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Do Cats Like White Noise? Benefits & When It Can Help

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat Reads Sheet Music

Cats are notoriously sensitive creatures but do enjoy some sound in their environment—particularly if it helps to mask out loud noises from outside the home. Yes, white noise is a popular choice for this reason, as it can help block out disruptive sounds such as traffic and construction. Some cats may even find the monotonous hum of white noise comforting enough to fall asleep too.

As a cat owner, you might have wondered if your particular furry bestie might prefer a silent environment or if they will enjoy chilling out to white noise. While cats have unique personalities and preferences, there are some general guidelines that can help you determine what kind of sounds your cat might enjoy. In this article, we’ll explore how to get the best results with white noise and your cat.

What is White Noise, and How Does it Affect Cats?

White noise is a type of sound that contains every frequency within the range of human hearing.1 It’s called “white” because it’s similar to white light, which contains all of the colors of the spectrum. White noise is often used to mask other sounds or to help people fall asleep. But what about cats? Do they find white noise soothing or annoying?

According to experts, cats have a different range of hearing than humans. You can probably guess—theirs is much better than ours. While humans can hear sounds up to approximately 20,000 Hz, felines can hear sounds as high as 64,000 Hz.2 That’s quite a difference. This means that some sounds that are soothing to humans might be irritating to cats, and vice versa. And we often cannot detect the noises that are freaking them out.

Some experts believe that cats can benefit from white noise, especially if they are anxious or stressed out by “spike noises.” Sudden loud noises are really problematic for felines. White noise can help drown out other sounds that might be causing anxiety, such as loud noises or unfamiliar voices. It can also create a calming environment that helps cats feel more relaxed and comfortable. So, it’s definitely worth investigating.

woman playing music in her phone
Image Credit: Stock Asso, Shutterstock

Do Cats Prefer Silence?

While white noise can be helpful in certain situations, some cats might prefer silence. White noise is unnecessary in naturally quiet environments. Cats are known for their acute senses, and they can be easily overwhelmed by loud or unfamiliar noises. The constant droning of the white noise machine may put your kitty on edge. If your cat is particularly sensitive to sound, they might prefer a quiet environment where they can hear every sound in their surroundings. And we think it’s fair to give them the living setup they need.

That being said, not all cats are the same. Some are chill, some are highly strung. Your mileage may vary. A few cats might enjoy listening to music or other sounds, while others might prefer complete silence. Many may tolerate both. Remember, it’s always important to just be sensitive to your individual cat. Pay attention to your cat’s behavior and body language to determine what kind of environment they prefer.

When Might White Noise Help My Cat?

As mentioned above, white noise can be beneficial to cats in certain situations. “Spike noise” situations can really stress your kitty out. By introducing white noise in certain situations, you can help create a more calming and comfortable environment for your feline friend. Probably the best course of action is to take care of the noise directly. But if that’s not possible, then white noise might make a difference. Here are some situations where you might consider introducing white noise to help your cat:

  • Thunderstorms and fireworks: Many cats are afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms and fireworks. It’s understandable that sudden, loud, booming noises would be disturbing to them. Introducing white noise can help drown out these sounds and create a more calming environment for your cat.
  • Bringing in a new pet: Introducing a new pet to your home can be stressful for your cat. Strange noises like barking or meowing may get on their nerves. White noise can help create a calming environment and reduce the stress of the introduction.
  • During travel: Traveling can be stressful for cats, especially if they are not used to being in a car or other mode of transportation. Introducing white noise can help create a more familiar environment and reduce stress.
  • When leaving your cat alone: Cats can become anxious when left alone for long periods of time. Introducing white noise can help create a more comforting environment and reduce separation anxiety.
  • During construction or remodeling: Construction or remodeling can be noisy and disruptive for cats. Introducing white noise can help drown out these sounds and create a more comfortable environment for your cat.
Calico cat sitting between two speakers
Image Credit: Anfesamo, Pixabay

How Do You Introduce White Noise to Your Cat?

Remember, introducing white noise to your cat is just one way to create a more calming and comfortable environment. If they don’t take to it—take a break and try it again later—or just let it drop completely. You are the conduit to providing your cat with a safe and comfortable living environment. As you introduce white noise to your cat, here are some steps to consider:

  • Choose the right kind of white noise: There are many different ways to make “white noise”—such as using a fan, a radio tuned to static—or a white noise machine. Try different things and choose the type of white noise that you think will work best for your cat.
  • Start with a low volume: Introduce the white noise to your cat at a low volume to avoid overwhelming them. You don’t want to scare them and create a negative association with the noise. Gradually increase the volume until you find the right level for your cat.
  • Observe your cat’s reaction: Pay attention to your cat’s behavior and body language when introducing white noise. If they run away or hide, something is wrong. In the event that your cat seems uncomfortable or anxious, turn down the volume or try a different type of white noise. On the other hand, if your cat seems more relaxed and comfortable, white noise might be a good addition to their environment.


In conclusion, whether your cat prefers white noise or silence depends on their unique personality and preferences. Every pet parent knows cats are all different from one another. They are as particular in their habits as we are! While some cats might benefit from white noise, others might prefer a quiet environment.

As a cat owner, it’s important to pay attention to your cat’s behavior and body language to determine what kind of environment they prefer. Their movements will key you into their mood. Keep your cat thriving, secure, and content by providing them with a peaceful and relaxing home.

Featured Image Credit: Natali Kuzina, Shutterstock

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