Since feline hearing is at least three times better than ours, they are much more sensitive to the frequency, tone and volume of music. Hard rock or any music with a thumping bass is very apt to agitate cats. Based on research done on animal hearing range mellow tones, slow tempo and simple arrangements tend to have the most relaxing effect on cats.
Composers and musicians have used this data to create musical CD’s specifically for pets. Music created especially for pets use gentle instruments like piano, flute and harp rather than those with a sharper sound such as drums or trumpets. Depending on the arrangement, some classical music may not work to relax your pet if the work contains a section that is loud or aggressive.
Veterinarians have found that soothing music can help healing and reduce stress on pets by lowering heart rate and respiration. Many vets play soothing music in their clinic to mask sounds of equipment that could put a cat on alert and lead to increased stress.
Many animal shelters have also begun playing soothing music for pet residents to help ease stress. A nonprofit organization called Rescue Animal MP3 Project, provides MP3 players to shelters requesting them free of charge. The players are preloaded with soothing music for animals and helps shelter pets relax. The group was formed in December 2011 and more than 16,000 shelter animals have already benefitted from the music they provided. For more information on the Rescue Animal MP3 Project, go to rescueanimalmp3.org.
Music can help soothe your cat in situations such as:
- Moving to a new home
- Car travel
- Noisy events such as holiday gatherings or parties
- Grooming, nail trimming or bathing
- Any change in routine that causes your cat stress
Do you have a story to share about music and its effect on cat behavior? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
Source: ”Sounds To Soothe The Feline Soul” by Helen Jablonski, Cat Fancy Magazine, January 2013
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