How do I stop my cat from attacking my Roomba?
August 21, 2009 8:41 PM   Subscribe

How do I stop my cat from attacking my Roomba?

I recently purchased the iRobot Roomba Pet Series 532 Vacuum Cleaning Robot, which has a sidebrush that sweeps in a circular motion as the Roomba moves around the house. I understand that as a cat, that must seem to be the best cat toy in the world, but my cat's tenacity is interfering with the Roomba's job. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to stop a cat from attacking the Roomba? Thank you very much for your help!
posted by leptin to Pets & Animals (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It'll get bored of it eventually. Ours don't pay any attention to it anymore. Once in awhile they'll get really bored and paw at it, but that's about it.
posted by sanka at 8:46 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

You *could* spray the cat everytime it attacked the Roomba, or put the cat in the bathroom when you run it, but the cat will more likely get bored with it pretty quick once it stops being novel.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 PM on August 21, 2009

Remember how your cat got tired of the laser pointer? Yeah, like that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:07 PM on August 21, 2009

Like others have said... My cat is so bored and uninterested in his once-favorite toy that even if it bumps right into him he doesn't even turn his head. Took a couple of months. I run the Roomba once a week.
posted by whiskeyspider at 9:27 PM on August 21, 2009

Cover it with tin foil? It's sometimes suggested that cat owners put tin foil on working surfaces to prevent cats from jumping up onto the surface, because of the noise/feeling of the foil when the cat lands on it.

Or, maybe spray the Roomba with something strong smelling that the cat doesn't like the smell of. Some essential oils, maybe.
posted by Solomon at 4:09 AM on August 22, 2009

I like the nasty-smell idea. Cats usually dislike citrus, but it's not harmful to them. All you need to make something citrus-smelling is an orange peel. Bend the peel thoroughly, rub the resultant oil (which will be all over your hands) on the Roomba.

(The oil actually squirts out of citrus peel when you bend it - you can shoot small amounts of it onto things that way. If you don't believe me, hold a bit of orange peel between your fingers, pith side toward your hand, hold it close to a flame, and bend it sharply. Tiny flamethrower!)

You can also buy replacement side-brushes for Roombas as a spare part, so it's not a disaster if you lose one. With any luck the cat will settle for eating only one!
posted by dansdata at 6:19 AM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Nthing "cats get bored". Mine did too.

I don't think tin foil is a good idea -- my cats like batting balls of it around the floor.
posted by kestrel251 at 7:44 AM on August 22, 2009

If you can't wait fo the cat to get bored with it, you can use some empty plastic bottles or soda cans --anythoing light and noisy to drop-- to toss onto/beside the Roomba when the cat attacks it. Repeat the sudden fright a few times and, voila, aversion therapy.
posted by anadem at 8:00 AM on August 22, 2009

Not so sure about the citrus's highly acidic and could damage the plastic on the Roomba. Cayenne pepper has the same effect but will damage neither the cat nor the Roomba.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:35 AM on August 22, 2009

Thanks everyone! I'll most likely just wait it out. He's already attacking the Roomba less today...
posted by leptin at 10:55 AM on August 22, 2009

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