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Posted on Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Has your cat ruined a cellphone? You’re not alone!

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Whether you’ve just decided to adopt a cat or you’ve cared for one for many years, you’ll certainly notice that these pets are incredibly curious creatures and sometimes have a penchant for destruction. Even small items like electronics and cellphones can fall prey to your cat’s curious nature, and according to a new survey conducted by SquareTrade, the problem is more widespread than experts thought.

Cat Channel reports that American dogs and cats destroy or damage an estimated 8 million electronic devices each year, which can cost their owners collectively close to $3 billion annually. At the top of the list of at-risk items were smartphones, which pet parents usually leave on tables where they can be knocked off and damaged quite easily. Worse yet, many of these owners don’t pay the extra charge for phone insurance, so their pets’ curiosity could be costing them thousands. The survey also found that two thirds of the pets were left unsupervised, while repeat offenders tended to be male pets and those that are overweight and showcase overprotective tendencies. “After seeing so many claims come in that involved pets, we decided to look into the data and see just how big the problem was,” Ty Shay, chief marketing officer with the protection plan provider SquareTrade, told the news source. “The results were pretty astounding.”

Protecting your expensive electronics

Those who have particularly destructive pets should err on the side of caution and take a few of the following steps to protect their expensive electronics.

1. Never leave phones on shelves or tables. With the vast majority of smartphones like the iPhone using glass screens, you should get in the habit of storing your phone in a drawer or another safe place to prevent it from falling and causing significant damage.

2. Put chargers in a safe place. Cats have also been known to chew on phone charger cords and other wires, so make sure these are in a private place like a bedroom or bathroom where your cat won’t have access to them.

3. Make time for regular play. The main reason that most cats decide to play with or chew on cellphones is a lack of physical activity, so finding a means of tiring your feline out each evening could be a great step in the right direction. This can keep your electronics safe, give your cat some physical and mental stimulation and help you fulfill your obligations as a pet parent.

This article is brought to you by the pet behavior experts at Hartz. When it comes to training your dog and cat, our knowledge and experience is guaranteed to make the process easy, smooth and fun!