Interesting Facts

Cats and Roombas: Are Cats Afraid of Robot Vacuums?

cat is scared of roomba robot vacuum
Written by Clair Chesterman

While some cats enjoy Roombas, others are scared of them. Whether traditional, hand-powered, or robotic vacuum, there are cats who tend to be afraid of this technology.

But why does the mere sight of this gadget cause cats to flee in terror? And how can you clean your house without frightening your cats? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Your Cat is Scared of Your Vacuum

Cat is confused while sitting on robot vacuum

Every cat is unique, and each sees intruders in its territory differently. There are numerous characteristics of the Roomba that may be frightening or even threatening to some cats.

It’s easy to see why vacuums are so frightening to cats. Vacuums generate a lot of noise, which begins unexpectedly. The machines are also enormous and include a lot of moving parts, such as the terrifying suction tube or the constantly shifting brush rolls.

The cat may not be accustomed to the loud noises made by the Roomba. Your cat may become frightened if it hears the Roomba engine operating since it may be particularly sensitive to noises.

As the motor runs, the room also receives a very slight vibration. Your cat can be intimidated by the vibration and flee. It is unlikely that a cat will use the vacuum to go around the house if it is afraid of the vibrations from the Roomba.

The first appearance of the vacuum generally frightens pets. You might get out of the vacuum and start it without thinking because it’s routine for you, only to find you’ve terrified your four-legged friend as they jump around the corner to hide. This first impression can lead to a lifetime of vacuum-related anxiety.

Can Cats Damage Your Roomba Vacuum?

Cat on top of Roomba vaccum

While fur parents may be concerned about the Roomba frightening a cat, owners of ferocious cats may be anxious about the cat breaking this costly vacuum cleaner.

A cat will not destroy your Roomba or any other robot vacuum. It may scrape it and destroy some plastic, but it is exceedingly unlikely that it will ruin or shatter it in any manner.

The sensors and cameras on a robot vacuum are the most vulnerable parts. If it contains cameras, it may be more vulnerable; instead, try a Roomba that just uses lidar or laser to navigate.

Fortunately, Roombas are built to last and are equipped with sensors and auto-shutdown mechanisms to keep them safe. The materials used in the vacuum are generally thick, sturdy, and of excellent quality.

If the Roomba is assaulted, it will shut down automatically, safeguarding both your cat and your vacuum.

Tips For Your Roomba Afraid Cat

Because cats are susceptible to stress, a cat’s phobia of the vacuum may get worse if they have a lot of frightening experiences with it. Therefore, you shouldn’t keep startling your cat with surprise vacuuming sessions. You can’t, however, fully avoid using the vacuum to keep your cat calm.

Here are a few methods for dealing with your cat’s dread of the vacuum.

Give Them Time to Get Accustomed to Roomba

Allow them some time to adjust to the Roomba. Set it to a low level and let it run around while your cat keeps a safe distance away.

Once they appear intrigued rather than scared, you may begin to gradually introduce them to the Roomba by allowing it to approach and sniff them. You should also offer them a reward when the Roomba is nearby so they associate it with something nice. 

With a little effort and persistence, you can encourage your cat in getting over its fear of the Roomba.

Protect Your Cat

If your cat is really terrified of vacuums even after trying to associate them, then you can only do is protect them.

By managing your cat’s environment while you vacuum other areas of the house, you can protect your cat to ease his fears.

While you work on the other rooms, put your cat in a different room and occupy him with a toy. Play music or turn the television on to hide any noise.  This method occupies and diverts your cat while causing little stress.

Final Words

Cats generally dislike loud noises, such as those produced by standard vacuum cleaners. For some cats, you can’t make them like your Roomba or even tolerate its presence.

Nonetheless, because a robot vacuum like a Roomba is quieter than a regular vacuum, most cats will accept the robot over the regular vacuum.

About the author

Clair Chesterman

Clair is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair knows everything about multiple cat breeds and how to use the latest technologies to make the cat's life better.

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