Our cats and dogs already hated the vacuum. Every time we drag the vacuum out, the high-pitched whine of the machine drives our pets into a little frenzy, sometimes they want to get out of dodge and steer clear entirely, and sometimes they think they need to protect us from the awful machine. The situation can just get worse when we're talking about a robot vacuum. Now we've got a machine wandering around our home on its own making that racket that's hardly entertaining for our pets. So, how do we get our furry friends and the robotic servant tasked with cleaning up after them to live in harmony? We have a few ideas.
Part of the problem with vacuums is the noise. While a bit of noise is going to be unavailable from your robot vacuum, there are plenty that offer lower operating volumes whether by design or as part of a lower-power mode. This can certainly help the vacuum avoid attracting the attention of your pet, so it may be able to go about its job unnoticed if it's working in a separate room. A perk of running a robot vacuum in its quieter mode is that it also tends to draw less power than running it at maximum suction, letting it run for a longer time.
Separation and scheduling
If your pets are too sharp and catch onto the vacuum even when it's running quietly, you can try to keep them apart instead. If your pet is OK staying in a room on its own for an extended period of time, you can leave it to relax in one room while the robot vacuum works on the rest of the home and then let them swap places. Dogs may feel more comfortable in their crates or play pen while the robot works, though may be disturbed if the vacuum comes up to the edge of their space. If you don't want to close cats in, you can provide them with high perches to get away from the vacuum — they'll probably enjoy having these perches regardless of whether the vacuum is around.
You can also plan the vacuum's cleaning jobs to help avoid your pets being around the vacuum. If your pets sleep in your room at night, you can schedule the vacuum to run while you sleep and keep it shut out. Or you might have the vacuum run while you're out at the dog park with your pooch.
Turn it into a game
If you can't beat them, join them — as the old adage goes. If all else fails, you might try to turn the vacuum cleaning job into a fun time for your pets. You can try mounting a string toy to the vacuum to distract your pets from the vacuum itself. While this probably won't work with a dog (they'll likely overpower the vacuum if they grab onto the toy and don't let go), you may be able to convince your cats or young puppies that the robot vacuum isn't quite the villain they thought it was.