Home » How To Stop A Parrot from Chewing Everything
how do I stop my parrot from biting everything?

How To Stop A Parrot from Chewing Everything

(Last Updated On: May 11, 2023)

A parrot’s strong and curved beak is among the most striking aspects of its appearance. A parrot must bite and chew to wear down its beak and prevent it from becoming misshapen or overgrown.

While chewing is a natural and intuitive behavior for parrots, the habit must be managed and the compulsion redirected. For example, not letting a parrot chew furniture, clothing, or household items.

Keep the parrot calm and relaxed. Provide bird-friendly chew toys to wear down the beak, and occasionally offer tough foods like unshelled nuts and seeds that must be cracked open.

You may still need to train the parrot to stop it from chewing everything. Use a repellant spray until the parrot’s housetrained, and teach it to stop biting through verbal commands and other audio cues.

Are Parrots Destructive Pets?

While parrots are intelligent animals and rewarding pets, they have instinctual behaviors that can be undesirable. Chewing and destroying household objects with the beak is high on this list.

A parrot shouldn’t bite and destroy possessions or, worse still, chew live electrical wires and cables. 

However, denying a parrot the ability to satisfy its instincts should be avoided. Birds chew for various reasons, and refusing to permit this action can cause mental and physical health problems.

Allow a parrot the chance to chew on approved objects and items to satisfy its instinctual desire without placing itself at risk or damaging your possessions.

What Do Birds Like to Chew On?

Left to its own devices, a parrot will likely chew on anything that fits comfortably in its beak. The most common things that parrots chew include:

  • Cage bars – A cage must be sturdy enough to withstand the attention of a parrot’s beak.
  • Anything wood around the home, including furniture frames.
  • Curtains and other soft furnishings.
  • Clothing – you may find that a parrot frequently chews on buttons and accessories.
  • Paper and cardboard. Avoid leaving softcover books or magazines lying around the house.
  • Plastic toys, food bowls in a cage, and other plastic objects around the home.
  • Food left unattended. Even if the parrot isn’t hungry, it may chew food.
  • Cables and wires can be a significant problem if connected to a live electrical outlet.

While chewing comes naturally to parrots, untempered chewing and biting on inanimate objects sets a costly and potentially dangerous precedent.

why is my parrot chewing everything?

Why is My Parrot Chewing Everything?

Biting and chewing are instinctual habits carried over from the wild. It’s done for these reasons:

Wearing Down The Beak

Chewing is psychologically comforting and critical for physical health.

A parrot’s beak, known as a hookbill due to its curved shape, never stops growing. Chewing abrasive items wears the beak down, preventing it from becoming overgrown and misaligned.

The upper bill, the rhinotheca, is most prone to excess growth. Regularly chewing on toys and tough foods like hard-shelled nuts will wear this down, enhancing the parrot’s long-term wellness.

If the parrot can’t chew objects in its environment, its beak must be manually filed down.


Parrots sometimes chew things to calm their nerves. This behavior is persistent in parrots that have recently been introduced to a new home and need time to adapt.

As per Ethology, parrots are neophobic (fear of new and unfamiliar objects in the environment).

One way that parrots cope with their heightened anxiety is to explore the world through their mouths, chewing and biting on various things they encounter.

Boredom and lack of stimulation or company are stressful for parrots. If a bird spends too much time alone, it’ll seek ways to pass the time, like chewing on cage bars or nearby curtains.

Nesting Activity

Wild parrots chew on wood to widen cavity nests in trees to comfortably fit inside.

This provides a wild parrot with a safe place to shelter and hide from predators and a location to lay eggs and incubate them until they hatch.

How Do I Stop My Parrot from Biting Everything?

Chewing and biting behaviors may come naturally to parrots, but this does not make them appealing to humans. Some owners cope poorly with a parrot’s tendency to chew, rehoming their birds.

Always prioritize redirecting the bird’s desire to chew rather than removing it entirely. To maintain a positive relationship with a parrot while keeping your home in good order, follow these 4 steps:

1/ Keep The Parrot Calm

One way to keep unwanted chewing to a minimum is to keep the parrot calm. As intelligent and curious birds, unstimulated parrots can become distressed, anxious, and bored.

Ways to keep a parrot happy in captivity include:

The parrot will likely chew everything if you fail to maintain these routines.

how to keep pet birds off furniture

2/ Provide Alternative Things To Chew

Chewing is a natural behavior for parrots that must be encouraged. This involves providing a bird with approved materials to bite or chew so it doesn’t destroy your household items and possessions.

What can I give my parrot to chew on?” Here are some viable options:

  • Wooden toys for birds are available from pet stores. Balsa, fir, and pine are safe woods.
  • Plastic toys or baby toys, assuming they’re in good order and won’t become a choking hazard.
  • Tough perches made from abrasive materials.
  • Telephone books and other paper resources to chew and shred.
  • Wicker baskets to chew, bite, and unpick.
  • Clothing and bedding materials.
  • Cuttlefish bone hung in a cage.

Offering these chewable toys and objects will satisfy the parrot, keep it safe and content, and reduce the possibility of unwanted damage to the home and personal possessions.

3/ Deterrent Sprays and Scents

If you’re wondering how to keep pet birds off furniture to reduce the risk of chewing and damage, you may wish to deter the parrot from approaching by using certain scents and sprays.

Keeping a bird away from furniture involves minimizing damage and not making the parrot feel unloved. Don’t make soft furnishings unapproachable because this may impact the parrot-human bond.

Most pet stores will stock sprays to deter parrots from chewing furniture. These materials won’t be toxic but will have a bitter, unappealing taste and scent.

Alternatively, you can make a homemade bitter spray for birds. Mix 2 cups of apple cider vinegar with a single cup of white vinegar, diluting this mixture and applying it to a spray bottle.

4/ Training Plan

Both verbal and physical training will be necessary to keep the parrot from biting furniture.

One way to train a parrot is to remove it from any situation where chewing becomes tempting. If the parrot looks set to bite on furniture, pick up the bird and return it to its cage for a time-out.

Alternatively, get a clicker. When a parrot is set to chew something inappropriate, use the clicker to distract the bird. When the parrot looks at you, offer a treat or something else to bite down on.

Using a clicker is preferable to vocal commands that may be starting, but if you need to act quickly, issue a short, sharp verbal cue. Avoid anything too loud, like clapping your hands.

Chewing and biting is a natural behavior in parrots, but you must prevent the bird from willfully destroying your home and possessions.