Why Do Cats Hate Comb Sound?

Cats are known for their peculiar behavior, from their constant grooming to their love for boxes. However, there is one thing that can send them running for the hills – the sound of a comb. Have you ever noticed how your furry feline friend reacts when you pull out a comb? It’s almost as if they’re ready to attack – but why is that?

The answer lies in their sensitive hearing. Cats have an acute sense of hearing, which allows them to detect even the slightest of sounds. The sound of a comb, with its bristles scraping against each other, produces a high-pitched noise that can be uncomfortable for cats. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why cats hate the sound of a comb and what you can do to make the grooming process less stressful for your furry friends.

Cats hate the sound of combing because it produces a high-pitched noise that can be uncomfortable for their sensitive ears. Additionally, the sensation of the teeth of the comb running through their fur can be irritating or painful. To make the experience less stressful for your feline friend, use a comb with wide teeth and comb gently in the direction of the fur growth.

Why Do Cats Hate Comb Sound?

Why Do Cats Hate Comb Sound?

Cats are known for their aloof and independent nature, but they can be quite finicky when it comes to certain sounds. One of the most common sounds that cats seem to hate is the sound of a comb. But why do cats react so strongly to this sound? Let’s explore some of the possible reasons.

1. Sensitive Ears

Cats have incredibly sensitive ears, which means they can hear sounds that are inaudible to humans. The sound of a comb scraping against fur can be particularly grating for cats, as it may sound much louder and more intense to them.

Additionally, cats have a highly developed sense of hearing that allows them to detect the slightest movements and sounds in their environment. This means that even a small noise like the sound of a comb can be enough to pique their curiosity or trigger their fight or flight response.

2. Negative Association

Another possible reason why cats may hate the sound of a comb is that they have developed a negative association with it. If a cat has had a bad experience with a comb in the past, such as being brushed too aggressively or having their fur pulled, they may start to associate the sound of a comb with pain or discomfort.

This negative association can lead to fear, anxiety, and even aggression when the cat hears the sound of a comb in the future. It’s important to handle cats gently when grooming them to avoid creating negative associations with grooming tools.

3. Evolutionary Response

Cats are natural hunters who rely on their hearing to detect prey and avoid danger. The sound of a comb may trigger an instinctual response in cats, as it may sound similar to the warning cries of prey animals or the rustling of leaves that can signal the approach of a predator.

This evolutionary response can cause cats to become anxious, agitated, or defensive when they hear the sound of a comb, as they may perceive it as a threat to their safety.

4. Unfamiliarity

Finally, cats may simply dislike the sound of a comb because they are not used to it. Cats are creatures of habit who thrive on routine and familiarity. If a cat is not accustomed to the sound of a comb, it may be unsettling or confusing for them.

To help your cat get used to the sound of a comb, try introducing it gradually and pairing it with positive experiences, such as treats or playtime. This can help your cat associate the sound of a comb with good things rather than fear or anxiety.

The Benefits of Grooming Your Cat

Despite their dislike of the sound of a comb, grooming is an essential part of caring for your cat. Regular grooming can help keep your cat’s coat healthy and shiny, prevent hairballs, and reduce the risk of skin infections and other health issues.

When grooming your cat, it’s important to use gentle, cat-friendly tools and to avoid pulling or tugging on their fur. You can also make grooming a positive experience for your cat by offering treats, praise, and playtime.

Cats vs. Other Animals

While cats may hate the sound of a comb, other animals may have different reactions to different sounds. Dogs, for example, may be more tolerant of the sound of a comb, as they are often accustomed to being groomed and may even enjoy the sensation of being brushed.

However, dogs may be more sensitive to other sounds, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, which can trigger anxiety or fear in some dogs.


In conclusion, cats may hate the sound of a comb for a variety of reasons, including their sensitive ears, negative associations, evolutionary responses, or unfamiliarity. While it’s important to be mindful of your cat’s reactions to grooming tools, regular grooming is essential for their health and well-being. By introducing grooming tools gradually and pairing them with positive experiences, you can help your cat overcome their fear or dislike of the sound of a comb and make grooming a positive experience for both you and your feline friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a cat owner, you may have noticed that your feline friend reacts strangely to certain sounds. One of those sounds is the comb sound. Here are some common questions about why cats hate the comb sound:

What is the comb sound?

The comb sound is the sound that a comb makes when it is run through hair or fur. It is a high-pitched, scraping sound that can be quite loud. Some cats are extremely sensitive to this sound and will react negatively to it.

It’s important to note that not all cats hate the comb sound. Some cats may not react at all, while others may be curious about the sound. It really depends on the individual cat’s personality and sensitivity to noise.

Why do cats hate the comb sound?

There are a few reasons why cats may hate the comb sound. One reason is that the sound is similar to the hissing sound that cats make when they are afraid or angry. This can be confusing for cats and cause them to feel anxious or threatened.

Another reason is that the sound is associated with grooming, which can be a stressful experience for some cats. If a cat has had a bad experience with grooming in the past, they may associate the comb sound with that negative experience and react accordingly.

How do cats react to the comb sound?

Cats can react to the comb sound in a variety of ways. Some cats may run away or hide when they hear the sound, while others may hiss or growl. Some cats may simply become agitated or restless when they hear the sound.

If your cat is particularly sensitive to the comb sound, you may notice that they become tense or jumpy when they hear it. They may also display other signs of stress, such as dilated pupils, a low tail, or flattened ears.

Can cats be trained to tolerate the comb sound?

Yes, cats can be trained to tolerate the comb sound with patience and positive reinforcement. The key is to start slowly and gradually introduce the sound while rewarding your cat for remaining calm. You can also try pairing the sound with a positive experience, such as treats or playtime, to help your cat associate the sound with something enjoyable.

If your cat is extremely sensitive to the comb sound, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a professional cat behaviorist. They can help you develop a training plan that is tailored to your cat’s individual needs.

Are there any other sounds that cats hate?

Cats can be sensitive to a wide range of sounds, including loud noises like thunderstorms and fireworks, as well as high-pitched sounds like vacuum cleaners and smoke alarms. Some cats may also be sensitive to certain types of music or singing.

If you notice that your cat reacts negatively to certain sounds, it’s important to observe their behavior and try to identify any patterns or triggers. This can help you develop strategies for managing their stress and anxiety.

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In conclusion, the sound of a comb can be very unsettling for cats. While there is no definitive answer as to why cats hate this sound, experts suggest that it may be due to the frequency of the comb’s teeth. This sound can trigger a cat’s natural defense mechanisms, causing them to feel threatened or uncomfortable.

If you want to brush your cat’s fur without irritating them, it’s important to choose the right comb or brush. Look for a comb with wide teeth and a soft texture that won’t cause any discomfort. Additionally, try to approach your cat calmly and gradually introduce them to the sound of the comb.

Overall, understanding why cats hate comb sound can help you better care for your feline friend. By taking the time to choose the right tools and approach your cat with patience and care, you can help them feel more comfortable and relaxed during grooming sessions.