Having cats is a lovely experience, but sometimes they act out and cause trouble. Here are several methods of disciplining cats and using dog whistles to help train them. Discover how useful these tools are in today’s Cat Whistle Blog!
Do Dog Whistles Work on Cats
Commercial dog whistles are used for training dogs and as general deterrents for both cats and dogs. While dog whistles won’t have the same effect on humans, it has been known to startle dogs because they produce ultrasonic sound, which some animals can hear but humans cannot.
If you are having trouble with yard strays, you may be thinking of using a dog whistle as a cat whistle, so you can either dissuade stray cats from approaching or train your feline.
Are There Cat Whistles Like Dog Whistles?
Yes, some whistles work on cats and dogs. Cat hearing is more acute than dog hearing, so dog whistles are all essentially cat whistles, too! Cats are capable of hearing the ultrasonic frequency produced by dog whistles, which is 24 kHz-54 kHz.
Cats are known for hearing far higher sounds – up to 79 kHz. In addition, cats have considerable hearing skills that allow them to listen to the slightest sounds, including rodent vocalizations in the ultrasonic range. Cats also use their excellent sense of hearing to learn more about their environment, so they can navigate, hunt, and seek shelter when needed.
Can Dog Whistles Hurt Cats?
No, dog whistles will not hurt cats. Depending on the cat that hears the whistle, it may not affect both stray cats and house cats. A dog whistle only becomes effective as a deterrent for behavior when the cat has been whistle-trained by the owner.
Otherwise, the sound will likely stress the cat and not much else. If you want to drive stray cats away from your property, try loud and sudden sounds that can startle cats. However, if you expect ultrasonic sounds to frighten cats, these sounds can be heard, but they’re not precisely frightening to cats.
Cats associate loud noises with potential threats and danger, so it is normal for cats to respond to these loud sounds by running away. It won’t always work as cats are known for being intelligent and stubborn, but at least you won’t be stuck with trying to use a dog whistle on cats. Again, they can hear the sounds of a dog whistle, but it doesn’t mean anything to them – they’ll probably look at you and shake off the sound as some ambient sound from the environment.
What To Do If Dog Whistles Don’t Work on Cats
Assuming that you are having stray or feral cat problems at home, there are some things that you can do to deter or repel cats humanely.
- Use bungee cords to secure dumpsters and trashcans.
- Use a foldable fence to cover your car and cover it with a fitting cover to deflect cat paw prints on your vehicle.
- Cats dislike herb rue. Plant herb rue in your garden to deter cats.
- Use plastic carpet runners on areas of your garden that have cat issues.
- Place branches in a lattice pattern in your garden to discourage cats from digging.
- Create non-lethal spikes in the dirt by half-burying chopsticks and pinecones in your garden or yard.
- You can also use cat-deterrent plastic mats to protect your garden.
- Seal off locations by using chicken wire. The chicken wire should reach the ground and be adequately supported so cats can’t zoom past the chicken wire.
- Motion-activate sprinklers are an effective deterrent against cats. So who’s a wet cat?
- Prevent your cats from doing number one and number two in your neighbor’s yard by strategically placing outdoor litter boxes in commonly used spots in your yard.
- Reduce acting out and territorial behavior by having your cat/s neutered or spayed!
Dog Whistles Pros and Cons
Like any other training method, using a dog whistle to train cats has its pros and cons.
- Whistle training on animals is based on conditioning or Pavlovian theory. Therefore, aversive training is very much possible. Soon enough, a cat or dog trained to avoid doing something with the sound of a whistle will do so nearly automatically due to conditioning.
- Dog whistles can be used effectively for both aversive training and command training. It is the language that both entities can understand effectively and consistently, which is why many people rely on whistle training to get things done.
- Whistles can be customized to create specific results. You can very well make a language that is understandable to you and your cat/pet alone.
- It is possible for a feline to respond only to your whistle’s frequencies and sound sequences and not to anything else. But, yes, cat ears are sensitive to how they will differentiate the different types of whistles based on a signature or unique sound.
- You can combine whistle training with hand gestures and verbal commands. But before you attempt more complex orders, familiarize your cat first with pure whistle training.
- Not all cats are responsive to whistle training. Some cats will not respond at all, and some cats will get only responses after many sessions of trying. Whistle training also requires your cat to perform the desired action, which may be tricky for first-time trainers.
- Some animals overreact to aversive training. For example, a cat that’s been whistle-trained not to bring dead rodents into the house may not want to enter the house again after a time. Fear training has its consequences, too.
- Whistle training often results in animals following the whistle only when the trainer is around. If another person in the house tries to do the same command, the cat may not respond. Animal training is never straightforward, and the cat has to be trained to respond to the whistle commands whoever happens to be holding the whistle.
- Whistle training produces the best results when there is a reasonable and consistent reward system in place. Whistle training with no reward won’t work, period.