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Recently my cat (1 year old) started actively chewing and tearing soft, squishy things when nobody's home or when out of sight. She particularly enjoys socks (many pairs have been destroyed, she literally tears big holes in them. Clean or dirty - doesn't matter, she'll steal any kind of sock available) and different kinds of sponges.

She is well fed and has many toys laying around, some of which are soft and squishy balls made from similar material as sponges, but shows no interest in them.

What to do?

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Simply keep your socks away from your cat. Make sure to always keep them put away. When dirty, put them in a hamper. If the cat can get into the hamper, purchase a different one that it cannot get into. You could even use things that are not meant to be used as hampers, as long as they have some mechanism for keeping it closed that the cat can't get into. When clean, similarly, keep them in a drawer or container that the cat cannot get into.

Similarly, with sponges, either use some other type of thing instead of sponges (for example, if you're using them to prewash dishes, dishwasher safe bristle brushes are better anyways, as sponges tend to get very germy), or put the sponges out of reach of your cat, like in a cabinet.

Also, if the cat really prefers socks as toys, as long as you don't have reason to think the sock is a danger (like, if the cat is eating parts of the sock, that would be bad), let the cat have the socks it has already damaged.

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