Music for cats: does it have a calming effect?

music for cats

Just as with humans, there are many things that can stress or worry cats.

New furniture, unusual sounds, the arrival of a newborn or a new pet, even the slightest change in his routine can cause stress for your feline.

There are many ways to reassure him, you can eliminate the source of stress or help him get used to it. But have you ever tried playing music? Again, as with humans, music can help soothe your pet. So what music should you choose and why does it work?

What are the benefits of music for cats?

Humans listen to music in cultures and languages around the world. It has the power to make us dance, laugh and cry! We listen to music everywhere we go, whether it’s sitting on the couch, driving our cars, or running in the park.

But can music help reduce stress levels in cats the way it does in humans?

Recently, a study was undertaken by the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery to determine if cat music, played in a veterinary clinic, could help reduce their stress level. During the study, cats were exposed to one auditory stimulus test of three possible stimuli: they listened to silence, classical music, or music composed specifically for cats.

What did it show? Tests have shown that cat music can help reduce their stress levels, as well as increase the quality of care in a veterinary clinic environment.

Similarly, Charles T. Snowdon, Hilldale Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lead author of a study, states that “cats have a preference for species-appropriate music.”

What is music for cats?

Did you know that there is music specially composed for cats?

Cats have an extremely developed hearing which is very useful for hunting! This makes them very fastidious music lovers…

If your favorite style is heavy metal, your feline friend may leave the room to find a quieter corner! But if you’re listening to classical music, your cat may come and curl up next to you for a relaxing moment.

Cat music is based on sounds that cats find pleasing, such as purring, sucking sounds and high-pitched sounds. Just as humans enjoy music when it reminds them of their resting heart rate, or matches the frequencies in their vocal range, cats prefer frequencies that are close to the feline vocal range.

Cats love Chopin and Bach!

Dr. Susan Wagner (a specialist in music therapy for animals, a doctor of integrative medicine on staff at MedVet Columbus, and an assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine) agrees that cats enjoy listening to music, but only when it is soothing (to reduce stress) or rewarding (to stimulate themselves). She explains, “A gentle piano sonata by Chopin will calm your cat, while a lively flute sonata by Bach may make him want to jump up and play.

So, if you leave your cat at home alone, let him listen to Chopin to relax him while you’re out, and when you come back why not choose something more dynamic, like Bach’s music, to enjoy together!

Music for your cats

Spotify has recently developed a playlist feature for our pets: it combines your taste in music (as a human user) with what your pet might like. Try and enjoy the music together! These music tracks are available online, so you can listen to them at home for your kitty to enjoy! Give it a try and you’ll know if your cat is a fan of classical tunes!

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