Why is my cat scared of the vacuum cleaner?
Behaviourist Jon Bowen explains...
It is unlikely that you will be able to get your cat used to the vacuum cleaner, especially if he is showing extreme fear. Cats don't respond very well to the typical desensitisation method that we use with dogs. This involves recording the sound the animal doesn't like, and then re-playing it at very low levels that do not cause fear or anxiety, gradually increasing the sound volume over a period of weeks.
Management is almost certainly a better option, ensuring that you only vacuum when your cat is outside or secured in a room within the house where he feels safe.