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4 Everyday Noises That May Be Scaring Your Cat

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

scared kitten hiding

4 Everyday Noises That May Be Scaring Your Cat


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While thunder and fireworks can surely terrify Fido, can these noises scar your cat? There are many everyday sounds that felines find disturbing and are the cat equivalent of fingernails being drawn across a chalkboard. But what noises could be terrorizing your cat and how can you alleviate their misery?

Here’s everything you need to know about the sounds that make your cat squeamish.

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Is My Cat’s Hearing Sensitive?

It most definitely is! Cats are turned off by many sounds because they can hear noises from 45 to 60,000 hertz¹. That’s compared to your 20–20,000-hertz hearing range. That difference of almost two octaves! So, while you might not notice some everyday sounds, your cat certainly does.

Abyssinian cat
Image Credit: Pandora Pictures, Shutterstock

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Sounds Cats Can’t Stand

Here are some everyday noises that could be offensive to your cat.

  • Electronics Your humming fridge could be driving your cat crazy. While many of the sounds your electronics make are inaudible to your ears, your cat can hear them. Many electronics, including laptops, televisions, and speakers, emit noises that can vex your cat.
  • Hissing Sounds Cats hiss to let others know when they’re pissed off. So it shouldn’t come as a shock to find out that your cat hates hissing noises. A rustling plastic bag, spraying an aerosol can, and even a swishing windbreaker can freak out your feline friend.
  • Loud Noises Loud, sudden noises can alarm and scare cats. Fire alarms, doorbells, thunder, fireworks, and passing traffic can all cause your cat to panic.
  • Continuous Loud Sounds Have you noticed that your kitty runs in terror every time you vacuum the carpet? That’s because she hates the loud, continuous sound of the vrooming vacuum.

Do Cats Love Certain Sounds?

happy cat
Image Credit: islam zarat, Shutterstock

There are some sounds that are music to your cat’s ears. These noises can calm your cat and help to alleviate stress and anxiety. Some sounds cats simply adore include:


Help Your Cat with Scary Sounds

So how can you help your cat get used to the sounds they hate? One of the easiest ways is to provide them with a “safe space” where they can retreat. This can include a comfy bed on a cat tree or shelf or an open cat carrier. Spray this area with calming pheromones, sprinkle it with catnip, and place their favorite toys and blankets in the space to make it more inviting. 

You can use behavior modification techniques called desensitization and counter-conditioning. Additionally, shut off or unplug all of your electronics while not in use. When you vacuum, put your cat in a safe room and use a blanket to seal out the sound that can come under the base of the door. Adjust the volume of your phone if your cat is disturbed by the shrill ringing. You can also set your phone to mute and have it buzz instead of loudly ringing.

kitten hiding
Image Credit: Madelyn Woods, Unsplash

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While you can’t prevent every unsettling noise your cat can hear, you can take steps to alleviate her stress. By creating a safe space where they can hide, your cat will feel more secure when these noises do occur.

Featured Image Credit: Khamidulin Sergey, Shutterstock

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