Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wire eating critters

The new kittens, Barney and Boo, are excellent in so many ways. But they do have a down side. Obviously there are the normal things like smelly cat litter, scratched furniture, "accidents" and them trying to wake you up in the middle of the night. However, these problems have been reasonably easy to get round. You can get cat litter that is very effective in masking the smell and using litter liners (like bin bags) makes it easy to change the litter. We have given them a number of scratching posts and what not so, touch wood, they haven't destroyed any furniture. Only once have they had an "accident" (not sure which the culprit was) but that ain't bad in two months and we stopped them waking us up in the night by closing the bedroom door.

However, there is one dastardly crime that has remained unsolved! Because Boo is much smaller than Barney and is all black like a witches cat, we have always characterised him as being the criminal master mind and Barney being his hulking henchcat. So when it became clear that there was a wire chewer in our midst, Boo was immediately in the frame. The first time Ali came down to find that one of the headphones from her Walkman had been chewed off we were quite amused. Ali is certainly not amused any more since she is now on her 3rd set since the boys arrived! I still found it quite funny until I today spotted Barney tucking into my Sennheiser HD 447's (very nice headphones). He had chewed through the left hand wire and was half way through the other one. Our criminal is revealed and Boo's in the clear (unless Boo convinced Barney to do it).

It is one thing knowing who the guilty party is but quite another thing preventing him doing it any more. My mate Marcus suggested putting chilli oil on the cables but that seems a bit harsh. Aside from covering the wiring, which is totally impractical, or sending Barney down to the Glue Factory, which Ali has ruled out, how can we stop the little fella chewing? If he starts chewing a power cable it could be very dangerous for him not to mention being a fire risk. Any suggestions welcome.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK you wuss, if you don'like the idea of chilli oil try this stuff, I have had reasonable success with it until the dogs starting liking the taste of it!

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/shop_store/P_and_G_Bitter_Bite_p0957.html

What works even better is a nail biting treatement, something like Sally Hansen nail biter, but this is more expensive than the bitter bite.

Anonymous said...

Are there not any educational videos for kitties. Perhaps showing cats exploding or being electricuted whilst chewing wires... That could learn 'em.
Hmm, could have found a niche market.

Pink

Ian said...

Way back, when I used to be a UK resident, we had a dog that as a puppy had a penchant for eating through cables. I can't explain why but he would eat only through audio or video cables, the thickest being a co-ax cable from the VCR (remember those?) He never once touched a single power cable...

The best advice regarding stopping this (probably nocturnal) activity is to provide plenty of other toys, usually coated with an unhealthy dose of catnip. That way, there is something more atractive to chew on.

The good news is that he/they will usually grow out of the bad habit, and instead take to sleeping 80-90% of the day and night, coming out of whatever dark corner they prefer to sequester simply to 'forage for food'.

Hopefully, (and this is the best thing about having cat brothers) is that they will likely play with each other most of the time, and this is something they won't tire of.

[The 'word' is "ozhni". It's definition might be 'name of a famous animation-based theme park, located outside Sydney, Australia.']

sab916 said...

We have the same problem. We have 2 cats and one chews all cables it can finds. It has cost us hundreds of dollars on cell phone power supply cables, head phone wires, and now the xbox 360 wires. We don't know what to do next. We are going to have to isolate her to a controlled area of the house until we can get to the bottom of the issue.

As an aside, some of the messages were talking about dogs. Dogs and cats are two different animals. One would expect a dog to chew on everything, but a cat is a different story. I don't see how trying to divert a cat's attention is ever going to work.

sab916 said...

We have the same problem. We have 2 cats and one chews all cables it can finds. It has cost us hundreds of dollars on cell phone power supply cables, head phone wires, and now the xbox 360 wires. We don't know what to do next. We are going to have to isolate her to a controlled area of the house until we can get to the bottom of the issue.

As an aside, some of the messages were talking about dogs. Dogs and cats are two different animals. One would expect a dog to chew on everything, but a cat is a different story. I don't see how trying to divert a cat's attention is ever going to work.