Why Do Cats Like Roombas? (You’d Be Surprised!)


why do cats like roombas

Many people like to adopt cats because they are affectionate and curious creatures. Cats have interesting behaviors that can make people laugh, endearing them to their pets even more. It is not uncommon to see a cat hitch a ride on the motorized vacuum cleaner called a Roomba.

Cats like Roomba vacuum cleaners because they provide warmth, are unpredictable, and offer safety. A cat riding a Roomba can survey its domain and claim its territory. The Roomba’s motor offers soothing vibrations to help calm a cat. A Roomba is fun for most cats, but signs of hissing, crouching, or attacking indicate your cat is scared of the vacuum.

Luckily, Roombas are safe for cats, and there is no danger to allowing your cat to ride a Roomba. Look for signs of fear from your cat, like hissing, attacking, or avoiding the Roomba to determine if your cat is frightened. In some instances, a cat may become frightened of the Roomba vacuum because of the cleaner’s sound and the odd vibrations. Never force a cat to interact with the Roomba. Instead, consider ways to help your cat cope with the Roomba, such as giving your cat its own space or time to adjust to the new Roomba.

Why Does My Cat Love the Roomba?

Cats do some pretty unusual things, and enjoying the robotic vacuum cleaner is just one of them. Most cats enjoy the company of a Roomba, but what is the reason? It turns out animal behaviorists aren’t entirely sure what the attraction is, but they have some theories on why cats love Roomba vacuums so much.

Roombas Offer Safety

Cats are curious little creatures who are constantly involved with every aspect of the household. It is not unusual for cats to inspect something new in the house, and the Roomba is no different. Cats will want to smell, touch, and possibly interact with the vacuum.

A cat climbing on top of the Roomba and riding it may be a way for your cat to feel safe around the Roomba. By taking a ride on the motorized vacuum cleaner, your cat can get a handle on the situation and keep a close eye on the vacuum. Plus, when your cat sits atop the Roomba to ride it, your cat feels like it is in control of the situation and dominating the vacuum.

Roombas Are Fun

The unpredictability of a Roomba can create a fun game for your cat. A cat will enjoy chasing after the Roomba as it spins and twirls, moving from room to room. While the Roomba moves at the same speed and makes it safe for the cat to hitch a ride, the changing patterns and movements can be fun for your cat to chase. Roombas are a great interactive toy that offers a solution to an otherwise dull and predictable day.

Roombas Are Warm

No cat can ignore a warm and cozy place. This fact is why cats are so eager to sleep on top of your laptop, even if you are working. Cats are heat-seeking creatures, looking for any pocket of warmth possible. A Roomba is very warm while it runs, offering a warm spot for your cat to relax. The longer the Roomba runs, the hotter the Roomba becomes, making your cat increasingly happy. If your cat feels comfortable enough, it might even catch a quick nap riding the Roomba.

Roombas Offer Movement

Cats, although social creatures, can become territorial. These animals continuously mark areas around the house with their scent to claim it as their own. By riding a Roomba from room to room, a cat has the opportunity to take an easy ride through its territory. Not only will your cat be able to see every spot it has claimed as its own, but it will also be able to see any new intruders coming into its environment. The motion of the Roomba offers an effortless way to investigate the home terrain. Plus, the slow speed of the Roomba makes it even safer and inviting for your cat to ride.

Is the Roomba Vacuum Safe for Cats?

Watching your cat interact with a Roomba is an enjoyable experience and usually keeps your cat entertained too. Luckily, the Roomba is completely safe for your cat. This vacuum works with a planned schedule and has sensors and shut-offs to keep your cat and home safe. If the Roomba hits an object, like a wall or cat, it will stop and find a different way. Your cat won’t be startled and won’t feel attacked by the Roomba.

Further, the primary suction devices are on the underside of the Roomba, so there is no danger of your cat’s tail or paw being accidentally vacuumed. If the vacuum encounters something different or unusual outside of its planned schedule, it will automatically shut off until you can attend the vacuum cleaner. Plus, this vacuum runs on pretty reliable software, which means it’s unlikely to glitch or crash without you knowing.

Why Is My Cat Scared of the Roomba?

While most cats enjoy the Roomba, there is always the possibility that your cat will be scared of the Roomba. Every cat is different and perceives intrusions into its territory in different ways. There are many aspects to the Roomba that could be scary and even threatening for some cats from a cat’s perspective.

The Roomba makes some loud noises that can be unfamiliar to the cat. Your particular cat may be extra sensitive to the Roomba motor running, which could cause it to be scared. The room also has a very faint vibration as the motor runs. The vibration could intimidate your cat, causing it to run away. If a cat is scared of the Roomba’s vibrations, the chances are low that it will ride the vacuum throughout the house.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Afraid?

Sometimes body language from a cat can be misleading, leaving pet owners frustrated. It can be challenging to tell if your cat is playing with the Roomba or frightened. Be observant of your pet around the Roomba to look for signs of fear, anxiety, or frustration. Some common indicators to watch for that could indicate a fearful cat include:

  • Freezing – Your cat may completely freeze in place or crouch low to the ground when the Roomba approaches. This body language is a cat’s way of making itself appear small and inconspicuous.
  • Hiding – When your Roomba comes near, your cat may run away or hide. When your cat quickly leaves a room, it is a good indication that it is feeling stressed or fearful.
  • Arched Back – A sure sign that your cat is upset by the Roomba is a cat with an arched back. Your cat may also puff up its fur or tail in an attempt to make it appear larger to the incoming Roomba.
  • Scratching or Biting – Your cat may attempt to attack the Roomba by scratching or biting the vacuum. These bites will be more aggressive and easy to differentiate from playful bites and swats.
  • Hissing – Your cat may make strange noises like hissing or spitting at the Roomba, which is a warning sign that your cat is not happy by the Roomba’s presence. These noises are usually a warning for an incoming swat or attack.
  • Tail – Keep a close eye on your cat’s tail. A tail that is tucked between the legs or swishes side to side is a good indication that your cat is unhappy with the current situation.

 

If you notice the above-described behaviors when the Roomba and cat are in the same room, it is a good indication that your cat is afraid of the Roomba. Never try to force your cat into a situation that makes it uncomfortable. Instead, please work with your cat to try to overcome its fear.

How Can I Help My Cat Not Be Afraid of the Roomba?

To a cat, a Roomba can be quite intimidating and frightening. The automated vacuum moves in erratic motions, makes noise, and encroaches on your cat’s territory. But, there are mitigation tactics that can help your cat overcome its fear of the Roomba and live peacefully in the same house.

Cats like routine and repeated habits which means they react well when situations change gradually over time. Interrupting your cat’s routine immediately is a sure recipe for disaster. Instead, gradually allow your cat to get used to the new vacuum. Let your cat smell and inspect the vacuum while it is turned off, and slowly turn the vacuum on in other rooms. Never let the Roomba run near your cat’s food and water bowl because your cat may view this as a territorial battle.

Related Questions

Can a Roomba keep up with pet hair?

If you own a cat or dog, you understand the heavy shedding that can happen throughout the week. A Roomba vacuum cleaner has a removable rubber brush that pulls up hair from different floor surfaces. The vacuum can perform wonderfully well, keeping up with daily pet hair cleaning, especially if you have hard surfaces like wood or tile in your home. The Roomba vacuum has its limits and can only handle removing pet hair on a medium-pile carpet.

Will my cat destroy a Roomba?

While owners may be concerned with the Roomba scaring a cat, owners of aggressive cats may be concerned with the cat damaging this expensive vacuum cleaner. Luckily, Roombas are robust and designed with sensors and auto-shut-off features to make them pretty durable and safe. If the Roomba is being attacked, it will auto-shutoff, protecting both your cat and your vacuum. The vacuum’s materials are generally thick, durable, and high-quality.

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Pet Advisers Team

Our team is composed of pet care professionals, veterinarians, and pet owners. To date, we've conducted thousands of hours of research to publish the most accurate pet information. Most of the writers on our site are vets with 10+ years of clinical experience, ranging from small practice, to equine practice, academia, and surgery. Our goal is to help every pet owner get the information they seek about their dear companions.

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