Science Says That Playing a Specific Type of Music Could Calm Your Cat's Stress Level
It's no surprise that the right song can evoke deep emotions in humans, whether that be happiness, sadness, or a general feeling of serenity. Apparently, this isn't a phenomenon experienced only by people. As it turns out, music can have the same effect on our feline friends as it does on us. A new study from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University examined what type of music can help reduce stress in cats while they're at the vet's office, and their findings were fascinating.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, lead researcher Amanda Hampton enrolled 20 domestic cats and played them 20 minutes of "cat-specific music," classical music, and no music at all. The cats visited the vet at random times over the course of two weeks for monitoring.
According to the published study, "Listening to cat-specific music prior to, and during, physical examination was associated with lower [cat stress scores] and lower [handling scale scores]," compared with classical music or no music at all. So, what exactly qualifies as cat-specific music? Cats responded well to songs that featured "melodic" lines and contained purring sounds and frequencies similar to cats' vocal ranges, which are about two octaves higher than a normal human vocal range. The songs that the cats responded most positively to were "Scooter Bere's Aria" by David Teie and "Élégie" by Gabriel Fauré.
Previous studies examined the effect that music has on dogs' stress levels. Researchers believe that this particular study could have a big impact on the overall experience that cats—and their handlers—have when visiting the vet's office, whether it be for a routine check-up or surgery. "Adding cat-specific music to veterinary offices as environmental enrichment could provide great value to the cat's welfare in the clinic, to the client's comfort and confidence in the veterinary team, and the veterinary team's ability to accurately assess the patient," said researchers.