I have two 15-year-old black cats. They're the most timid little things ever. My brother plays his acoustic drum set at least once a week, and the loudness is incredible no matter where I go in the house.

When he's playing and I'm around my cats, I like to think I can tell there are some adverse effects the loudness has on them and their hearing. They seem jumpy and wide-eyed. Note that acoustic drums in a house that doesn't have a lot of big open spaces (hallways, stairwells, etc.) can create piercing noises that are rough even on my ears.

So can any of this hurt or damage my cats' hearing? Are there any other effects this might have on my cats?


You ever see those sound rooms that have cones of foam on the walls and ceiling to deaden sound? You could make something like that for them - a box with foam walls that would be much quieter. You might want to make one for yourself if loud drums play all the time!

  • Hm. Turn the drum-booth idea inside out, and give the cats a place to get away from the racket. Not a bad idea. (Better idea: Convert the offender to an electronic drum kit and make ;em practice at low volume or thru headphones and a butt-kicker sub-driver.)
    – keshlam
    Sep 25 '15 at 3:49
  • Post offers solution to the problem but does not answer the technical part of the question.
    – lila
    May 16 at 0:08

The same effects as on humans: progressive hearing damage if too loud. Build your brother a drum booth?

  • I'd love to, but there isn't enough space or equipment. Does the sound have any other effects on my cats besides potential hearing damage?
    – Adam
    Sep 20 '15 at 20:17
  • Possible stress, with whatever effects that may have. Is there anywhere in the house where they're free to get away from the noise? I've got a basement workshop which can get loud, but the cats can go well away from it, and I am considering more acoustic insulation.
    – keshlam
    Sep 20 '15 at 20:45
  • 1
    Downv*ted for low quality (extremely short length), it makes the answer feel a bit dismissive and disappointing, please consider adding some substance or deleting it altogether; thanks.
    – lila
    May 15 at 2:40

Cats have a 15% higher hearing than humans. What sounds loud to us is very loud to cats' sensitive ears. This can lead to ear drum ruptures. When your brother is playing the drums,you can take the cats out or distract them with treats.

  • Downv*ted for short length of the post and lack of references, I think that sense of hearing is too complex to make such one-dimensional percentage comparison that "cats have 15% higher hearing than humans", to begin with, cats are able to hear much wider range of frequencies than humans on top of having more acute sense of hearing; please consider improving this answer thanks.
    – lila
    May 16 at 0:11

The advantage of cats over dogs are the higher sense of intelligence, especially when it comes to their own well-being. Cats always hold their priorities much higher than they hold their master's.

As much as I hate to admit it, cats are selfish beings, when compared to dogs. Having said that, as soon as they realize a certain environment is unsuitable for them, or may hold a potential danger to them, they leave. So when the cats feel that the drum noise is of harm to them, they will leave the immediate area of the noise and sit somewhere far enough to minimize any danger the sound may present to their hearing. Cats take care of themselves that way and are far more independent than dogs.

A cat's hearing is an essence to its welfare. They rely a lot on their listening. So, any noise that blocks their senses from working properly will leave them in a state of unrest and panic. They will leave the room immediately. So even if there is a danger to their hearing capabilities, or not, they will leave the premises to a quieter area.

Dogs, on the other hand, prefer to sit with its master; even if the environment in not favourable to them. They may sit with you, hearing the loud noise and may be open to a hearing issue caused by loud noises, much unlike cats.

Bottom Line: The cats will take care of themselves if the noise is too high. They will leave and return when the sound is gone. You need not worry about these furry little masterminds. When it comes to their own welfare, there isn't any species of animal that isn't this smart.

  • That's very interesting. The problem is that my cats don't really have a quiet place to run off to when the drums are being played though because the noise is so loud. They seem to just accept the noise and sit in place wherever they are.
    – Adam
    May 19 '16 at 16:52

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