Chewing

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Introduction

To prevent destructive chewing in cats, pet owners should provide their cats with a fun and stimulating environment, provide teething kittens with plenty of chewy toys, and address any obsessive compulsive chewing with medication and behavioral modification techniques.

Preventing Destructive Chewing in Cats

In most cases destructive behaviors in cats involve clawing or scratching, but in some instances they will become destructive chewers just out of sheer boredom. Cats, even older cats, need plenty of stimulation. Inside only cats should have places where they can climb, jump, and scratch. Plenty of toys should be available too, and new toys should be introduced into the home on a regular basis. Moving or hiding the cat's toys, and periodically moving climbing posts around the house, can also help to prevent boredom.
Teething kittens can develop destructive chewing habits if they are not given their own things to chew on. Before kittens have even begun to teeth, pet owners need to have plenty of kitty chew toys around the house so the kitten can get used to using them. If a kitten is not interested in their toys rubbing small amounts of catnip on the toys, and using the toys to play with the kitten, will help the kitten to gain an interest in the toys.
In some cases, cats with obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) will develop chewing disorders. Most cases of OCD in cats require medication, such as an anti-depressant, in order to calm the symptoms and unwanted behaviors. Pet owners can also help to break the chewing cycle in their cats by distracting their cats with something else every time they notice their cat obsessively chewing on something.

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