How to Pet Proof Household Cables

Three Methods:Blocking Access to CablesCovering CablesConvincing Pets Not to Chew

Of all the aspects of pet safety, there’s one risk that pet owners often overlook: the dangers that household cables can present to animals. Chewing cables can send an electric shock through your pet, which can cause burns, shutdown of vital organs, and eventual death. [1] Damaged cords can also be quite expensive to replace! Animals and cables just don’t mix, but you can use these pet-proofing techniques to help them safely co-exist in your home.

Method 1
Blocking Access to Cables

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    Block access to cords with furniture. [2] Take advantage of any sturdy object in your home that can act as a barrier between your pet and electrical cords. Tuck as many cords as you can under or behind bookcases, TV stands, cabinets, and dressers.
    • If you have large pets, you can simply tuck many power cables under or behind furniture. However, smaller pets, such as cats or ferrets, can squeeze into extremely small spaces, which may make it harder to apply this method.
    • Attach the cords to table or desk legs using wire ties. Pets are more likely to chew loose wires.
    • You can also run electrical cords under rugs or other floor mats.
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    Lift cords out of your pet’s reach. Getting them off the floor and affixing them to walls and furniture surfaces with adhesive-backed cord clips covers all the bases, because pets can’t hurt themselves with something they don’t even have access to!
    • Use your cords to create wall art. Use u-shaped cable brackets to mount cords to the wall in loops or other fun patterns. [3]
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    Run cables through the walls. If you have drywall, it can be relatively easy to drill two small holes through which you can thread your cords. Use a tool such as fish tape or a cable puller to feed the cord through the wall.
    • Cords can also be threaded through the attic or basement.
    • Put detachable cords away. The power supply for a laptop or other portable device can be particularly easy to damage and expensive to replace, so put these cables away instead of leaving them out to be chewed.
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    Wind up excess cord lengths. Excess cord and cable lengths can be strangulation hazards to cats and dogs, so get the extra length under control with a cord winder. Excess cables also tend to stick out, making them more attractive to pets.
    • Make sure you don’t stop with electrical cables. Long cords on window treatments can also become wrapped around your pet’s neck, so don’t forget to tackle those, too!

Method 2
Covering Cables

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    Wrap cords. This is the easiest and least expensive approach. Use corrugated wire loom tubing or plastic spiral wrap, which are available from many office supply and other stores.
    • Some tubing and wrap may not be strong enough to protect cords from persistent pets. PVC piping is a sturdier option, but is also less flexible.
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    Mount wire channels along the wall to provide a protected path for cords. These metal or plastic conduits are commonly used to add electrical outlets to the outer surface of solid walls, so many styles are available.
    • Flat wire channels are also available for running cords across bare floors.
    • Hide wire channels inside baseboards and crown molding. Products are available with channels pre-installed, or if you're handy you can hollow out the channels yourself.[4]
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    Run cords through metallic braided sleeving. If you have small pets with tiny, sharp teeth, this sleeving, which is available in a variety of materials and colors, can protect your cords. [5]
    • These sleeves are often used to prevent electrical cables from causing interference with other electronic devices, so you're more likely to find it at stores that sell electrical and electronic supplies.
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    Use a homemade solution. For example, a garden hose can provide flexibility for snaking wires around furniture while still providing protection for your pets. Also consider making a custom charging station using a cardboard box and a few simple tools. [6]
    • Decorate your cables with beads. Plastic crafting beads can provide colorful and stylish protection.[7]

Method 3
Convincing Pets Not to Chew

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    Apply an anti-chewing spray. Lemon juice, hot sauce, or pepper mixed in water will all deter most pets.
    • Observe electrical safety for yourself! Water conducts electricity, so make sure you're not touching the electrical wires or appliances while applying the spray. [8]
    • These substances will dissipate over time, so you'll have to reapply them periodically.
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    Camouflage your cables so that they blend in with their surroundings. Choose cords or cable-covering supplies that are a close color match to your floors and walls… if your cords don’t stand out, your pet will be much less likely to play with or chew on them.
    • You may be able to paint your electrical cords. If not, you can use colored electrical tape to match the surrounding colors.
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    Provide an alternative. Pets who chew are often bored or frightened. Addressing the core problem by providing appropriate chew toys, playtime, and other activities may decrease chewing in general. [9]
    • Train your pet to chew a toy by associating it with food. Some toys come pre-flavored; others can be filled with food or treats.


  • Do not punish your pet after the fact -- it will not change their behavior. Instead, spend time supervising your pet and administer corrections as soon as they begin to chew. [10]

Article Info

Categories: Pet Hazards