Noise & cats not mixing - help!
January 5, 2012 7:06 AM   Subscribe

How can I keep my cats calm during very, VERY noisy construction outside our apartment.

Greetings. Here in New York we have local law 11 which mandates tight inspection and immediate repair of buildings. This is good as pedestrians have been killed by falling masonry. They have been inspecting our 20 story 50s era building for months and doing needed repairs, called SWARMP repairs, when necessary. Well the noise from 9 - 5 has been what you would expect, but now since they are by our apartment it has been intense. Like 8 hours rock concert, things vibrating and falling off the shelves intense. My wife who works from home, now works 8 hours @ the local cafe or in my office.

Our pets don't have that option, and they are suffering. We have an old dog who frankly is deaf, and while cognizant of the vibration doesn't seem to be upset.

Our cats are a different story. 11 year old is not happy but seems to be OK, eating and affectionate when the noise stops.

our newest 1 year old rescue, normally a sweet, troublesome, playful, kitty has become totally freaked and terrified. hasn't eaten, hides, and is now becoming timid and doesn't want to play and runs away if we want to pick him up (normally he LOVED that)

Am worried for him. It has been really rock-concert bad for about two weeks and will be so for another two weeks to one month according to building. Again when I say bad think of standing next to a pneumatic drill (which is what they are using on brickwork outside our apt) w/o ear protection 8 hours/day for a month.

we are seriously thinking of boarding the cats as a least bad option. but really need opinions on how to cope and how to make sure our cats aren't permanently damaged in hearing or psyche.

Again, dog, poor thing is 15 and now totally deaf. she doesn't seem to be having ill effects. Thanks to all!
posted by xetere to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, if it's only two more weeks of work, can you have the cat stay with a friend for that period of time?
posted by dfriedman at 7:09 AM on January 5, 2012

Well, you could check with your vet and see about getting them on some anti-anxiety meds, but rock concert for 8 hours a day for a month? I think you need to either board them or find a friend to take them in.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:17 AM on January 5, 2012

Feliaway diffusers

(Are the answer to every cat question.)
posted by k8t at 7:23 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Couple of possible solutions:

1. Feliway diffuser in the apartment

2. Putting the kitty away in an area/room furthest away from the noise with food/litter tray

3. Minimise the time spend in the apartment during the day:
- day boarding somewhere near your place or on way to work
- transfer cat to parents/in-laws/friends for the time being (save $$ this way)
- can kitty go to office with you?

Kitty will not get deaf but cats do have more sensitive hearing than us humans and unfortunately this is not one of those white noise level that will settle into background noises.

That's my contributions for the time being. Good luck with your poor cats!
posted by Stutx at 7:25 AM on January 5, 2012

When we had our first floor remodeled, there was SO MUCH NOISE. Our youngest kitty at the time was Chloe, who does not like change in any form, thank you very much. She was very upset by the noise and commotion and hid most of the time and would only eat in the middle of the night when it was very, very quiet.

We started putting her in one of the bedrooms with a fan on for white noise. It seemed to calm her considerably and she would come downstairs much sooner after the workmen left than she did before the fan.

That said, she's never really been the same w/r/t noise and strangers. She used to be very social and affectionate even to people she had never met, but since then (it's been years now) she hides upstairs when people come over and she won't come out until they're gone or unless she knows who they are (as in: they've been to the house multiple times) or if there aren't more than one or two people here.

Sending the kitty to bunk with a friend might be the best idea, but see if closing him in a closet or a bathroom without windows with a fan does the trick.
posted by cooker girl at 7:33 AM on January 5, 2012

Unless there is some room in your house where you can shut the cats with some form of soundproofing, I think you're right to be looking into getting the cats out of the house during the noisy times.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:42 AM on January 5, 2012

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