How To Protect Your Cat from the Vacuum Cleaner

Have you noticed your cat cowering or running in fear the moment you start vacuuming? Many cats are afraid of the vacuum cleaner. It may be the loud noises, or the sucking action that could grab at their fur. Whatever it is, many cats are absolutely petrified of this device. Here's how to protect your cat from the vacuum cleaner:

  1. Provide a quiet space. Is there a room in your home that you could vacuum less frequently? Set it up as a quiet space for your cat to avoid the vacuum cleaner. Before you start this household chore, find your cat and calmly take them to this room. It's best if it has a bed or other furniture they can hide under if the noise of the approaching vacuum scares them. If your cat has his own "safe zone" where he likes to hide when there are too many people in the house or a thunderstorm is brewing, this would be the perfect choice during your vacuuming time.
  2. Avoid vacuuming. If your cat spends time outdoors, wait until they're far away before you bring out the vacuum cleaner. Don't start vacuuming when your cat is curled up in her favorite spot on the couch, sound asleep. If your cat is indoor-only, wait until they're in their quiet room before you start vacuuming, don't try to turn on the vacuum cleaner in an effort to get them to move in that direction.
  3. Be reassuring. Cats have sensitive hearing and may have been scared by the vacuum as young kittens. Understand that you cannot reason with your cat, and if your cat is scared of the vacuum cleaner, it is unlikely that they will ever accept it. Allow your cat to be scared without yelling at them, which will frighten them more.
  4. Find a better vacuum. Some vacuums may be easier on cats than others, so if you're serious about protecting your cat from the vacuum cleaner, find a quieter model. Some vacuum noises are in the 80 to 90 decibel range. Loud enough for human ears, cats' hearing is much more sensitive than ours, meaning that this loud noise is truly traumatic for them. Today, modern vacuum cleaners can be found with much quieter operation.
  5. Avoid the hose attachment. Many cats are particularly scared of the hose attachment, perhaps from previous experiences with it sucking at their fur. Avoid using the hose attachment when your cat is around. Especially avoid trying to clean the couch with this attachment while they're sleeping on it.

It's hard to figure out why most cats hate the vacuum cleaner, so rather than trying to alleviate their fear, it's usually much easier to just avoid vacuuming near them so you don't scare them. You can move your cat to a quiet room, avoid vacuuming when they are near, or avoid using an older, louder vacuum of the hose attachment. No matter your strategy for protecting your cat from the vacuum cleaner, remain calm and reassuring to avoid frightening your cat even more.


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