Do you want to know, ‘what sounds do cats hate?’
Do you want to avoid stressing out your cat, find a way to deter other cats from certain areas, or maybe you’re just curious?
There are a few sounds that (most) cats absolutely hate, and I can explain what these are and why they hate them for you.
I just want to say off the top that I certainly don’t recommend testing any of these sounds on your cat to see if they hate them or not.
It’s really cruel and can potentially cause them some trauma and stress. It’s important they feel 100% secure and safe around you and the familiar surroundings where they live.
Do Cats Have Better Hearing Than Humans?
Cats actually have a very similar range of hearing at the lower end of the scale to us, it’s at the higher end where a cat’s hearing goes much further.
They can hear high-pitched sounds up to 1.6 octaves higher than we can. For those not musically inclined, I can tell you that’s a huge difference.
You will probably have noticed your cat can swivel their ears too. Not only does this look cool, it helps them judge the distance of the noise better.
Something particularly helpful in the wild when on high-alert for predators or prey.
This is why cat’s hate high-pitched noises in particular as I’ll explain in more detail later. As well as loud noises, sounds that are too close, and some other irritating types of noise.
What Sounds Do Cats Hate?
Here are a few of the sounds that cats really despise, fear, hate, and will usually run in the opposite direction or get their back up when they hear them:
Sudden Loud Noises
Without defining a certain sound or pitch, almost any sudden loud noise will make a cat jump out of their skin.
I’m sure you’ve seen this at least once when a door has slammed or you dropped something near your kitty and seen them bolt away.
This is because cats have very acute and sensitive hearing as I explained above. So any noise loud enough to startle you is going to be magnified to them.
Plus, a cat is going to be confused and enter into fight-or-flight mode as they don’t understand what the noise is or if there is any danger as we do.
There are loads of YouTube videos of people scaring their cats with a loud noise and it makes me sad. It’s traumatizing and causes them considerable stress, so please don’t do it deliberately.
This might also help explain why cats are afraid of vacuums and hoovers. The sudden noise of a vacuum starting and the loud roar will send almost any cat running out the room in a hurry.
I first came across the kind of high-frequency sound that annoys cats when my neighbor bought one of those cat deterrents that go on the lawn.
I’m not sure if it’s the same for all of them but I could just about hear this one and it was a really irritating noise, so I sympathized with the cats that got near it.
Cats hear sounds at a higher frequency than we do. This is why devices like these can use frequencies we can’t hear, or not hear well, yet it annoys cats.
It’s possible that some of your electrical devices around the home are producing noises that only they can detect too.
If you notice your cat making a quick exit or turning their head when you use a device keep this in mind. It might be stressing or annoying them.
In the animal kingdom, hissing sounds are associated with danger. I’m sure you’ve seen your cat arch their back and hiss at you or another cat more than once to demonstrate this.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cats do not like hissing sounds. Household items like aerosol cans can mimic a hissing sound and scare a cat, or letting the air out of a balloon slowly for example, will do the same.
This is a sound you should protect your cat from wherever possible. When cats hear hissing sounds they go into fight-or-flight mode and it stresses them out.
Your kitty should feel safe and happy in their home. Home is a place they can sleep anywhere, anytime, and not have to be on alert for hissing and aggravating noises.
Tin Foil and Rustling Noises
I see a lot of questions about cats and tin foil, such as, ‘are cats afraid of tin foil,’ or, ‘will tin foil keep cats off my furniture?’
Tin foil does stop most cats from walking on surfaces if that’s what you’re looking for. In my experience, most cats hate the feel and sound of tin foil.
They generally do not like the sound of any metallic or plastic materials being scrunched up and rustled. I can’t blame them either, it’s not the nicest sound.
Magnified by their sensitive hearing it’s one of the sounds that cats hate, and it’s also potentially dangerous. There is some scientific evidence to back this up too as explained in this article.
Sssshhhh.. Think of Your Cat When Making Noise
Now you are more aware of how well your cat can hear and some of the noises they really hate you can help make their lives even more enjoyable by avoiding these noises.
I’m not suggesting you tiptoe around and throw out the tin foil. But, you know, think about how important all that lazy uninterrupted sleep is to your kitty next time you’re doing something around the home.