Cats and Roombas. Comprehensive Guide

Meow! Welcome to our guide on complicated relationships between cats and robotic vacuum cleaners (note: people usually refer to robotic vacuum as Roomba, one of the first models of its kind, created by the iRobot company in 2002). While it is always fun and adorable, we will try to approach this topic from a more scientific point of view and answer most of the popular questions. Please feel free to comment and ask us anything on this matter, we will do our best to research and reply.

cat riding roomba

In this article we are going to provide detailed answers to the following questions:

So why do cats get on Roombas in the first place?

The answer is simple and complex at the same time, as being a cat. By nature, cats are predators and their instinct drive them to find a higher ground to better see surroundings and spot possible prey. Also robot vacuum cleaners, as any appliance, get warmer while working. Cats love warm places. In such way they regulate their temperature and conserve energy for hunting. Due to the same cause, while saving energy, cats can ride around their territory, reassuring everything is fine in their kingdom without making a single step.

How do you train your cat to ride Roomba

You don’t. It’s a cat. You can’t make their majesty do what you want but you can help them make their own decision by following 5 simple steps:

  1. Be patient. Don’t force a cat. Ever.
  2. When introducing a robot vacuum cleaner, make sure a cat can hide or climb high enough to feel safe, or simply run away to another room. Don’t close the doors. New device, which is rolling around and making noise, scares your cat. How do they know it is a simple cleaning friendly device and not a massacre machine? If your cat can read, give it a user’s manual of a vacuum cleaner beforehand, watch some YouTube videos.
  3. Run your Roomba on a schedule, cat will get used to it eventually.
  4. Place your cat’s favorite mat on a vacuum cleaner and make sure it won’t slip away easily.
  5. Introduce treats on top of a Roomba

To cut the long story short, be mindful and respectful to your cat. It might take a few days or a few weeks, your cat might still not like the idea of riding on top of a Roomba but it’s worth trying.

Is Roomba safe for your cat?

As any electronic device without open wiring – relatively safe. But you might want to supervise your cat to be sure. Extra precaution is always a good thing. Also, be aware of the official iRobot Roomba Safety Instructions, in each manual you will find the following text:

Your robot is not a toy. Do not sit or stand on this device. Small children and pets should be supervised when your robot is operating.

Is your cat safe for your Roomba

Cats are known to be the perfect predators. Driven by instincts, the most curious animals can jump or even bite moving parts of robot vacuum cleaners. Again, supervision is recommended, and you should discourage your cat from attacking a vacuum cleaner as it may cause harm to both. Also, some of the models are equipped with anti-tangle features, which help to turn off device if it’s sensors find sudden obstacle in a form of a cat, for example.

Are Roombas effective for cat allergy

In most cases, by cat allergy we understand extra sensitivity and consecutive reaction to proteins contained in the cat’s dander, saliva, fur and even urine. For the first three factors, robot vacuum cleaner can be as effective as any other vacuum cleaner. The main advantage is that it can be used more regularly and on a schedule, while you might not have enough time for regular cleaning with conventional vacuum cleaner. The only downside of such cleaning is that robot vacuums can only clean floors (so far), while your cat can leave harmful allergens all over the living space. Therefore, Roombas cannot be considered as a full solution for dealing with cat allergies as they clean only floors. They are effective but only in areas of operation.

Do you have any other question or concern? Ask us in the comments below.

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