Roombas are a kind of vacuum cleaner. It cleans the house automatically. It can detect cliffs and walls so it slows down near obstructions. This is very convenient for cat parents who work a lot and does not have time to clean the house personally.
Cats like roombas as they think of them as their personal riding machine. They can roam around the house on the roomba. It is a favourite of lazy cats. They kind of get that superior feeling while riding on a roomba.
If you are wondering why cats are so attracted towards a vacuum machine then read further to know the reasons.
LESS LEG WORK – When we try to go somewhere we use certain vehicles to reach our destination faster. Just like that cats roam around on top of the roomba because they do not have to move themselves. The roomba will do it for the cat.
It is like their personal portable machine which gives them a ride whenever they need. Some cats are very lazy. They would always ride on the roombas even when they do not have to go anywhere. They just like to be on top of that machine and speculate the whole house without moving a single finger.
Roombas go around the house cleaning up but the cat thinks it is actually roaming around the cat’s territory so they ride on them to feel superior. It kind of helps them to explore their own territory a bit better.
BOSS OF THE HOUSE – Cats like to be the boss of everything. You can not exactly order your cat to do anything. You have to ask nicely but even then you can not be sure if your cat will do what you have asked for.
They are slaves of their own free will. When they sit on the roomba they see it as their sign of dominance. Some cats think that robotic vacuum is trying to invade their space so to take control over that they do this.
Whenever they ride on top of it they get that moral security and physically a high ground. You obviously do not want your cat to feel insecure around a vacuum machine.
If you see that your cat is having trouble adjusting with it you can treat the machine with commanding authority and towards your cat you can use a softer tone of voice. It will give your cat its security back.
WARMTH AND VIBRATION – We all know how much cats like to be in warm places. I am not talking about a very hot day. In normal days or winter mainly cats really like the comfort of their owner’s lap. It is because they like the warmth and cozy feeling.
Roombas have batteries inside which heat up when they go around the house. Cats like the heat so they sit on top of it.
Roombas does make some noises but their benefits are so much that cats ignore the noises. Roombas vibrate a little. Cats enjoy that gentle vibration which runs through their body when they sit on them. It is just like when we sit on messaging chairs.
So as you can see it has all the benefits a cat can ask for. That is why cats are fond of roombas.
Are roombas safe for cats?
If you are worried that roomba can hurt your cat then you are mistaken. Roombas are made with motion detectors and they have other features so they can detect any obstructions near it. That means they can detect walls, stairs so whenever they are in a situation where they can hit something they slow their speed.
So that is why roombas will not hurt your cat. Even if it hits your cat, the blow will be as powerless as a mosquito bite. And on top of that, the roombas stop after they have hit something.
On the other hand your cat can do serious harm to the roomba. Cats sometimes charge at the roomba thinking it as a threat. If the roomba has brushes then the cat may try to chew it and tear it off from the roomba.
So it is better to switch the roomba off when you are not there to supervise it. Your cat might even try to break the machine completely. You do not want your well put money to go to waste.
What If Your Cat Scared of Roomba?
However, there are also downsides of these machines. These machines are like a little car. They make noises and they also vibrate. Some cats get car sick because of all those noises and speed. Though these machines do not speed up like a car but they have some qualities which match that of a car.
Cats get motion sickness in cars. Some cats do not like roomba because of its similarity to a car. You may bring home a roomba thinking that you can see some adorable moments where your cat rides the roomba. But in reality you can not be sure how exactly your cat will react to it.
So there are a few things that you can do to make your cat realize that the roomba is not a threat for him or her.
TIME – Cats do not like sudden changes in their daily routines. They are creatures of habit. So, when your cat will see that a vacuum machine is going around the house interrupting his or her daily life then obviously he or she will have a problem with it.
You should not force your cat to adjust with anything. If you spare enough time your cat will get used to the change and accept the roomba. At first, do not use the roomba for a long time. Limit the usage. Let your cat see that the machine is getting used just for household chores.
Be normal around your machine. If you give too much importance towards it then your cat may act out thinking that the machine is getting more care.
Imagine when the machine starts to go near the cat’s food bowl and water bowl. The cat will think it is threatening him or her. So they might even attack it. That is why time is important. Overtime they will see that roomba is minding its own business.
When the cat realizes that it does not cause him any harm then he will start behaving normal around it. Then you can increase the amount of exposure which means then you can let the roomba run for 30 minutes straight. But when you are introducing it for the very first time then you should run it for 2 to 3 minutes then you can increase it to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gradually longer.
CONSISTENCY MATTERS – Do not rearrange anything when you bring home your roomba. Your cat will hate it even more. Play where you always used to play. Do not change your kitty’s food bowl and water bowl places. The cat will blame the machine and develop a negative view about it.
You should be in the same room with the cat when you start the roomba for the first time. Your cat will notice your reaction to the machine. His reaction will be according to yours.
If you gently push it away with your feet then your cat will get the idea that one can turn it aside and it is not doing any harm. In most cases the roomba will not hit the cat because it has sensors inside it which tell the machine about hindrances ahead.
ACTING USUAL – You should act normally around the machine. When the machine vibrates and makes noises, the cat thinks of it as a threat which leads to the cat hissing and growling at the machine.
You have to normalize the situation and reassure that the cat is in control of the situation.
How many cats can ride a Roomba?
It depends on the roomba size and the size of your cat. Some cats are bigger than others. Some roombas are smaller than others.
So if your cat and roomba is of average size then it can contain 2 adult cats at once. If you have kittens then it can handle 3 kittens at once.
Roombas can take 150 pounds of maximum weight. So you should not allow more than 100 pounds on the roomba. It might break or stop working.
But realistically speaking, most cats like to ride a roomba alone. So if your cats are not best friends then you should not expect them to ride along together. It will be a rare occasion if they do so. Cats are very territorial.
Does Roomba works well in house with cats that shed?
Yes, a roomba is great for cats who shed. But you have to use it daily. You also have to empty the roomba everyday. If you do not use it for a couple of days and then use it, you have to empty the roomba after it cleans each room.
If you have more than one cat and cats who have longer hair then you need to empty the roomba more often.
You can also buy a roomba that can be set on a timer. So then you will just have to set the time and then everyday it will start the cleaning at the exact time.
It is much more convenient for pet owners who have daily jobs and who are very busy. But you still need to clean the house once in a while because roombas do not clean very thoroughly.