🐱 ARE Cats AFRAID of Roombas? DO they Like RIDING On Robot Vacuum Cleaners?

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are cats afraid of roomba vacuum cleaners?

Who hasn’t heard of the vacuum cleaning robots, Roomba? This intelligent technology, although very practical, can sometimes put cat owners in trouble. Why? Because there are cats that are afraid of these robots or pets who simply like to ride them while it’s cleaning the house. All this comes from your cat’s personality, and by now you should know what your pet likes, what scares it, or what makes it feel comfortable. These things are only valid if your cat is not new to the household and has had time to adapt to your environment.It is harder to immediately know the personality of a new kitten or adult cat you just brought to your home. A period of adaptation must pass, both for the kitten and you, as the owner, until you begin to know each other.

Cats are attracted or scared by various gadgets that we use around the house, especially mobile ones. So don’t be surprised when your cat wants to start riding the Roomba vacuum cleaner for a free tour of the house! This behavior comes from curiosity, the desire to dominate, or just the fact that these little robots can be seen as playmates. Also, Roombas can get our little fur balls scared because they move, but most cats accept them – they like the heat they emit and the low vibrations.

Will a Roomba cleaning robot scare my cat?

Most cats are attracted to the new things we take out of the box, and Roomba is no exception. Although, they are usually more interested in the box itself!

It is possible that when you take the vacuum cleaner out of the package, the cat will come to smell it and also leave its scent on it. Your feline might get scared when the Roomba will be put into action because there is a possibility that it will feel threatened by it.

If your cat runs away when it sees the robot cleaning the house or becomes aggressive, don’t insist on holding it close to the vacuum cleaner to “make it see” that nothing bad is happening. (This is a common behavior that most cats’ owners adopt, regardless of the object). By doing so, you risk doing more harm, stressing the cat even harder.

Leave the cat at her pace. Some cats are braver, and others are shyer, so it is best to leave the latter alone and not force them into doing anything they don’t feel comfortable with. 

Courage or shyness is not about breed or sex. Instead, if we are talking about kittens vs. adult cats, baby cats may be less scared (at least at first) of this type of vacuum cleaner because they are much more curious and energetic than an adult cat and may perceive the Roomba as a playmate.

Still, if you want your cat to be friends with Roomba, you can try to give it a treat whenever you see it relaxed around the vacuum cleaner, or you can play with your pet in the same area. The idea is for the feline to associate the Roomba vacuum cleaner with something positive, such as play time or treats (or both).

Are cats afraid of all vacuum cleaners?

What I know for sure is that the majority of cats are afraid of the classic vacuum cleaner, the one that makes so much noise, so you couldn’t sleep when your mom was cleaning the house.

In addition to the fact that these vacuum cleaners are bigger than your pet, they are also quite noisy, which can cause them to feel threatened. As well, cats have fine hairs under their chin and behind their front legs that capture vibrations, and a vacuum cleaner, in addition to the noise it makes, it also produces vibrations, making the cat feel uncomfortable.

Noiseless vacuum cleaners are better tolerated by our furry friends. The cat could sit relaxed somewhere high, watching you clean the whole house without feeling the need to hide.

With hand vacuum cleaners you can gather your cat’s hair. They are not too large, and can easily go unnoticed by your fluff ball. Your cat might get scared if you put it directly on it.

Broadly speaking, cats are scared of objects that are larger than them and make a lot of sound. In the case of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, most cats end up tolerating it very well, once they get used to it – it is small and makes no noise at all.

Although almost all cats behave this way, there are exceptions to the rule – cats that have nothing against the vacuum cleaner (regardless of its size or how much noise it produces). Some even seem to enjoy it when the owner approaches the vacuum hose to them (as in the case of the classic vacuum cleaners).

  • Signs that your cat likes the vacuum cleaner

Cats who like or tolerate the vacuum cleaner are relaxed, they play around it, sleep without problems when you clean the house, etc.. In other words, they don’t even pay attention to it, no matter how close is the vacuum cleaner to them.

  • Signs that your cat is afraid of the vacuum cleaner

Cats that are afraid of the vacuum cleaner tend to disappear the second you take out the appliance (they hide); others hiss, some cats may even bite or scratch the vacuum cleaner, growl, meow, or make other unpleasant sounds.

Why do cats like riding the Roomba vacuum cleaners?

If some cats become restless or anxious when you put the Roomba into action, others will simply sit comfortably on top of the appliance, riding it, letting the vacuum cleaner do a free house tour. But why do cats adopt this behavior?

As for the reasons why some cats choose to ride the Roomba robot when cleaning the house, there are many, from conquering the territory to the simple fact that they like the warmth it emits, making them feel at ease.

The main reasons cats do that are as follows:

1. The cat seeks to assert itself and conquer the “territory” – Any change that happens in your cat’s territory (your home) can scare it and make it feel anxious,threatening its territorial instincts. The same thing happens with Roomba. By placing itself on top of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, your cat actually conquers the “new” territory, which makes it trust this crazy-looking robot. In other words, instead of hiding out of fear, your cat will show courage and confidence and “tell” the Roomba vacuum cleaner who is the leader of the house.

In a way, when your fluff ball rides theRoombarobot, it overcomes its fear of the gadget and asserts its dominance over it.

Some cats can see the Roomba vacuum cleaner as a playmate because it moves around the house and is fun to chase it around, jumping at it from behind the door.

2. Who wouldn’t want a free ride?! –  A house tour riding the Roomba can save your cat some energy. Cats are masters at conserving their energy, and that is why they like to sleep all day. Our cats do not have to consume their energy hunting because they receive food directly from us. Despite this, their predatory instinct is preserved. (In the wild, they spend most of their energy hunting.) So, next time you see your pet on top of the vacuum cleaner, let it enjoy the free ride and view!And give your beloved pet the opportunity to explore its miniature kingdom!

3. Some cats like vibrations – Usually, stronger vibrations tend to scare these little felines, as it happens with the large, classic vacuum cleaners (in addition to the noise they make). The Roomba gadget, being small, just good for the cat to sit comfortably on top of it, produces lower and constant vibrations, and as a result, the cat will receive a free massage along with the tour of the house!

4. Cats love warm places – Just like these fur babies love to sit on our laptop or other devices that emit heat, on colder days, for the same reason, it seems, they like to ride the Roomba robot. It is said that cats actually trace their roots to the ancestors (the African wildcat), who lived in dry and arid areas.

Are Roombas safe for cats?

The engine of a Roomba or any other robot vacuum cleaner is not so powerful. Therefore, if your pet puts its paw under the robot, it won’t cause any harm. If such an object hits your pet, it will stop for a second and turn, continuing cleaning in another direction. So a Roomba or any other vacuum cleaner won’t be able to hurt your cat, and most likely, your fluffy pet won’t even move.

How many cats can ride a Roomba simultaneously?

A Roomba vacuum cleaner can hold between 15-20 lbs. (approximately 7-9 kg) to continue to function properly. As a result, 3-4 kittens or two adult cats can easily ride this cat taxi. But it still depends on the weight of your cats – if your cat is 18 lbs., it is clear that for the Roomba to continue to work well, this weight is enough.

How can I make the Roomba or other vacuum cleaners less traumatic for my cats?

As I mentioned in the beginning, shy cats should not be forced into doing anything that doesn’t make them feel comfortable because you will end up doing more harm than good.

For the curious cats or the ones that are braver you should try to make them associate the vacuum cleaner (regarding its type) with something that creates joy for your cat (treats).

Other methods include:

– Leave the vacuum cleaner in easily accessible and visible places – a few hours before you start cleaning, put the appliance in plain sight so your cat can get used to it (see it, smell it).

– Give your cat a place where it can feel safe. Anyone knows how much cats love to climb and a cat tree or some shelves could make them feel safe.

– Turn on the vacuum cleaner when your cat is not in the room. This way, the noise will not be so loud and will allow your pet to get used to it more easily.

– Keep your cat’s mind busy – you can give your pet a toy or food.

– Feed the cat near the vacuum cleaner – your cat should easily reach the food, and appliance must not be an obstacle between your pet and the food bowl. At first, the bowl will be placed at a greater distance, so the cat gets used to the presence of the vacuum cleaner. After that, the bowl will be moved closer and closer to the appliance.

– Spraying attractant solutions on the vacuum cleaner.For example, Feliway, PetSafe spray, etc.

Each cat has its own rhythm, and the accommodation will be different from one pet to another.

Spend as much time as possible in the company of your fluff ball – grooming, stroking, or playing with it will make your pet feel safe!

Will my Roomba vacuum pick up cat litter?

Cat litter particles are small enough for Roomba to take them off the ground. In fact, some companies that sell these robots even use cat litter in their demonstrations. As a result, Roomba or any other vacuum robot is good for cleaning cat litter without damaging the appliance, however it is best to read the operating instructions beforehand.

Pet vacuum cleaners

The best vacuum cleaners that collect pet hair well are the ones from the Dyson brand, according to some pet owners.

Also, if you only have one cat or your pets don’t shed as much hair, hand vacuum cleaners are also somewhat useful. You can vacuum its hair from the couch, chairs, armchairs, etc., including the one from your clothes.


If your cat likes to ride the Roomba vacuum cleaner, let it enjoy the view and its warmth because nothing bad can happen to either the cat or the vacuum cleaner.

Scary or shy cats should not be forced to be near the vacuum cleaner (of any kind), as you risk stressing them more.

The main reasons why cats like so much to ride the Roomba robots is because they are warm (and which cat doesn’t like warm places?!) and produce low and constant vibrations.

It is important to observe your cat’s behavior when you are using the vacuum cleaner, to see if it shows a positive or a negative attitude towards it. This was you will know what to do and not stress your cat any further (if it’s a shy cat).

If you still want to befriend your little feline with the vacuum cleaner, you can try different methods, such as: giving it treats or food next to the appliance, playing with your fluff ball, leaving the Roomba outside for a few hours before you start cleaning, or spraying attractant substances on the robot.

I hope you will find in this article great information about cats and Roombas.

Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Happy Cat Care!

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