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How can I prevent my cats from chewing up my headphones? I've gone through two sets of earbuds recently and don't want to keep having to buy new ones regularly.

Solutions that involve buying a particular type of headphones are okay--I need to buy another new pair anyway.

  • 2
    So simple! Use salt, garlic and/or cologne. – Bay Oct 22 '15 at 18:58
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    @Bay Yes, there's nothing quite like listening to music while smelling like stale garlic. – Stan Sep 3 '17 at 15:23
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Dab hot sauce onto the headphones, not the part that goes in the ear!

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The only way to absolutely guarantee that your headphones don't get chewed on is to place them in a container that the cats cannot open. Do not assume that just because the container is difficult to imagine opening by a cat that it will be impossible (or even difficult). I have seen cats knock things off the counter just to break open a container.

You can find a lot of example videos of cats opening things they shouldn't be able to: Cat opens door with round doorknob

Find a hardened container with multiple catches to prevent the cat from getting to your headphones. Add foam to keep the headphones from rattling around inside.

Harden plastic container with multiple latches

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    Your idea doesn't seem to involve thinking outside the box though... ;-) – Alexander Oct 20 '15 at 22:49
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    A small metal can with a screw-on lid is probably sufficient, and a lot smaller than the army surplus bomb-proof container shown in the answer. ( @Alexander Hilarious! Thumbs up! XD ) – BrettFromLA Oct 20 '15 at 22:52
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    @BrettFromLA The bomb-proof option might be necessary with certain cats (see i.stack.imgur.com/2K0CR.jpg). – Alexander Oct 20 '15 at 23:05
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You could sew a fabric casing for the cord part of your headphones. I've had cats that liked to chew on rubber/plastic cords (including electrical cords!), and the best solution I found was to make little fabric casings for the cords.

It can be very thin fabric, because the purpose of the fabric is to change the texture to make it less attractive, not to be an impenetrable barrier. A thin flannel would be good; comfortable on your face, but icky on the cat's tongue.

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Building on the idea of Adam Zuckerman regarding casing of sorts, I would like to draw your attention to earbud cases (as from a google search). These has loads of variations, but most of them should solve your problem.

Some manufacturers sell the earbuds with decent casings, and it is worth it to look for one of those sets. Cases comes in multiple variants; closed cases, case where you twist the leads into the case, or open variants where the headphone wires are still somewhat available to the cat.

Note that also ordinary headphones can come with decent casings, and some of these headphones are collapsable before you enclose them in the casing.

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I had to change my behavior in order to keep my cats from chewing my headphones. I made it a point to put my headphones up on a hook that my cats cannot access without my holding them up. There is not much you can do to change the instinct your cats have for chasing after string-like objects, so you should change your behavior to make the headphones less available.

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    This is good, if they are chewing them because they are playing with them, get some similar toys - DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR OLD HEADPHONES - If you give them your old ones, they'll think they can play with any. This is why you give them a toy that is similar but not exactly the same. – djsmiley2k - CoW Oct 23 '15 at 15:48
  • Yes, part of my problem I had was that my cats would dig through my bag on the floor to get my headphones, and when they chewed through those I'd just leave them on the floor for them to play with. Then I realized they couldn't distinguish between the new ones I'd hidden deep in my bag (on the floor) and the old, chewed headphones that I was letting them play with nearby. I had to always move my bag and the headphones to cat-safe areas. They still love string. – user70848 Oct 27 '15 at 23:35
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You could either place them somewhere high up or in a closet. Unless your cats are ninja cyborgs from the future, I doubt they can open a closet door (or drawer or other aperture of similar use).

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    I have cats that will open drawers and doors. And almost all of them are capable of getting much higher than you can imagine. – Adam Zuckerman Oct 20 '15 at 20:36
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    @AdamZuckerman Are you sure those are house cats you have? – Alex Oct 20 '15 at 22:13
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    What about all of the YouTube videos of cats opening doors and drawers? – Adam Zuckerman Oct 20 '15 at 23:02
  • Locked cabinets...? – Demisemihemidemisemiquaver Oct 21 '15 at 15:17
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    You don't have a cat do you? ;) – djsmiley2k - CoW Oct 23 '15 at 15:47

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