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My cat's terrified of vacuum cleaner

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
He gets absolutely ballistic when I run the vacuum. Poor fellow, he runs and hides under the bedspread and won't come out for quite some time.

I've tried merely leaving it standing in the living room, hoping he'll see that it's not going to do anything to him. Unfortunately, he simply creeps around the edges of the room looking like he wishes it would leave. I put it into the corner of the room and he won't go past it.

I have no idea how he got like this; he's had no bad experiences with a vacuum cleaner other than listening to it. Nobody's ever chased him with one.

How can I get him over this fear or at least to where he does not seem so terrified when I run the vacuum cleaner?
post #2 of 31
I think most cats are just very nervous of the noise of vacuum cleaners.

Bijou and Mika don't like the vacuum we use for the rug, but Bijou loves to be vacuumed with the central vac since it doesn't make such a loud noise.
post #3 of 31
Harley is afraid of it as well. Whenever he sees me bring it out, he simply walks to the bedroom and sits there until I'm finished.

I got one of those awesome Swiffer Carpet Flickers thats really great to use between vacuuming - he likes to chase that around. I really like it cuz that way I don't have to haul out the vacuum as often and scare him!
post #4 of 31
Ever want to see a cat levitate? Turn on the vacuum cleaner. I keep a small one in the living room as a matter of course, but when I turn it on, all four cats levitate every where.

Poor Pete, all 21 pounds of him was stuffed under the kitty litter room chair that is about 2 1/2 inches off the floor. I literally had to move the chair and drag him out from underneath.

I never chase them with the cleaner, I don't understand why they all are so petrified.
post #5 of 31
Its taken 2 years, but PJ is not longer bothered by the vacuum (unless she's having a senior moment or something). Whenever we used to run it, she'd freak out and run into another room. But now, we can turn it on and run it when she's in the area and she doesn't do much of anything. I don't know if for some cats, it's just a matter of time before they understand the vacuum is not an evil monster!
post #6 of 31
Leeloo is exactly like that, she saw me with a dustbuster once and actually hissed! she is so funny but I feel bad when her eyes get big and she runs and hides every time something loud turns on...my other cat, Ziggy is the opposite... he just doesn't care.
post #7 of 31
I had a cat who was absolutely freaked by the sound of my electric razor. One time I tried to pet him right after shaving and Simon tore my hand to pieces, he just raked his claws up my fingers-I needed about a half dozen bandaids. I didn't even still have the razor in my hand and I had no idea why he was cowering in the corner like that. The hair dryer was less frightening for him, which I didn't understand at the time, it was a lot noisier than the LadyShaver and he didn't much mind the vacuum. I guess for him it was the vibrations and maybe where it was so small he couldn't see clearly what was making the noise and thought my hands were doing it, whereas the dryer and vacuum were clearly the source of the roaring.
My current kitty loves the paper shredder, doesn't mind the vacuum but hates my hair dryer. I think for her she does not like heat much, she always seeks the coolest darkest spots to sleep, so for her the dryer is one big loud source of "heat wave." I also once had a big dopey orange tabby, Tommy-he didn't care about ANYTHING. I could have vacuumed him, blow dried and styled him or shaved him bald. He would have rolled over and gone back to sleep.
post #8 of 31
Diesel isn't fussed at all with the vacuum but Portia runs for the hills!
post #9 of 31
All of mine are afraid of the vacuum. Forest is especially scared of it. Because of his CH, if it's turned on unexpectedly, he'll usually go careening out of the room in a panic, running into walls and doors. For that reason, I always make sure he knows it's coming and has time to get away.
post #10 of 31
Both of mine run for the hills with the vacuum too. It takes a while after it's turned off for them to realize that the vacuum-monster has gone back to sleep.

But one of the funniest moments every with Trent happened with the vacuum. While vacuuming one day, the whole stinking thing came apart in my husband's hands. It was like a cartoon. Anyway, a little while later the vacuum was still in the living room in pieces and Trent came out and very cautiously checked it out, hisses at it, and then ran up and SMACKED it! He must have known it was mortally wounded. He never did that before when it was whole, or to the new one, but he sure showed that busted one who's boss!
post #11 of 31
I have the same prob with JJ and have found no cure but I tell him the voom voom is comeing out and he goes and hides in his cubbed and when I'm done I treat him with some of his fav food (tuna) and its not that bad these days he has exepted that the big bad mummy is gunna bring out the voom voom no mater what but it's not to bad cause hes gunna get his bowl of tuna when it's all over and we hide the vac behind the toilet door so it dose not intrude on him any other time he still hates it but he is getting better food seems to cure most prob's but then he's a pig and I know that sounds a little strange but it's true all I have to do is say voom voom time and he goes straight to his cubbed strange but true
post #12 of 31
so is mine, she dissappears when it appears............
post #13 of 31
I've never had a cat who didn't run when the vacuum turned on. Tia runs to lay on my office chair as soon as she see's it, but doesn't wait long to come back out as soon as it's put away.

(Tia's Mom)
post #14 of 31
The Vacuum is a big no-no as far as Merlin is concerned. He is absolutely petrified of it and will do the "hair standing on end" / "hissing and spitting" thing. On a couple of occasions he has actually attacked it and ran away. Just the sight of it will make him run for cover.

Luckily we don't get it out much as we have wood floors throughout the house that can be swept - with just the stairs, upstairs landing and master bedroom being carpeted.

Strangely though, he will sit at the bottom of the bed if my wife is using the hairdryer - figure that one out
post #15 of 31
Originally Posted by valanhb
Anyway, a little while later the vacuum was still in the living room in pieces and Trent came out and very cautiously checked it out, hisses at it, and then ran up and SMACKED it! He must have known it was mortally wounded. He never did that before when it was whole, or to the new one, but he sure showed that busted one who's boss!
Such a big, brave boy. I hope you praised him for defending your home against the broken vacuum!
post #16 of 31
Imagine that you are, say, five foot five. Everything's going fine until this 20-foot-tall, roaring machine with a big light comes swerving at you out of nowhere. You can see that it's sucking dust up into it and wherever it touches, your scent disappears. For all you know, it could suck YOU up just as easily, and it sounds like it WANTS to, with all that roaring it does.

Now. What is so unacceptable about your cat being afraid of the sweeper? lmao

P.S. My cats hate the vacuum. They even hate the little dustbuster I use to clean up their feeding mats. The only thing they don't run from is the Bissell (non-electric carpet sweeper) and I think they would if it made any noise. LOL
post #17 of 31
When the vacum cleaner appears, all the cats disappear, except Gracie. She follows me around from room to room as I vacum, keeping her distance, but still keeping a watchful eye on the noisy "intruder."
post #18 of 31
We call that the "kitty monster" along with the broom and anything else that makes cats run for the hills. At least we used to . These two really don't care that much. If it gets too close they'll go get in their tree so that they can keep an eye on it from a safe distance, but otherwise it doesn't seem to bother them much.
post #19 of 31
Tripod heads for under the bed as soon as he sees the broom. He knows the vacuum cleaner is next.
post #20 of 31
Originally Posted by jane_vernon
Diesel isn't fussed at all with the vacuum but Portia runs for the hills!
Pixel & Cable take off Java watches!
post #21 of 31
My kitties all detest the vaccum! The older ones simply hop up off the floor into favorite spots but the younger ones head for other parts.

Funny though, the dog attacks the thing! She barks madly and bites it.
post #22 of 31
I adopted Galway, so I'm not sure if she had a bad experience before (she's just 2) but she seems to be getting used it it. Now when I vacuum she runs to the other room, but when I come in there to vacuum, she just climbs to the top of the highest furniture and sits and watches. She used to just flee to whatever room I wasn't in. It's taken about six months.
post #23 of 31
Garfield is also terrified of the vacuum. Petals on the other hand, could care less.
post #24 of 31
Bear loves the vac. he likes u to suck his fur with the pipe. lol
post #25 of 31
That is the same with my two cats, Sallie and Callie. They hate the vacuum. whenever they see me take it out, they run and hide till they know for sure its gone. They cant stand running water or my hairdryer also.
post #26 of 31
My boyfriends childhood kitty, Musse, used to like to be vaccumed from time to time as a grooming aid.

Once my mother turned the vaccum cleaner on and their cat hadn't realised it was in the room - he got such a fright he evacuated his anal glands all over the floor

Luckily, they had tiles, not carpet!
post #27 of 31
We have one cat(kipper) that will take off running and be in a room for hours before he attempts to come back out after the vacuume...

And then we have Mushi, who sits here while vacumming, and thinks it a great oppurtunity to do whatever he wants because he knows Kipper is gone for a while.

I dont think it's anything to worry about. It's just too loud for some kitties, and so they try & get away from the madness.
post #28 of 31
When I got my bridge kitty, Abbie, I had a vacuum that had a bag. Well she hated that thing! HATE! Well one day while I was at work, her mission was clear: end the vacuum's life, and end it now! Now mind you, she was just a 5 or 6 month old kitten at the time, but that little booger chewed the plug off the cord, and completely eviscerated the bag! Her work was done, the damage was irreparable!
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well, from reading all these responses, maybe it's just kindof a cat "thing." But I was hoping Jeremiah could at least someday get less afraid. If he's really frightened of something, he burrows under the bedspread. I think it's pitiful, but I guess I have to learn to deal with that. I can't eliminate everything that may frighten him.

But at the same time, it's kinda funny too. It's like he thinks if he can't see the spooky monster, that means it can't see him.
post #30 of 31
My Shroomies is absolutely terrified of the vacuum cleaner. As soon as I turn it on his runs and hides under our bed and doesn't come out for at least an hour. Same thing with the hair dryer and the blender. He just takes off.

Bella, however, is completely deaf so she can't hear the vacuum cleaner and is unphased by it. I actually have to pick her up and move her off the carpet otherwise she'll just lay there and stare as me as I'm vacuuming around her.
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