Does your cat chew on your stuff? Not only can this behavior be annoying, it can actually be pretty dangerous. Is there anything you can do to stop your cat – your stubborn, I’ll-do-what-I-want cat – from chewing?
Why Do Cats Chew?
Stopping chewing starts with understanding why cats chew in the first place. The most common cause of feline chewing is boredom; for a lot of cats, it provides the stimulation they crave. For some cats, chewing is compulsive; it’s a way to provide themselves comfort and can even be an expression of OCD.
Remember, chewing is an instinctive habit in cats. It’s in their DNA! That doesn’t mean you have to live with incessant nibbling, though.
How to Stop Chewing
Starting with what you should try first, let’s look at a few of the things you can do to curb feline chewing.
Remove Temptations: First things first: Hide the goods! Some cats are just so darn attracted to things like cords, shoelaces, and those lace curtains your grandma made to resist the urge to chew.
More Playtime: Playing with your cat provides them exercise, stimulation, and engagement. In short, it tuckers them out so they have less time (and desire) to chew!
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More Stimulation: Bored cats are nibbly cats. Not only does your cat need physical stimulation, they need plenty of mental engagement to stave off anxiety and depression, both of which can be brought on by boredom.
Change Your Toys: If your cat’s still chewing, try training them to chew only specific toys in their arsenal. And don’t forget to change out toys often to keep your cat from growing bored.
Get an Exam: Did you know chewing in cats can be a sign of periodontal or digestive disease? And that some chewy cats are trying to replace a specific nutrient their body is deficient in? If nothing you do is relieving the behavior, it’s time for some diagnostic tests.
Discuss OCD with Your Vet: Cats can and do suffer from compulsive behaviors. In some severe cases, daily anxiety medications can help soothe your cat’s anxiety and relieve their symptoms of OCD, like chewing.
Need help figuring out how to stop your cat from chewing?