Monday, January 31, 2005

Loom to Grow

My boys love to chew wires and that worries me a great deal. Every since I adopted them, I've been steadily buying more and more wire looms and placing them over the most sensitive wires. What's a wire loom? You can see several kinds of loom on this page.

The wire looms serve three functions:
  • To make the small wires appear bigger so they are no longer "bite sized"
  • To protect the wires and the boys in the event that they start chewing
  • To combine several small wires into one big tube, hence reducing the number of tempting chew toys

I'm not the only person to consider wire looms as a solution to wire chewing by pets. Here's a great page by a rabbit owner with simlar chewing problems. Nevertheless, here's a cat owner who claims that wire looms are dangerous and cause cancer, because the looms are plastic and plastic is carcinogenic if swallowed. The looms I have installed were barely touched, though a few were chewed on once or twice. I also spray all the wires -- loomed and not -- with bitter apple spray and that works to an extent, but it's not fool-proof and has to be reapplied to every inch of wire on a regular basis.

The fact is that the boys want to chew the thinest possible wires so making them thicker by looming them seems to be a good strategy in my view. Also, the danger of possible future cancer is less than the danger of immediate execution should they manage to open up a power cord. However, another possiblity is to get metal looms, like those used in car engines, but metal looms are extremely expensive and hard to cut to length.

What do you think? Am I doing the right thing or making it worse?


Anonymous said...

How about those aluminium dryer vents? You could get them in any home improvement store and I don't think it's very expensive at all.


Avram said...

It needs to be flexible metal tubing that's easy to cut into custom sizes. I was in home depot yesterday and didn't see anything like this.

Wendy said...

I would think that a cat chewing and eating the plastic or rubber or whatever coatings from wires would give a far larger dose of various substances than the rare "shavings" from the PVC wire looms.

I just don't believe her mouse got cancer from chewing plastic - it is only her personal conclusion, with no supporting studies. She might as well blame fluoridated water, or the Milk Conspiracy. Did you know that 90% of people who drank pasteurized milk in 1910 are now dead, and many of them died of cancer?

Meanwhile, I have SEVERAL friends, neighbors, co-workers who have had their houses burn to the ground. Faulty wiring is a major cause, other than smoking and candles.

Avram said...

I tend to agree with Wendy. Clearly, having looms is better than not having them. I haven't noticed any shavings, just the occasional toothmark on a loom, but most of the time, they find the looms are just too wide to chew comfortably so they serve as more of a deterrant than anything else.