too quickly to more serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.

If your cat displays these symptoms, it is vital to take them to a veterinarian immediately to rule out any serious conditions. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Some cats suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which can cause repetitive behaviors such as chewing and licking.

When they are stressed or anxious, they may exhibit this behavior. In severe cases, this behavior can lead to dental damage, infections, or even self-harm.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies can cause cats to chew obsessively. This is because chewing helps stimulate the production of saliva, which aids in the digestion of food.

When a cat is not receiving proper nutrition, they may resort to chewing on non-food items such as grass, cords, or other household items. Early Weaning: Early weaning is when a kitten is separated from its mother too early.

Kittens learn proper chewing behavior from their mother, and when they are separated too early, they may develop inappropriate chewing behaviors. Periodontal Disease: When a cat’s teeth become infected, they may exhibit chewing behavior to alleviate their discomfort.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to the loss of teeth and even systemic health issues.

Common Causes of Chewing in Cats

Boredom: When cats are bored, they may turn to chewing as a way to relieve boredom. Offering your cat interactive toys and playing with them can provide necessary stimulation and decrease destructive behaviors such as chewing.

Hazards in the Home: Cats may chew on cords, fabric, leather, and plants that are present in your home. This can be a dangerous habit, as they may ingest toxic substances or choke on small items.

Ensuring that your home is cat-proofed can prevent these hazards from being accessible. In conclusion, cat chewing behavior can be caused by medical or common causes such as boredom and hazards in the home.

However, if your cat is chewing excessively, it is essential to rule out more serious medical conditions such as periodontal disease or nutritional deficiencies. With proper care and attention, this behavior can be managed, and your cat can live a happy and healthy life.

Cats are notorious for their love of chewing, and their target of choice is often cords, wires, and houseplants. Chewing on cords and wires can be dangerous for your cat as well as damaging to your electronics.

Meanwhile, houseplants may be toxic to cats, or their chewing behavior can damage the plant. In this article, we will discuss steps you can take to protect your cat from chewing on cords, wires, and houseplants.

Chewing on Cords and Wires

Covering Cords: One of the most effective ways to discourage your cat from chewing on cords and wires is to cover them. Pre-split hollow tubing, flexible poly tubing, and corrugated tubing are all good options for this.

These products slip right over the cords, protecting them from your cat’s teeth while also keeping them out of sight. Discouraging Access: Another method for preventing your cat from chewing on cords is to make them inaccessible.

Hide cords behind furniture or secure them with zip ties or cord clips. Double-sided sticky tape will keep cords in place and discourage your cat from getting too close.

Making Cords Unpalatable: You can also make cords less appealing to your cat by using bitter apple spray or CritterCords Cord Protector. These products are designed to make cords unpalatable to cats, helping to discourage them from chewing.

Chewing on Houseplants

Toxic Plants: Some houseplants can be toxic to cats, leading to serious health issues or even death. Common toxic plants include lilies, azaleas, poinsettias, and philodendrons.

It’s important to research any plants you have in your home to determine if they are toxic to your cat. If you do have toxic plants, it’s best to remove them from your home entirely.

Making Plants Unavailable: If you have plants that are not toxic but your cat still likes to chew on them, you can try to make them less accessible. Place plants on high shelves or behind closed doors to prevent your cat from reaching them.

Discouraging Chewing: To discourage your cat from chewing on plants, try placing aluminum foil or double-sided tape around the base of the plant. Most cats dislike the texture of these materials and will avoid them.


In conclusion, chewing on cords, wires, and houseplants is a common behavior among cats. While it can be frustrating for pet owners, there are steps you can take to protect your cat from harm and prevent damage to your property.

By covering cords, making them inaccessible, and using deterrents, you can discourage your cat from chewing on cords and wires. Additionally, by removing toxic plants and making other plants less accessible, you can prevent your cat from chewing on houseplants.

Ultimately, taking these precautions will help ensure that your cat stays safe and happy in your home. Cats may develop a habit of chewing not only on cords and plants in the house but also on fabric and leather items such as clothing, blankets, and furniture.

This behavior can be frustrating and even cause damage to your belongings. In this article, we will discuss the causes of fabric and leather item chewing and suggest ways to prevent it.

Additionally, we will cover teething in kittens and ways to alleviate the discomfort.

Chewing on Fabric and Leather Items

OCD Chewing: Some cats may have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which can cause repetitive behaviors such as chewing on fabric. This behavior can also be triggered by anxiety or stress.

If you suspect that your cat has OCD, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate treatment for your cat. Providing “Legal” Chewing Options: Providing your cat with alternative chewable soft toys and interactive toys can help to divert their attention away from fabric and leather items.

Soft toys made from materials like cotton or wool can be suitable alternatives to the fabric they are already chewing. Toys that keep cats stimulated like interactive play are also ideal for getting their minds busy.

Using Bitter Apple Spray: Bitter apple spray can help to prevent cats from chewing on fabric and leather items. This type of spray is specially designed to be distasteful to cats, which can help to prevent them from chewing on furniture or other household items.

It is essential to use pet-friendly sprays to avoid staining the fabric or leather.

Teething Kittens

Teething Toys: Kittens lose their baby teeth between three and six months of age, and teething can be uncomfortable for them. Provide your kitten with safe teething toys that they can chew on such as plastic drinking straws or milkshakes.

These toys help to soothe their gums and keep them entertained without inflicting damage. Clicker Training: Clicker training is a type of positive reinforcement training that can be used to teach kittens not to chew on inappropriate items.

The first step is to click and offer a treat when they show interest in the acceptable toys to reinforce good behavior. It’s important to be consistent with clicker training to make it effective.

Interactive Play: Interactive play is an excellent way to keep the kitten entertained. It reduces anxiety and stress, while also promoting development.

An owner can use various types of toys like a wand with enticing frayed fabric or colored strings.


In summary, chewing behavior in cats can be more complex than cords and plants in the house. OCD, teething, and other factors can cause cats to extract comfort from chewing on fabric, leather, and other household items.

To prevent them from this action, try to provide alternative chewable toys and interactive playthings to keep them engaged with these instead. Additionally, using bitter apple spray can discourage this behavior.

Proper preventative measures and training can help ensure that your cat does not destroy expensive household items which could prevent any extra vet bills while ensuring that your pet is well-taken care of and happy. As pet owners, it’s important to remember that physical punishment is not an effective way of correcting your cat’s behavior.

Hitting, yelling, and other forms of physical punishment can cause your cat to become afraid of you and may even lead to aggressive behavior. In this article, we will discuss why physical punishment should be avoided and suggest alternative methods of correcting your cat’s behavior.

Why Physical Punishment Should Be Avoided

Negative Reinforcement: Physical punishment is a form of negative reinforcement that can cause your cat to become fearful of you. This fear may cause them to hide, become aggressive, or develop other negative behaviors.

It can also lead to an unhealthy relationship between you and your cat, which can negatively impact their overall well-being. Ineffective Training: Physical punishment is not an effective way of training your cat.

While it may stop them from engaging in a particular behavior, it does not teach them why the behavior is wrong. This means that your cat may continue to engage in the undesired behavior when you’re not around.

Alternative Methods of Correcting Your Cat’s Behavior

Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a form of training that involves rewarding your cat for good behavior. When your cat engages in a desirable behavior, offer them a treat or praise to reinforce that behavior.

Over time, your cat will learn that good behavior results in positive rewards. Clicker Training: Clicker training is a type of positive reinforcement training that involves using a clicker to signal to your cat that they’ve done something right.

After clicking, offer your cat a treat or praise to reinforce the desired behavior. Over time, your cat will learn to associate the click with positive rewards and will begin to engage in those behaviors more frequently.

Ignoring Behavior: Sometimes, ignoring your cat’s undesired behavior is the best course of action. Your cat may be engaging in a particular behavior to get your attention.

By ignoring the behavior, you’re communicating to your cat that the behavior will not result in the desired outcome. It’s important to note, however, that this method should only be used for minor behavioral issues.

Redirecting Behavior: Redirecting your cat’s behavior involves providing them with an alternative behavior to engage in. For example, if your cat is scratching your couch, redirect their behavior by offering them a scratching post.

This method teaches your cat to engage in the desired behavior while also providing them with an acceptable outlet for their energy.


In conclusion, physical punishment is not an appropriate or effective method of correcting your cat’s behavior. It can cause your cat to become fearful and aggressive and can lead to an unhealthy relationship between you and your pet.

Instead, try using positive reinforcement, clicker training, ignoring minor behavior, and redirecting behavior to encourage your cat to engage in positive behaviors. By being patient and consistent with these methods, you can help your cat develop good habits and keep a healthy relationship with them.

In conclusion, correcting a cat’s behavior requires patience, consistency, and an understanding of their unique personality and motivations. Physical punishment is not an effective method of training and can harm the cat’s well-being and the relationship with its owner.

Instead, positive reinforcement, clicker training, ignoring minor behavior, and redirecting behavior can help encourage positive habits without instilling fear or aggression. The key takeaway is that cats should be treated with kindness and respect, emphasizing positive reinforcement and love.

By being patient and consistent, owners can see successful results, strengthening the bond with their cats and having well-behaved feline companions.

Popular Posts