Can Dogs Hear Cat Deterrents?

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Introduction

Many people these days use specialized cat deterrents to keep restless felines out of their gardens. Most people that use these deterrents don’t do it because they have an inherent hatred of cats. It is because cats are very independent animals that do their own thing and live on their own terms. 

If they want to dig up half of your garden for no apparent reason, they will. If they fancy taking a poo in your vegetable patch, they will. If they want to leave decapitated birds and mice at your back door, they will. The only way some people can stop cats from doing things like this is through the use of a cat deterrent. 

However, can your pet dog also hear the deterrent?

Signs Your Dog Can Hear the Deterrent

There are various signs that can indicate your dog can hear the cat deterrent you are using. These deterrents work by emitting a high-pitched ultrasonic noise that will put naughty felines right off coming into your garden. 

The noise is too high-pitched for us to hear, but animals have a far keener sense of hearing compared to humans, so cats will be able to hear it and hopefully respond to it by leaving your garden well alone. However, dogs are also able to hear sounds at these frequencies, and this is something that concerns some pet owners.

If your dog is able to hear the cat repellent, there are a number of signs that it may display. Some dogs may back away when they are outdoors and they hear the ultrasonic sound. Some will sit and tilt their heads as they try to work out what it is and where it is coming from. Your dog may even bark or whine as a result of the noise that it can hear. If you do have a cat deterrent or your neighbor has one, look out for some of these signs as it could mean that your dog can also hear it. 

As mentioned, dogs can hear high frequency sounds that we cannot, so despite the fact that these deterrents are designed to put cats off they may also affect your dog. 

Some body language signs that can indicate your dog can hear the sound from the deterrent include stopping suddenly in its tracks and then backing away, looking around bewildered, head tilting, and reluctance to go into a certain area where the noise if more noticeable to the dog. Do bear in mind that although your dog may be able to hear the noise, this does not necessarily mean that your pooch will be bothered by it.

Body Language

Signs to watch for if you think your dog may hear a cat deterrent are:

  • Barking
  • Head tilting
  • Whining
  • Head turning
  • Freezing

Other Signs

More indications that your pooch can hear a cat detterent include:

  • Looking around
  • Stopping suddenly when it hears the noise
  • Getting excited
  • Backing away

History Behind Cat Deterrents

Over the years, many people have struggled to keep cats, pests, insects, and other undesirables out of their carefully-tended gardens. Most people have nothing against cats as such, but understandably, object to neighboring cats digging up their garden and creating havoc. 

There have been many solutions to try and help tackle this issue over the years but people were keen to see something safer than harmful chemicals and other questionable deterrents that were used in the past. This is why devices such as cat deterrents were created.

While these deterrents were created to provide a safe and efficient solution for keeping cats at bay, many dog owners didn’t realize that their own pet dogs could be affected at the same time. However, given that dogs have sensitive hearing like cats, it comes as no surprise that the high-pitched sound designed to frighten cats off can also affect dogs.

This has now caused concern amongst some dog owners, although not all dogs are all that bothered about the noise. The deterrents will certainly not do any harm to your dog – or to cats – but it can bother some of them. Having said that, some people believe that the effects are short-lived because eventually both the dogs and cats will get used to the noise.

The Science of Cat Deterrents

So, how do these deterrents actually work? Well, ultrasound is where the sound comes in at above 20 kilohertz, which cannot be picked up by human ears. However, when it comes to our furry friends, both cats and dogs can hear frequencies that are as high as 45-67 KHz. 

This means that although you cannot detect the noise from the deterrent, the cats you are trying to stop from coming in your garden will. However, your dog will also hear the noise because it is capable of hearing much higher frequencies than we are. However, they should not cause any harm to your dog.

Dealing with Your Dog Hearing Cat Deterrents

If you have a dog that is of a nervous disposition, you may find that having a cat deterrent of this type in your home is not the best idea. Of course, many dogs will take no notice at all of the noise while others may be a little bewildered at first but will then get used to it. It is well worth talking to your vet about the suitability of having one of these devices if you feel that your dog may be affected. If you already have one and your dog reacts badly to it over a longer period, you should certainly consider disabling it.

You need to make sure you observe your dog after you have had the cat deterrent installed, as this will give you an idea of how your pooch is going to take to this solution. Don’t just stop using it at the first sign of an issue – the chances are that your dog will spend a little time getting used to the noise or trying to work out what it is. However, if your dog continues to show signs of distress and becomes nervous or timid as a result of the noise, you need to look at an alternative safe solution for deterring cats.

Remember, not all dogs will become distressed or upset about hearing the noise. In fact, some may become positively excited and start jumping around and barking. This then creates another issue for you, as it means that every time your pooch hears the deterrent you can expect to spend time calming it down and stopping it from barking or running riot before your neighbors complain. 

In short, it can be difficult for those with dogs to determine whether this sort of cat deterrent is the best solution, but all you can really do is try it out for a short while and see how your dog reacts before you make any decision.   

Assessing Your Dog's Reactions:

  • Speak to your vet about a possible alternative solution.
  • If your dog shows signs of distress over a period of time, discontinue use.
  • Monitor how your dog behaves around the deterrent.