Cable And Wire Hazards

By Lauren Baumbauer

February 5, 2010 5 min read

Finding another chewed-through computer cable after a long day at work is frustrating, but it's also scary. Besides causing you the inconvenience of having to buy cables and wires in bulk because of their second job as pet toys, the pet gnawing on these cables and wires is unknowingly putting itself in harm's way.

Hazards of chewing on cords can range from a minor shock to death. One of the main reasons a pet may chew through a cord is boredom, especially if it's left alone in the house all day. Other reasons include teething, curiosity and some kind of nutrient deficiency. Also, cords look like fun, slithery creatures to attack and enjoy.

What's the best way to protect your pet and your wires? The old method of "out of sight, out of mind" works best. It will not only make your home look better because there will be less clutter from the cables but also eliminate the dangers to your pet. And, according to Paul Holstein, chief operating officer of industry-leading e-tailer, "It's also simple with the right tools."

Options abound when it comes to protection. "There are many easy and inexpensive solutions to prevent your pets from chewing or choking on wires, playing with cables and otherwise being exposed to hazards in a home or work space," Holstein says. Here are some low-priced and easy-to-do ideas for cable and wire safety.

One suggestion offers is the cheap and convenient split wire loom, flexible and durable plastic tubing with a slit down the side to allow simple insertion of the bundle of cables. It's easy to find at computer stores, auto repair stores and online.

Spire cable wrap, plastic wrap that keeps cables tightly bundled and hard to get to, is also useful for covering any accessible wires. Offered in many colors, it also can match the room's decor.

If concealing is important, the Cable Turtle organizer is a handy gadget for hiding excess cord lengths from computers, phones and window blinds. The wires and cables tuck away into a shell available in different colors.

A concealed surge protector also accomplishes hiding the dangerous objects from view, by enclosing plugs and excess cord length. A surge protector also provides the benefit of protection for your wired objects during a lightning strike or power surge.

If a wire has to be run across the floor, try a cord cover to veil the cords and provide safety from tripping. If the cables can be moved out of the way, adhesive-backed cord clips are handy for attaching cables and wires to furniture or wall surfaces. Mostly used for thinner wires, these are available in different sizes and colors.

According to, a resource for fixing your cat's behavioral problems, there are some other options for finicky pets. Wrapping cords in aluminum foil may deter cats and other pets because of the strange taste and texture, but keep in mind that it may entice some pets.

Also, spraying the cords with something bitter -- such as lemon juice, a bitter apple spray or a bite deterrent spray that can be found at pet stores -- may deter pets from the aroma alone. For pets that don't mind how something tastes or smells when they eat it, this won't be the best bet.

If you need a temporary solution before a more reliable method is available, Christina Hansen, product specialist for, advises using a practical approach. "Keep in mind that your pets are generally low to the ground, so your cables shouldn't be," Hansen says. "Try using twist-ties to keep excess cable slack coiled up."

Using something sticky and non-damaging, such as masking tape or double-sided tape, near the cords may prevent a paw from going near them, or it can be used to secure excess cable length against desk legs or the undersides of desktops.

"And if you have a wall hook handy," Hansen says, "you can always coil excess cable and temporarily hang it on the hook, out of reach of your pets."

Keep an eye out for leftover cable length or wires out of place, and then take action to keep your furry friend and cables safe. You and your pet both will appreciate it.

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