Cat Owners Thought Their Roomba Was Broken, Until They Discovered the Truth

A couple who believed their Roomba was broken were left in stitches when they realized what-—or who—was really behind it.

Laura Elle, 27, lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two cats, including 3-year-old Winnie, who they adopted from a rescue as a kitten.

On April 25, Winnie became an unsuspecting social media star when Elle shared a video of her to TikTok which has racked up more than 1.5 million views.

In the video, which you can watch here, Elle reveals they “thought our Roomba didn’t work. Then discovered this.”

It shows Winnie trapping the Roomba in a corner and rubbing against it, kicking her feet off it and pushing it back whenever it tried to leave one particular spot.

“Lol, she thinks it’s her friend,” Elle wrote over the video of the playful kitten.

Cat plays with Roomba
Laura Elle and her husband thought their Roomba was broken. When they discovered their cat treating it like a toy, they realized what was going on.

TikTok @lauraelle111

Speaking to Newsweek, Elle explained: “We bought that Roomba at Costco and had no idea she would take a liking to it.

“It seemed to be working fine for a while, and then I would keep finding it dead in that one corner of our bedroom and it clearly wasn’t cleaning everywhere because the bin wouldn’t be full. There was an app for the Roomba that I hadn’t quite figured out, but it showed everything should be fine so I had no idea why it wasn’t working.

“Then one day I heard it in the bedroom and I was looking for Winnie and I saw what you guys see in the video! She was playing with it and trapping it and inevitably it would just die in that corner and stop vacuuming the house.”

The Roomba really did break shortly afterward, and while Elle doesn’t know if “that was all from Winnie or if it just wasn’t a good vacuum,” she and her husband still find the video hilarious.

Elle’s video has had a massive reaction on TikTok, with close to 40,000 likes and hundreds of comments, including some who urged Elle to get another cat for Winnie to play with and others who even suggested Winnie wasn’t getting enough attention from her owners.

Pet care company Purina advises that “some cats, depending on personality and age, can benefit from the presence of another cat.”

“Take into consideration the fact that introducing another feline should be gradual and it might take time until the two cats will fully be comfortable around each other—and be accepting that they might never be best friends,” the company writes.

But in good news for concerned commenters, Elle told Newsweek that “this kitty gets so much love and attention and she has a sibling she plays with like crazy!”

Content creator Elle wasn’t expecting Winnie’s video to go viral, saying it was “so random.”

“I posted our other cat who can literally play ping pong and it got like 300 views, but Winnie playing with our Roomba gets over a million, you just never know what people will watch, love and interact with.”

Elle explained that the video of Winnie was taken when she was around a year old, after they adopted her as a sick kitten full of “worms and fleas” who had been found in a barn.

While they aren’t sure of her breed, some have said Winnie looks like a Russian blue, but all Elle and her husband know is that “we are obsessed with her and have been since the day we got her”.

Cat plays with Roomba
Winnie is now 3 years old and still full of “quirks”. Her owner said they were “obsessed” with her from the day they brought her home.

Laura Elle

“Winnie has many silly and funny quirks,” she said. “She likes to go into rooms and shut the doors like she’s having some important meeting.

“She headbutts her sister over and over again when it’s treat/wet food time. She LOVES TV, she will watch on the iPad, iPhone or get up on the TV cabinet and watch her shows.”

The response to Winnie’s Roomba video has been “so positive, and that’s the best part,” Elle said.

“Cat people are honestly just the best and having a video go viral with an overwhelmingly positive response is so cool! People sharing about their own kitties and just knowing that the content I put out is putting a smile on people’s faces or making them feel good in some way is the best feeling.”

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