I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

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destinyscheeks
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I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

Post by destinyscheeks » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:58 pm

Hes only been here less then a week and has settled in so well! But this morning he was acting very - spooked out :cry:

Usually he walks along me wherever I go in the house (hes an indoor cat) but this morning, he wouldnt - he would hide behind the curtains, in my wardrobe, stop, crawl, then bounce and try to hide.

After talking with a few of my friends (and Googling some info), I came across this info on the ASPCA website.

Now its dawned on me why hes acting so fearful: I had the washing machine on last night before we went to bed (we sleep in my bedroom) - its the first time Ive used it since rehoming King Tobias Warrior. I have an open lounge living/dining room/kitchen so the sounds travel very easily around the house. Hes currently upstairs in one of my bedrooms I first introduced him too when I rehomed him last Wed and he seems to be more settled. Every now and again I will open the door just to check hes okay and he will come out. But as soon as he leaves the room, he starts sniffing, crouching on all fours and acts paranoid/afraid. He wont even approach me unless I approach him - but when we are in the room together he acts like he has done when I first met him/brought him home - warming and affectionate.

Im hoping to hear from those who have had similar experiences and what they did to assist in helping their cat overcome this fear. I need to do more washing tonight but I dont want him to be overly freaked out and according to that website, what I have been doing (bringing him back downstairs, stroking him etc) is affirming his fears which is clearly something I dont want to do. I was thinking of having some music on tonight and sleeping with him in my second bedroom but Im not sure if that will drown out my noisy washing machine.

I feel so blessed to have him - he really has settled in so well until last night and now I feel awful.

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Re: I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

Post by hgale » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:34 pm

Hi.

When I first adopted Denver, he was also spooked out by the washing machine - I used to have a very very old model which was very noisy. He'd always been frightened of noise - his old owners (my former next door neighbours) used to have the most awful shouting matches and it made him spook very easily. He got used to it though, and now I have a brand new machine after my old one broke down, and its so quiet, I have to go and check its still working when its on!!

Is your machine very old? Modern machines are much quieter than they used to be and Denver doesn't even twitch now, even in the noisiest part of the wash (which is still much quieter than any part of the old wash machine cycles.)

Also have you considered something like Feliway (I think thats what they are called) that plug in somewhere and they emit a calming scent that your cat can pick up? I know some people on here swear by that for calming their cats.

I hope King Tobias Warrior (love that name!) can get used to it soon - please give him a cuddle from me and Denver.

Helen

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destinyscheeks
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Re: I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

Post by destinyscheeks » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:33 pm

hgale wrote:Hi.

When I first adopted Denver, he was also spooked out by the washing machine - I used to have a very very old model which was very noisy. He'd always been frightened of noise - his old owners (my former next door neighbours) used to have the most awful shouting matches and it made him spook very easily. He got used to it though, and now I have a brand new machine after my old one broke down, and its so quiet, I have to go and check its still working when its on!!

Is your machine very old? Modern machines are much quieter than they used to be and Denver doesn't even twitch now, even in the noisiest part of the wash (which is still much quieter than any part of the old wash machine cycles.)

Also have you considered something like Feliway (I think thats what they are called) that plug in somewhere and they emit a calming scent that your cat can pick up? I know some people on here swear by that for calming their cats.

I hope King Tobias Warrior (love that name!) can get used to it soon - please give him a cuddle from me and Denver.

Helen

WOW, thank you so much for replying. Im so glad to hear that Denver is calmer now.

I purchased my washing machine in April 2014 so its just over a year old.

Ive just gone back to the specs from the site I brought it from:
Noise Level (Spin) 77 dB
Noise Level (Wash) 59 dB

The washing part isnt that bad but I guess its the spin. Ive also been told that vacuums can spook a cat too (which I have yet to use since rehoming KTW).

I plan to get a new washing machine but Im not sure when so for the meantime I will try Feliway and will let you know how I get on.

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Re: I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

Post by meriad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:22 am

to be honest, I don't think there's any need at all to buy a new washing machine esp if yours is only one year old. Most of them will be at very similar noise levels. What you could do though is run the machine during the day when you're home and there is other noise in the house that hides the washing machine noise a bit, ie radio, TV, general daily goings on....

As for the vacuum cleaner - most of mine are scared of it so I make sure that there isn't a cat in whatever room is about to be vacuumed. So in your case, make sure KTW is upstairs while you vacuum downstairs and then have him downstairs when you clean upstairs. Make sure he's got a hidey place that he can feel safe in and then when you're done give him a fuss and maybe a treat.

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Re: I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

Post by andybriz » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:00 am

Great name! He'll get used to all the sounds of the house very quickly I'm sure. Mine used to be scared of the vacuum and bolt, but now they don't even blink when I turn it on and usually follow me round the house whilst I'm doing it.

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Re: I think my cat is spooked from my washing machine

Post by destinyscheeks » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:07 pm

Thanks for the replies/good points.

So, to make a long story short, I put the washing machine on again then he slept on my lap. When the spin came on, he jumped up and looked, but within seconds he went back to sleep!!! He did this several times but clearly he felt safe on mummys lap with the noise :D

I know he just needs to get used to the noise - it was a really brave thing of me to do the above, but I could tell that he was a bit calmer before I did it.

Cats have bad days just like we do - and feeling anxious is an emotion that soon passes. He isn’t naturally nervous but if I feel its too much for him, i take him back upstairs into his safe room.

Todays been much better! He is still a bit panicky (I had some builders over today) but its no where near as bad as yesterday!!!!!

I might invest in Feliway - I was also looking into Zylkene but I really don’t want to give my Warrior drugs

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