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Problems And Solutions To Having A Cat And A Roomba

Cats being cats can cause issues with having both a cat and a Roomba Robot Vacuum in the same house. However, there are solutions and fun experiences to go with it. 

Can cats break your Roomba Robot Vacuum?

A cat will not break your Roomba or any other robot vacuum for that matter. It might be able to scratch it and ruin some plastic, but it’s extremely unlikely it’ll ruin or break it in any way. 

The most vulnerable parts of a robot vacuum are its sensors and cameras. If it has cameras they might be a bit more exposed, you might want to consider a Roomba which uses only lidar or laser to navigate. 

The lidar and lasers will not break even if scratched and they a very well protected. Camera lenses are a bit more unprotected and your cat could potentially scratch it if you are very unlucky. I think this is very unlikely, but I guess it could happen. 

If you go with any Roomba other than the 900 series, you are home safe. It’s only the 900 series which has cameras built-in for navigation. 

Funny Cat GIF • White cat hanging on roomba going round round round Best useful cat toy ever

Can cat hair ruin a Roomba?

Do Ferrets and Cats Get Along?

Hair from a cat will not ruin or break your Roomba robot vacuum. It might get stuck and you’ll have to clean it more often. Luckily a Roomba is very easy to clean. 

Video of how to clean an iRobot Roomba Vacuum:

Cat hair can be a pain to clean off the trash bin/container of the vacuum if it’s wet or moist. You might also have to change the filter more often, as cat hair also carries a lot of dust. Unfortunately, you cannot wash filters in robot vacuums, they’ll just get ruined. 

Once a month or so I take my air compressor and give the whole robot vacuum a good cleaning, including the filters, to get all smaller hairs out. An air compressor works well. 

How do Roombas handle cat puke and hairballs?

A robot vacuum like a Roomba is fairly sturdy when it comes to wet stuff or objects. 

Cat puke

Puke from a cat will not likely get sucked up easily, so most likely it’ll just run it over. If you are unlucky the wheels will run over the puke, drag it along and get stuck in the wheels. It’ll be a pain to clean out, but it’ll not ruin the Roomba. 

To clean the cat puke I just used paper towels and Windex, but almost anything can do.

How do Roombas handle cat toys?

Very small toys like mice with long tails can get stuck. But it’s very unlikely. The toys have to be very small. The only stuff that will fit under the vacuum or stuff that the vacuum can drive over will potentially get stuck. 

A Roomba is typically elevated lower than 1.5 inches to the ground, so anything smaller than that you’ll have to remove from the floor to avoid it getting stuck.

With larger toys, the robot will just push around until it’s clear of it. 

Are cats scared of Roombas? 

Some cats get scared of loud continuous noises just like the noise a vacuum makes. On top of that, it’s a strange thing moving on its own, almost animal-like. So it’s easy to understand why some cats find Roombas and other robot vacuums a bit scary. 

Luckily most cats easily and quickly get used to the Roomba roaming around cleaning the house. Some even get too comfortable around it and start playing with it, pushing buttons and making it go stuck. Extreme cats even use it as a transport device. 

The most annoying thing I’ve experienced is one of my cats who simply refuses to move out of the way. So the Roomba will just continuously bump into her as if she was a wall and then just turn away again. After the Roomba has left her alone she moves of course. 

What you should do if your cat is scared of your Roomba

If your cat is scared of your Roomba, there are a few things you can do to help them feel more comfortable. First, try giving them some time to get used to the Roomba. Put it on a low setting and let it run around while your cat watches from a safe distance. Once they seem curious instead of scared, you can start to slowly introduce them to the Roomba by letting it approach them and sniff them. You may also want to give them a treat when the Roomba is around so they associate it with something positive. With a little patience and effort, you can help your cat overcome their fear of the Roomba.

If your cat continues to be scared I have some sound and proven advice for you to try out.

  • Secure a high ground for your cat to jump to if she feels scared.
  • Try holding her if she makes crying/whiney sounds, this will also give her a higher ground, cats like that. 
  • Make sure the Roomba can’t get into places, like corners, she usually hides in. 
  • Try moving your cat into another room and closing the door so she can relax while the Roomba does its thing.

Conclusion

Having a cat is like having another personality in the house. You can’t force it to like your Roomba or even accept it’s there. Cats usually don’t like high noises like normal vacuums as well. But usually, they are used to them. Also, a robot vacuum like a Roomba is quiet compared to a normal vacuum, so most cats will have a much easier time accepting the robot over the normal vacuum.

 You’ll be cleaning the robot vacuum more than usual if you have a cat. I’d recommend getting a Roomba with a large container or a Roomba that has a station with an auto dump feature, so you don’t have to empty it as often. 

FAQ

How do cats react to Roombas?

Most cats are just curious when it comes to Roombas, so your cat will probably just walk around it and maybe try and poke it a bit with its paws. If your cat reacts in a bad way, just make sure it has an escape plan and everything will be fine.

Do cats attack robot vacuums?

Cats will most likely not attack your robot vacuum. Cats in general have the logical sense that they cannot do anything against it. You may experience your cat hiss and enlarge its tail, but that’ll pass.

How do I keep my cat out of my Roomba?

Place your cat in a different room and close the door. Alternatively use the time for it to get some fresh air while your Roomba is cleaning. If your cat finds your Roomba too interesting and always trying to play with it, you might have a hard time ahead you.

Why do cats ride Roombas?

Cats always try and get the high ground. It’s by instinct because cats are predators. Cats will see your Roomba as high ground and an easy way to have an eye on potential threats or food.

What is the weight limit of a Roomba?

No Roombas or any other Robot Vacuum models state any specific weight limit. But I tested my Roomba and it can easily carry 5 liters (11 lbs.). This means your Roomba will also easily be able to carry your cat around.

If you put weight on your Roomba, let’s say your cat, for example, you will notice that it will deplete its battery faster and it will not go around your house as fast. Stuck hairs and dirt in the wheels will also be more troublesome to deal with on top of the added weight.

Can a Roomba hurt a cat?

A Roomba or any other Robot Vacuum will not be able to hurt a cat. Robot Vacuums are harmless to anything bigger than themselves. If your Roomba runs into your cat it’ll just make a small bump and turn around. Your cat will most likely not even move.

How do you train a cat to ride a Roomba?

I would start by placing some snacks on top of the Roomba while it isn’t cleaning. When your cat gets used to being on your Roomba try placing some snacks on top of it again and start it. Keep doing this until your cat gets onto it.

Once you’ve done this a couple of times your cat will most likely start to like being on top of your Roomba. This is because it gives a small high ground which cats tend to like.

If you have a kitten try just placing your Roomba in the middle of the room and place your kitten on top of it while it’s turned off. It’ll most likely start to play around it and jump up and down from it. When you’ve done this several times you can have it turned on without it being scary.

What do cats think Roombas are?

I like to think that cats see them as another pet or animal. But honestly, I think it sees it as a weird rock or just something after a while.

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.

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