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How household appliances harm cats and dogs: scientists are concerned

Alina MilsentLife
How household appliances affect pets

Pets are not only joy and positive emotions but also a great responsibility. Owners often don't even realize how dangerous ordinary household appliances can be for their pets.

Animals have more sensitive hearing and pick up much more sounds than humans. So it's not just the loud sound of a vacuum cleaner that can harm a pet. The Inverse publication has revealed what household appliances can cause health problems for cats and dogs.

Cats can hear frequencies or pitches up to 64,000 Hz, and dogs can hear up to 45,000 Hz. Humans, for comparison, can hear up to 20,000 Hz.

A study was published in the British edition of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. Scientists evaluated the potential causes of seizures in cats and determined what can trigger a disease called feline audiogenic reflex seizures.

Serious seizures occurred in cats as a result of the following sharp sounds

  • loud ringing of an old telephone
  • a metal spoon falling into a ceramic bowl
  • tapping on the glass
  • prolonged rustling of paper or plastic bags
  • typing on a computer keyboard
  • loud clicking of the tongue

Reflex seizures are a much more serious condition than it may seem at first glance. Animals are not just frightened by loud noises: it can lead to serious health problems later on. Testing has shown how sensitive animals' hearing is.

Another study conducted in 2005 also found that ambient laboratory sounds can affect animals' endocrine and sleep cycles.

Katherine Houpt, professor emerita of behavioral medicine at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, noted that animals respond to beeps and buzzes. The Invisible Fence, for example, trains a dog to stay in an unfenced yard by using a collar that plays a certain sound if the dog approaches certain boundaries. If the dog crosses this threshold, the collar creates a mild electric shock, deterring the dog from leaving the yard on its own. One of the unintended consequences, says Houpt, is that the dog may become frightened of other signals.

"There are some dogs that don't like the sound of a microwave. Animals can confuse the sound of the appliance with the sound of their collar," the scientist said.

"Unfortunately, we can't protect pets from absolutely everything that scares them. However, you can choose quieter vacuum cleaners or even stand vigilantly near the microwave while it counts down and turn it off before it starts to loudly announce the end of the process.

Observe how the animal behaves around certain gadgets and what sounds scare it.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you what it can mean when a cat howls and how to understand that the animal really needs help.

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