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Cords... why?!


Savannah Kitten
I've actually always been fascinated by the fact that Yoki shows absolutely no interest in cords or cord chewing. I say this because he is otherwise absolutely in love with any piece of string or rope, etc., to the point of obsession. (I have about a half dozen shoes with only one shoelace to prove it...)

I thought perhaps the breeder may have somehow trained him young that electrical cords are no good somehow, but I just don't know. Or maybe the rubbery texture is somehow off-putting?

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
No, it's not ALL Savannahs that are attracted to cords. Out of the five I have here only one is interested and her interest seems limited to phone cords only. I don't think it is training, it is luck...

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
Ziggy is back chewing cords, so I've been eliminating, hiding, protecting, and treating (bitter spray) all cords. For a while he was just licking, but he's killed a couple iPhone cords recently (USB 5V <2A, so not a danger to him), and I've found teeth marks in a power cord, which scared me half to death.

He mostly does it when he's hungry, unlike ripping up cardboard, which can be playful or clearly venting frustration. When he's on the hunt for cords he's very hard to distract, except to feed him...hmm, a message there?

We've been feeding him twice a day recently, but didn't see a change in behavior when we fed him three times a day. He gets as much as he will eat in 20 minutes or so--more if he's not eaten much, with encouragement. We don't leave food out for any of the cats.

The split tube, above, is working out great! I've probably used about a third of it. Note that three-wire power cords or anything much larger than a lamp cord will need a larger size.


Savannah Child
Just read this post and Chewie does this. He used to be awful about it when he was younger to the point I had to literally unplug things I wasn't going to use and tie/bundle up all the cords. It helped a lot but didn't stop the behavior as I lost a computer monitor to it many years ago when it got plugged back in!

One thing I've learned with Chewie is he tends to favor a particular type of plastic/vinyl that the cords insulation is made of, it has a very distinct scent..the only cord I have trouble with these days is my phone charger cord.

The scent is very notcible on most of the electronics we buy in the USA when you first open the box on a new electronic I would see if there is a correlation with odor of the plastic insulation on the cords and any of the cats toys.

What worked for me was to take alcohol and swab the cord from end to end heavily scrubbing it. Followed by some hydrogen peroxide. Then lastly I discovered Chewie HATES catmint and most of the mint family plants, which is odd because CATNIP is in the mint family, which he loves. So I swap the length of the cord with some spearmint leaves on the cords that he can get to. Using this I have had the same set of cords that Chewie would seek out like my phone charger cord and various computer USB type cords he would chew to no end. The secret is to find an odor you cat doesn't care for and replace the cords natural plastic smell with that. My cousin used to use pine tree needled smashed up and lemon oil from a lemon peel with his kittens. Worked well with his cats as well.


Savannah Child
And fwiw the plastic insulation on the cords has a very bitter taste to it. Don't ask how I know this but needles to say I've worked with a fair amount of electrical wiring in my career and found myself using my teeth as wire strippers when the tool version wasn't handy or needed my hands to hold a ladder etc!

Hope the advise helps!


Savannah Super Cat
Has anyone ever had trouble with kittens messing with outlets? I know to baby proof a home would definitely require covering vacant ones but I don't know if that's necessarily a problem with kittens

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I had litters of kittens in my house for over 10 years before having one particular litter where the kittens started licking the outlets in their room! I quickly got child covers for the outlets and problem was solved. So it can happen, but in my experience it is pretty rare...