What Can I Do for a Cat Who Fears Noise?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, looks for the reason a cat might be afraid of noises.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: July 30, 2010, 3 a.m. EDT

Printer Friendly

Q: My cat is afraid of noise. Is there anything I can do?

A: Depending on his or her personality, each cat reacts differently to noise. I also believe cats are less likely to react to noise then dogs — this certainly is true in my home. Whenever prolonged thunder or fireworks occur, my little dog Ziggy takes off at a gallop but my cats look up as if to ask, “What was that?” and then go back to sleep. I find cats are more afraid of sudden noises such as food blenders, vacuum cleaners or something heavy dropped on the floor.

The vacuum cleaner, upright or hand-held, seems to be the No. 1 complaint for a cat. If your cat agrees, let him find a place to feel safe, like under a bed or in a closet, while you clean. Don’t force him out when the noise stops. He will come out when ready. For my clients who use housekeepers while they are away, I try to make my house calls before the housekeeper has gone through the home with a vacuum and scared the cats into hiding.
Exceptions always exist. My newest cat, Lester, is a real cutie and totally fearless. When I do quick clean-ups with a hand-held vacuum, he follows me around, probably to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

Not all noise is bad. Before pop-up cans, the buzz of the electric can opener was considered a “good” noise — signaling something yummy was on the way. Now the sound of a can-top being popped signals this. Mine even come running into the kitchen when I open a can of soup.
If your cat is really upset by noise, take him to the vet. He could have medical issues. You might also want to ask your vet about something many of my clients are talking about. It’s a feline pheromone-based diffuser that they say helps restore calm and balance to a cat.

Being calm yourself is probably the best thing you can do to help a nervous kitty. Make sure he gets extra TLC and treats once he has settled down. As always I welcome your comments and stories.

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
What Can I Do for a Cat Who Fears Noise?

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

PL;DS    K, MI

8/6/2010 12:45:10 AM


Bobbi    SF, CA

8/5/2010 5:52:18 PM

Thanks for the interesting article and answers.

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

8/5/2010 4:21:21 PM

Good article. Thanks.

Sue    Three Oaks, MI

8/5/2010 1:21:44 PM

My cat is scared of thunderstorms. Do the pheromone diffusers work?

View Current Comments

Top Products