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The situation

I recently bought one of those vacuum robots that wander around the house to clean it.

I set it to clean the flat twice a day (it takes ~1 hour to clean the whole flat), and I'm having a problem with my cats.

I have an european/domestic cat and a Maine Coon (both approx 3 years old), male and one female.

The first time I turned on the vacuum, the european followed it a bit scared around all the flat and after few hours it stopped caring too much about it. It simply tries to stay away from it the minimum necessary to feel "comfortably safe".

The Maine Coon was on top of the scratch post when I started the first time the robot, and she followed it with the sight all the time without getting down from it.

The problem

I noticed she's very scared of it and she always tries to be in a different room from the one of the robot, but still she always try to keep an eye on it to see where it is.

The real problem is that she isn't scared of it only while it's wandering around, she act weirdly all the day, taking glances at the robot by time in time and walking "flattened" when she's near it.

About her

She's usually very social and isn't scared by visitors or anything, she's genuinely curious and never scared. So I'm wondering why she's so scared by this vacuum robot?
The weird thing is that the european is the one that usually gets scared by noises and visitors!

They are both scared by my ("old") manual vacuum and always run in a different room when I use it. Because it's much louder than the new vacuum robot.

Attempts to fix the problem

I tried to make her play near it while it's turned off and to feed her still near it, but she's still quite scared.

How can I make her accept the "new kid"?

  • Does it make much noise, the cleaner? – Sonevol Aug 18 '17 at 17:22
  • Actually less than my, already quite silent, manual vacuum. – Fez Vrasta Aug 18 '17 at 17:23
  • Related: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/2383/… – Henders Aug 18 '17 at 17:47
  • Twice a day sounds a bit much; is running it that often necessary? Maybe with two cats it is... – HelloGoodbye Jul 28 at 4:24
  • Btw, out of curiosity since two years have passed since you asked the question, how does your cat react to the robot today? Has she got used to it? How long time did it take in that case? I am also considering buying a robot vacuum in present to my mom who has a cat, but have no idea how her cat will react... She (the cat) usually gets very shy and stays away when there are a lot of people around, but maybe that’s normal for cats. – HelloGoodbye Jul 28 at 4:34
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You shouldn't force the situation, they may or may not get used to it some time, but that's all you could do. Time is the key. Don't play with them exactly in the same room as the vacuum just let it be and stay normal as usual. Play with them the way you used to and not necessarily in the same room with the vacuum. Play and feed in the same rooms you used to. If you switch feeding bowls near the vacuum your cat will only get anxious and stressed out, making it more afraid of the vacuum. So just let it be.

Now for a fact, both your cats know the the vacuum isn't alive and apparently it makes Maine coon confused but as for the european cat it seems she got used to the old vacuum freaking her out all the time and so thought that this one isn't that bad. And because it knows it isn't alive she isn't afraid of it that much.

You just need time and you need to act normal, walk as if nothing's there, call your cats to come across the room for meal time. If your cat that much scared to a point she won't walk if the vacuum is in the room, simply carry it and take it to it's meal. You should even consider putting the vacuum away for a little break for your cats. It's better if it isn't there all the time.

And for just a little note: your cats are living mammals while the vacuum is a scary thing, if not knowing what it's job is for, no one would know if it was designed to hurt or kill them, especially if it's making that loud noise which can be considered a warning and showing aggresion. And sense the vacuum is making that noise for a very long time (an hour) it just makes sense for the cats to get really confused and stressed out. So that's a good reason for you to put it away. Another thing you could do is to let the vacuum work in only one room and let the cats watch it, that way they can learn that it's not coming for them it's just spending time in the other room and your cats have the whole rest of the house for themselves, after it's done with the room put it away. After they are used to it let it clean all the house on a one time's job and put it away. This should make them less stressed about it and maybe get used to it at some time.

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