Interesting Facts

Why Are Cats Scared Of Vacuums?

Cat is scared of vacuum cleaner
Written by Clair Chesterman

Cats are scared of vacuums simply because of the very loud noise it makes, and if your cat gets startled about it the first time, and this will be ingrained into his brain, and furthermore, it will make him fear the sight of it every time he or she sees it in the future.

Now, you, as much as anyone else, might be thinking as to why your cats get frightened of loud noises; the answer is pretty simple, the main reason is that they feel endangered and then their survival instinct starts kicking in because these types of loud noises signify dangers in the wild.

How To Help Your Cats If They Are Scared Of Vacuums

We are thinking that you might not really wanna give up vacuuming the cat litter mess and your house overall and we will therefore present some alternatives that you can do to help alleviate their fears.

Your first best option is to just move your cat to a further room or place from where you are vacuuming at the moment, such as your bedroom, your yard, or if they are an outdoor cat, you can just let them out at the time you are vacuuming.

However, the best way to battle this fear is to train them to not fear the vacuum. If there is no actual reason for your cat to be frightened, you can put some effort on trying to eliminate this fear by training them with treats, although this method will surely take much more of your time and effort.

Training Your Cat To Live With Vacuum

Here’s what you can do. Try leaving your vacuum in the same room where your cat is or where it can be visible to them as they pass by or stay in that area. This is to help your cat to get used to the presence of the vacuum while it is not in operation.

Next step can be that you can try to bring your cat near the vacuum and to try petting him for a while and maybe give him a treat if he/she stays calm around it. Make sure that he/she is comfortable around it while you are near it. However, if your cat starts showing signs of distress, do not force him/her to stay near the vacuum as it might cause him more fear towards it. Let him rest for a while from this training session, and remember to never give him treats during this moment. Repeat this method until he gets used to being around it while it is turned off.

Next up, you can try to turn the vacuum on while the cat is in a different room and let him just get used to the faint sound for now. Give him/her treats if his/her behavior remains calm and not showing any distress and fear. Keep doing this training until he/she gets used to the sound it makes while being far away.

Next step is that you can do the same method as before, but this time, let the cat be in the same room where the vacuum is. If the cat starts showing signs of fear and distress, try to calm him/her down but if it doesn’t work, pause for a while. However, if it’s the other way around, give him treats and pets if he stays calmed down and relaxed. Keep doing this method until he gets used to being around the vacuum while it is turned on and only then can you start trying to move the vacuum while it is turned on and while the cat is around the same room where the vacuum is. Same method as before, if he stays relaxed and not fearful, give him treats to train him that he is doing great, and to not get frightened if there is nothing to be frightened about.

If this method doesn’t work, you may want to consider purchasing a climber because cats would naturally climb up a tree or other structures in the wild in case they feel any type of potential threat or hear loud noises.


Don’t force your cat into staying with you while you are vacuuming as this might affect them psychologically; just let them out or away and be free of stress and let them deal with it by themselves the way they want it to be instinctively. This is only after putting all your time and efforts in training them and it did not work for them.

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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