Knowing what to do when your cat chews everything is very important as it can be not only damaging for your things but also dangerous. Do you need to understand in the first place why your cat is chewing things?
When cats are small kittens they act like human babies because everything is interesting to touch, feel, and smell, but mostly it is in the period of teething to relieve the pain.
Grown-up cats sometimes can be destructive chewers who destroy everything that is on the way. If you see that chewing got out of control it might be a sign of some problem. Cats usually explore things with their mouth and paws so chewing is normal behavior, but then how to recognize excessive chewing? And how to stop it? We will talk about it in this article.
Reasons Why Cats Chew Things
As I mentioned before, when cats are tiny kittens this behavior is normal because gums are in pain and it is a good way to relieve pain. The teething period for kittens can be from two weeks to even 6 months of age. Between two weeks to six weeks, kittens have their baby teeth growing and later milk teeth change to adult teeth. Cats should have 30 primary teeth for all life and you are in charge of dental care. Make sure you use cat-safe toothpaste, not an adult one.
This is the time when you will see your kitten chewing some stuff. A good option is to buy kitten teething toys that you keep in the fridge for a cooling effect. Sometimes these kitten toys can have catnip for soothing and relaxation.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OSD) and Anxiety
This is a behavior disorder when a cat repeats the same thing over and over again, for example cleaning herself to that level that the fur is rubbed off. Unfortunately, there is no strong evidence of why this mental disorder occurs except that it can be caused by stress and anxiety. There is no proper cure for this, but there are things you can do as a cat owner by reinforcing alternative positive behavior instead of excessive chewing, licking, vocalization, and so on. TVP has a very good guide on how to set up a comprehensive treatment plan in five steps. But in this case, I would always suggest seeing your veterinarian for the best treatment.
Cats get bored very easily, same as humans and this is why they start to chew things. One of my cat’s favorite chewing things is a cord and this is not only dangerous but also expensive fun. So if boredom is a reason why your cat chews stuff it is quite easy to change by buying fun and safe cat and kitten toys.
Make sure that you take your time a day for a couple of playing sessions with your feline for a better bonding experience and to avoid boredom for your cat. Also, make sure your house has some higher and lower shelves for climbing and a cat house for fun times. This all should keep your cat entertained and no need to chew your favorite shoes or a sweater.
Pica in Cats
Pica in cats is a term when a cat might want to eat non-edible things and is most common in Oriental cat breeds such as Siamese, Burmese, or Tonkinese. It is not so easy to treat and this is why the best choice is to see a cat behavioral specialist.
Cats are predators and many times chewing is one of their hunting instincts, but a pica sufferer cat will not only chew a material but also will eat and swallow it. This is why it can be very bad and cause constipation or vomiting in your cat. One thing it might help is to put Eucalyptus or Bitter Apple oil on the object. Another piece of advice is to keep chewable things away where a cat can not get them. Here good play time as well can help with cat-proof toys.
What Can I Do To Stop My Cat Chewing Things?
Cats can chew almost anything they find on the way, but each object requires a different approach if you want to stop cats from chewing. Here are the most common things cats like and what to do when your cat chews everything.
Wires and Cords
You can imagine you do construction work at your house, change all the wires and cords, and one day you come home and see that they look horrible and need to be changed. It is extremely dangerous as it contains electricity, so make sure you cover all cords and wires. Many shops where they sell computers offer cord covers.
Cats do not like sticky tapes, so one good trick to save wires from destruction is to put a two-sided sticky tape on wires and cats will keep away from it.
In one of our articles I talked about plants that are poisonous to cats, so make sure you read it as well. You need to make sure that instead of toxic plants you choose other non-toxic options and even if your cat chews the plant it is not bad for her stomach. Cat grass can be a good option.
Fabrics and Leather Goods
This is another favorite “delicates” of cats and a lot of times associated with OSD that I mentioned before. Not only your clothes can be ruined, but even more risky is that peaches of fabrics can get stuck in the digestive system and cause serious issues. When your cat starts acting weird and you can see her vomiting, notice it is food or something else. If you can see pieces of fabric or leather it is good to see your vet.
The solution here can be that you give your cat toys with similar or the same fabric, but still, it is important to notice that your cat is just playing around and not eating the fabric.
No matter how bad your cat behaves and what he ruined you can not get very angry and start to scream at her. Your kitty will be just scared and will not understand your actions. Instead use different techniques as I mentioned before which include: play time, covering cords and wires, changing to non-toxic plants, and hiding things that might harm.
Cats are clever animals; as long as they do not suffer from any mental health disorder or anxiety, you can teach them better behavior. Try clicker training your cat because signals can work better than commands. Everything takes time and patience. If you tried all tips and tricks and nothing helps then seek medical help from your vet. Hopefully from this article “What to do when your cat chews everything?” you received some useful information.