r/techsupport Oct 06 '22

cat chewed through optical fiber cable Open | Networking

hey! yep, as the title says, my cat chewed on my fiber cable. he chewed on the coat, left the yellow part, probably strength member. my internet is still working though is my house going to blow up soon? just curious if i can leave the cable like this or do i need to change it

damage pic https://imgur.com/a/dst7Lyh

181 Upvotes

96 comments sorted by

61

u/ackmon Oct 06 '22

If everything is working fine you're good. At some point you may want to replace it to be safe.

109

u/TortoiseStomper69694 Oct 06 '22

100%. I replace my cat every 6 months or so.

23

u/Allvah2 Oct 06 '22

14

u/Matthijsvdweerd Oct 06 '22

Hold my PC, I'm going in! 🏊🤿

7

u/insomniacakess Oct 06 '22

it’s been an hour, can i set it down yet? it’s getting pretty damn heavy now

6

u/Lagging_BaSE Oct 06 '22

My brain automatically read this sentence as "I replace my CAT6 every 6 months or so." 4 times before i finally slowed down.

1

u/jwaresolutions Oct 07 '22

Shit i did the same.

3

u/Tech_surgeon Oct 06 '22

should probly plan to replace at some point. would be a good idea to get wire conduits or the plastic wire covers so the cat can't reach the wires.

-57

u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

93

u/Shutthefunkdown Oct 06 '22

It might, but not because of a chewed fibre optic cable.

14

u/RogueVogueDino Oct 06 '22

Would love to see those statistics.

Maybe I wouldn’t actually

9

u/Jeffbx System Administrator Oct 06 '22

Best I can do is a non-zero chance.

3

u/Sinavestia Oct 06 '22

Remember guys, there is never ever a 0% chance that you will come home and find your house has been blown up.

17

u/GlowGreen1835 Oct 06 '22

Fiber optic carries light only, no electricity or anything that produces any noticable amount of heat, exactly 0 explosion or fire risk.

5

u/Sinavestia Oct 06 '22

Let's say you cut the cable in half and one end is sticking out side your house connected to a magnifying glass and you have it pointing directly at the sun at high noon.

Would it channel light through the cable and what would that do?

2

u/gubbygub Oct 06 '22

it would channel the light, i can get a reading from a fiber jumper if i point it at a bright light. idk what it would actually do tho, maybe burn a tiny hole in a piece of paper? doubt even that tho, itd be a bitch and a half to get enough sunlight focused on one side to have enough star power to burn anything down. idk physics or whatever field would know how to calculate that lol

the inside core of fiber (the glass bit that actually transmit light) is 8-10 microns wide for singlemode fiber, super super smol (human hair is 17-181 microns according it wikipedia!) cant really even see the transmit light unless you look right down lit fiber or a transceiver, which isnt so good to look apparently but im not blind yet!

3

u/Kriss3d Oct 06 '22

It's light. Literally. So no. Nothing will happen except your network might not work one day.

Prevent your cat from damaging it more and then have it replaced when you can.. No rush.

The fiber cable being damaged will not cause any more damage to your house than shining a flashlight at a wall will.

0

u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

1

u/ackmon Oct 06 '22

Well yes. I didn't want to scare anyone

1

u/Remote_Cartoonist_27 Oct 06 '22

No bare optical fiber cables are completely safe, worse case scenario is your internet stops working due to the damage.

95

u/the_real_toritari Oct 06 '22

Well optical fiber cables use light signals instead of electrons used with copper cables to transmit data.

So you wont get a shock or anything from an optical fiber cable.

Depending on the depth of the damage it is possibley that package loss might occur, if light gets inside the cable. However since you said that your internet is still working I would leave it, but maybe see on ordering a replacement cable just to be prepared, if it fails.

1

u/Meezha Oct 06 '22

My friends dog just chewed through my microsoft laptop charging cable (the kind that clicks on the side). I spliced it, connected the wires perfectly but it still doesn't work. Do you know if there's some kind of override in the power supply that detects damage? Thanks!

18

u/Lagging_BaSE Oct 06 '22

Dude an optical cable and a power supply is not similar at all.

But my guess is the short circuit protection kicked in and cut the power on the output. And sometimes you have to cut mains power from the charger + let the capacitors discharge for it to reset. This is all assuming you repaired it properly.

There isn't any detection in the power supply that bricks it. Just imagine if a kid stuck some metal or a random cable at the charging port end. Every single power supply would die pretty quickly that way.

-1

u/Meezha Oct 06 '22

Oh I know they're totally different. I repaired it pretty well (only one stranded wire under the sleaving - easy fix) but that makes sense about the capacitors. Thanks for putting it in perspective!

4

u/Lagging_BaSE Oct 06 '22 Helpful

You say there was 1 wire under the sleeve. There has to be 2 at minimum.

Since you didn't see another wire i guess it is safe to assume it's a coaxial wire like ul1185.The "outer shield" acts as your return line for dc power and has to be connected for it to function.

Edit: Said wire pic

1

u/Meezha Oct 06 '22

Oh wow! Yes!!! I was wondering about that! I've worked with lots of other types of wire and have done coax connectors but this makes total sense. I'm gonna try to work some magic. Thank you so much!

2

u/Lagging_BaSE Oct 06 '22

Lmk if it works.

1

u/Meezha Oct 06 '22

Heya! So... I wrapped the interior and exterior separately - taped up nicely with nothing touching, plugged in, unplugged, tested on another surface pro I have and updated all firmware but in the end, I only got a blinking light and no charge. I did everything correctly so perhaps it just crapped out and the timing was too perfect. I just hate tossing something out that seems like an easy fix. Thanks so much!

1

u/the_real_toritari Oct 06 '22

Since its "only" electricity the copper wires don't need to fit perfect neccesarily.

The only important thing is, that the pairs of the inner mantlets (brown, blue, yellow/green most of the times) only touch other pairs of the same colour.

So remove some more of the rubber shielding, then tape each of the 3 wire pairs together matching the colours, then test it and if it works you can put some tape over all 3 pairs together in order to simulate the structure of the healthy cable.

Copper cables > coloured shielding > outer (black or grey) shielding

Afaik there is no damage detection for power cables in that sense, but electrical devices are able to limit their receiving current. E.g. I can charge my phone (USB-C) connector with my laptop charger without damaging the phone. Even though the laptop charger can deliver 65Watts, my phone only draws, what it needs. But the other way around won't work, since my phone charger is not powerful enough to charge my laptop battery, so nothing happens.

1

u/Meezha Oct 06 '22

Oh for sure! The end that got chewed was only one stranded wire so easy fix. Totally get what you're saying! Thanks+

1

u/img999 Oct 06 '22

"So you won't get shock or anything from an optucal fiber cable."

IMO just do not point it to your eyesight because you can blind yourself (laser inside).

22

u/CForChrisProooo Oct 06 '22

Looks intact, maybe wrap some electrical tape around it to reinforce it.

Fibre won't hurt you, or cause a fire or anything (at least not at this power level).

7

u/Throw247_uk Oct 06 '22

Soak the electrical tape in dragon’s pee first, to keep the cat away…right?

*I don’t know what animal you should use but you don’t want to find out electrical tape smells like catnip, do you?

5

u/otterscotch Oct 06 '22

Bitter apple spray is usually very effective for this. Kept my cat completely uninterested in the best out cables behind my pc even through his teething chew everything phase.

2

u/Throw247_uk Oct 06 '22

Oh excellent tip!

2

u/mlvisby Oct 06 '22

Not sure about fiber cables, but I know squirrels tend to chew on coax cable a lot because the coating tastes sweet to them.

2

u/shun_tak Oct 06 '22

If they swallow the fibre it could do damage.

1

u/Complex_Solutions_20 Oct 06 '22

I'd get some small (maybe 3/8?) split-loom tubing vs electrical tape to reenforce it myself.

Given the cat's interest, probably put some on it even if you get a new fiber, as an extra layer of defense.

I don't know if they make no-chew stuff for cats like they do for dogs, but maybe look into that to spray on it if such a product exists.

39

u/NuKe_911 Oct 06 '22

Now that is CAT 0 cable 😂

6

u/Nekikins Oct 06 '22

CAT 0 Cable 1

2

u/sprayfoamparty Oct 06 '22

Cat 1 cable 0

2

u/shroudedwolf51 Oct 06 '22

This seems more accurate. The cat pretty clearly won.

9

u/Tarquos Oct 06 '22

So it doesn't look like you have any major worries here. The fibre cable is made up of that white outer sheath, Kevlar (the yellow stuff you can see), another protective sheath, followed by the bare glass fibre. provided this last sheath has not been compromised, this will continue to work as normal.

If however that final sheath is damaged, dirt will eventually egress into the fibre causing you to lose light slowly over time - initially you wont notice anything, then you'll get intermittent service failure followed by complete failure.

Source: am a fibre engineer.

1

u/canadianman2020 Oct 06 '22

This, I took a cybersecurity specialist course and they taught us a bit on fiber optic cabling and I agree lol

13

u/Severe-Experience333 Oct 06 '22

Share a pic of your cat

25

u/malomiasteczkowo Oct 06 '22

11

u/Severe-Experience333 Oct 06 '22

Thank you. That's a great cat right there.

11

u/malomiasteczkowo Oct 06 '22

he's very mean. ;(

6

u/Dr_Legacy Oct 06 '22

he's a kitten, though. show him kindness now to set an example

9

u/Severe-Experience333 Oct 06 '22

Yeah I had a cat once....he was a dick too. I miss him.

2

u/otterscotch Oct 06 '22

Cats don’t respond well to the way your train a dog, so keep in mind he will be entirely unimpressed and maybe even respond aggressively if you try act dominant and aggressive. There are so many ways to train a cat, people just try to treat them like dogs, fail, and assume it’s impossible.
This little guy is a baby predator so he’s learning how to hunt and claw and chew things to death. Now is your time to reach him which things are okay to claw and chew, so make sure to have plenty of toys and a big scratching board for him. I’d recommend bitter apple spray for any cables, it’ll make them less appealing and he’ll learn to chew toys instead.

3

u/Caraotero Oct 06 '22

This is the closest we will get to a mugshot of it.

1

u/5jpaaso Oct 06 '22

Cute cat! What’s it’s name please?

2

u/Charakiga Oct 06 '22

Do you mean show a pic of your owner? The hooman doesn’t own the cat, the cat owns the hooman 🐱

3

u/eejjrr Oct 06 '22

OPTICAL CABLE means no electricity. Replace the cable.

3

u/SourCreamAndGarlic Oct 06 '22

Consider taking your cat to the vet if you think they may have swallowed part of what they were chewing on. When I had my optical fibre internet installed the technician was clear I should try and keep the cable inaccessible to my cat, as fibre cables are not good for your cat's digestive system.

2

u/seraph_m Oct 06 '22

I’d suggest running your cables through a thick plastic hose, at least 8mm, to prevent your car from biting through 🙂. It worked for me.

-6

u/tylerderped Oct 06 '22

Put it in a better place next time. Optical fiber doesn’t just use any kind of light — it uses infrared. A cat (or dog) chewing on the cable could go blind, should they cut it with their teeth and have their eyes at the end.

6

u/humanHamster Oct 06 '22

Not true, unless they put the broken end directly up to their eye and hold it for several minutes. Back in the day people used to wear special safety glasses when working with fiber, but with modern knowledge we know that the wavelengths simply won't do that kind of damage.

Don't spread misinformation, do your research.

Source: working with fiber is one of my primary job duties.

1

u/Tarquos Oct 06 '22

This light can and will cause damage over time if looked directly into. What leaks from a break will be minimal and likely not harmful compared to looking straight into the end of optitap connector, but it's still not recommended. Before telling people to do research, do yours too.

Source - am a fibre engineer who deals with it every day.

2

u/humanHamster Oct 06 '22

This light can and will cause damage over time if looked directly into.

You literally reiterated what I said...what research do you suggest I do?

0

u/tylerderped Oct 06 '22

“Do your research”

I was an ETA-certified fiber installer lmao, I went to school for telecom for 2 years. Infrared lasers can definitely permanently blind you.

Why do you think optical fiber lines have warnings wrapped on them? To let you know a) it’s not copper, nothing to scrap and b) not to cut it (and especially not to look into it)

1

u/humanHamster Oct 06 '22

I'm not saying they CAN'T blind you. I am saying that if you break a fiber and look into the end of it for a brief moment (as an installer, or cat, would do) the chances are SO EXTREMELY SMALL. That being said, if you break the fiber and hold it up to your eye for several minutes, it will damage your eyesight. The warnings are there because you can't trust humans to not be completely stupid.

3

u/malomiasteczkowo Oct 06 '22

im keeping the cable very high up, theres no way my cat could jump up there. my partner just took it down for some reason and forgot to put it back there.

1

u/DemonRaptor1 Oct 06 '22

On top of that, if they manage to break off a piece of the fiber and swallow it, it could lead to a very bad time.

1

u/sagerobot Oct 06 '22

Infrared is a kind of light....not sure why you would say it like that.

It doesn't use light visible to the human eye. But cats actually see farther into the deep red than we do so it might actually be able to see it. I don't know that for a fact but I do know that infrared is definitely a kind of light. If not light then what is it?

1

u/tylerderped Oct 06 '22

I said “doesn’t use just any kind of light”

I wouldn’t say infrared is “any kind of light” — it’s a very specific type of “light”.

There’s really no need to be pedantic.

1

u/BlitzChriz Oct 06 '22

Get one of those bitter sprays the make for cats. This has saved my cables so many times. I would spray it on a cloth then wipe every single cable. You may have to do it twice a month, which isn't a big deal.

1

u/SufficientUndo Oct 06 '22

As others have said, you're fine. I would wrap it in duct tape or electrical tape to reinforce it, and honestly consider buying some metal armored cable sheathes to protect your cables in the future.

If your cat is doing this shit I would worry that at some point it will try to take on an electrical cable. You need to deal with the source of the problem.

1

u/Zolty Oct 06 '22

Better that cat than this one.

1

u/nuttertools Oct 06 '22

House is fine. Keep an eye on your cat for the next few days and make sure their mouth is not irritated. Wrap the cable in tinfoil to prevent the cat from doing this again. If they get into the crunchy bit slivers of the cable can be dangerous and painful.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

1

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1

u/electromage Oct 06 '22

Is the cat really a jealous CAT6 that doesn't want to be obsolete?

1

u/Papa_Lafesse Oct 06 '22

is my house going to blow up soon?

My guy.

3

u/malomiasteczkowo Oct 06 '22

I WAS JUST KIDDING sorry that it didnt seem like a joke :( i tried to sound sarcastic

1

u/voracread Oct 06 '22

A different line of thought. Physical protection to the damaged part might help prevent injuries from raw fibre if the whole thing breaks when left alone.

1

u/0mni000ks Oct 06 '22

is the cat gonna be okay?

3

u/malomiasteczkowo Oct 06 '22

yeah, went to the vet. hes totally fine!

1

u/0mni000ks Oct 06 '22

😌yay okay good. but yeah like someone in the comments said, as long as ur not experiencing too much packet loss u should be fine but its a good idea to line up a replacement in case it craps out suddenly

1

u/codyl0611 Oct 06 '22

As a fellow cat owner who has had the exact same incident occur, its not dangerous but you should call your ISP to have them replace it. It can cause a lot of internet issues. Also, if its a repeated problem, either try hiding the cable or get a cable sleeve for it.

1

u/nickwebha Oct 06 '22

If your ISP is anything like my fiber ISP then that cable would be replaced by them?

1

u/slipmat Oct 06 '22

Just make sure not to short circuit the light and you’ll be fine.

1

u/LaughingSasuke Oct 06 '22

Well atleast now your cat won't be constipated

1

u/chrisupt2001 Oct 06 '22

I would say replace it soon, but use some duct tape to reinforce it and deter a round 2

1

u/moistmarbles Oct 06 '22

I had a cat that would chew any cable it could find, despite it being energized and despite having a mountain of toys to choose from. Cats are assholes.

1

u/Boap69 Oct 06 '22

poor kitty you may need to bring it to the doctor if it swallowed the glass.

1

u/steppedinhairball Oct 06 '22

Cats are assholes. Your house won't blow up from THAT chewed cable. But your cat did it so the cat was probably just doing a dry run for the main event. So better check every electric cable and ground yourself so you don't accidentally spark from static.

1

u/TeddyV Oct 06 '22

First offence, shoot the cat with a squirt gun. Repeat offences, shoot it with an Airsoft Gun.

1

u/CakeDanceNotWalk Oct 07 '22

Get it replace before the cat chew through it. I would recommend getting some sort of taste deterrent for cats and apply on the cable, do test it on this broken cable to make sure the spray do not have solvent that might melt the cable. Or get some sort of plastic housing for the cable.

1

u/murderfantasy Oct 07 '22

hey, i dont have enough experience with tech, but looking at the image, it should be fine, but you should replace it if you want to be 100% safe (also make sure to put it somewhere away from your cat)

1

u/eijmert Oct 07 '22

Ur fine. That cable is so low power that it cant do anything.

Just wrap some tape around it so its not exposed and ur fine

1

u/RandmTyposTogethr Oct 07 '22

Well as it's clear from the thread, no risk but replace when convenient, it will die in the future when you move it around etc.

But, shield your cables from your cat so this doesn't happen again, and more importantly so your cat doesn't eat the fibers which are extremely harmful to ingest. Literally eating glass.

1

u/rolfcm106 Oct 07 '22

Fiber cable doesn’t really have electricity going through it the same way other cables do such as Ethernet and coax. It’s light that’s going through it. Hence “optical”.