Home Cat Behavior What Sounds Do Cats Hate Most?

What Sounds Do Cats Hate Most?

by Cattitude Daily

To your cat, the world is filled with mystery, curiosity, and things that make them easily frightened—or annoyed. We know that a cat’s senses are far superior to our own. So, if the world seems intense to you on any given day, imagine how things must feel for your cat. With this being said, a cat’s sense of hearing is about 3x what ours is, so there are particular sounds that are quick to send them flying or drive them mad. Keep reading to discover what sounds cats hate most.

what sounds do cats hate most?


I think it goes without saying that pets in general are not fans of fireworks. Many dogs will develop major anxiety from fireworks, and cats share this feeling of fear, too. Cats feel vibrations deeply in their whiskers and fur, so the booming of fireworks terrifies them a great deal. Cats have no idea what they are, and the loud pops matched with heavy booms are enough to send them running for cover. Which, unfortunately, is why so many cats and kittens go missing on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. The same can be said for thunderstorms, as these are booming sounds matched with loud pops and crackles that are very bewildering to a cat.


A cat’s purr is a lovely sound that soothes us—as well as cats. But the same cannot be said when it comes to humming. While humming might be a relaxing thing that humans do to pass the time while they work on an activity, this strange noise could be very confusing to your cat. They do not know where this sound is coming from, and this can alarm them as they do not see your mouth moving and only sound being emitted from your body. So, when you think of it from a cat’s perspective, you might see why they might find the sound of humming strange and cause for concern.

Hissing sounds

We know that cats hiss as a warning when they feel threatened. So, then it would be perfectly natural for them to feel alarmed when they encounter a hissing sound—even if this sound isn’t being produced by a cat. When your cat hears hissing noises this equals conflict in their mind. Your cat associates hissing with a negative response, so should they incur this sound in your home, they can be quick to react. Some examples of hissing sounds they might hear in your home are aluminum foil, plastic shopping bags, aerosol sprays, or even the sound of polyester clothing rubbing together.

High-frequency sounds

As I mentioned above, your cat hears about 3x better than you. Humans can hear sounds around 20,000 Hz, whereas your cat can hear around 60,000 Hz. Your cat’s sense of hearing is their strongest sense, and it’s even better than a canine’s. Your cat’s ears have 32 muscles to ignore you with—but that also serves to protect them from startling sounds, such as high-frequency sounds. When your cat’s ear detects these frightening sounds, tiny muscles in their ear will contract to protect their inner ear from the noises. One example of a high-frequency sound that your cat hates is a whistling tea kettle. It sends a signal to your brain that your tea is ready, but to your cat, it’s majorly annoying. Another example? Fluorescent light bulbs in your home can drive your cat crazy.

what sounds do cats hate most?

The vacuum cleaner

Cute cats riding on Roombas aside, most cats are naturally terrified of the vacuum cleaner in your home. Your cat’s ears are delicate, and this strange contraption that suddenly turns on and is pushed around your home can be quite confusing for them to get used to. (But, with time, the average cat will become desensitized to your vacuum.) Many cats don’t mind the sound of a vacuum cleaner, but there are also many other cats that will run the moment one is turned on in their home. If you have a cat from the time that they are a kitten, they can easily become desensitized to the sight and sound of a vacuum over time, and there are many cats that will develop a natural curiosity for this household item that you push around the room. Some might even follow you around as you vacuum your floors eager to pounce.

Speaker systems and surround sound

Your cat understands music and television differently than you do, which is entirely normal. With that being said, the loud bass that’s emitted from stereo systems and surround sound are quick to send your cat into fight or flight mode. Cats are predators but also prey, and their instincts tell them to run and hide the moment they detect danger. So, while that favorite chorus or action-packed sequence might be cool to you, it is very uncool in the mind of your cat. Hint: turn it down, human.

what sounds do cats hate most?

Garbage trucks

Have you ever been fast asleep in your bed only to wake up at the sound of the garbage truck collecting your bin at the foot of your driveway? If this wakes you up from a dead sleep, even when you know exactly what this sound is, imagine how your cat must feel then. Your dog might be quick to bark at the garbage truck— but your cat will likely run for cover at the sound of strange beeping paired with loud banging. Many cats will run to the door when they hear the sound of their owner’s car in the driveway, and your cat is smart enough to decipher the difference when it comes to strange vehicles in front of their home.

Sudden loud noises in your home

Cats are fans of napping throughout the day, and they do not like their sleeping being disturbed. If your cat is fast asleep—or at least pretending to be—they’ll likely become startled if you power on the television, let the door slam behind you, flip on the bathroom vent, or turn on the garbage disposal. It’s a cat’s world and we’re just living in it, and we cannot go on with our day without offending our cat when we create these sudden loud noises in our homes. Cats don’t hold grudges, though, so it seems they’re usually quick to forgive us for such cohabitating inconveniences.

Curious about what scents your cat isn’t a fan of? The list just might surprise you. Check it out here on CattitudeDaily.com.

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