Music soothes the savage soul and research proves this is true beyond humankind. Cats find stress relief from music just like people. But feline ears groove to tunes differently than ours.
We know from how music makes us feel, it does much to improve mental and physical health. Over the years, several studies have been performed to learn the benefits of music with science has proving music really is good for the soul.
Medical News Today reports music offers many benefits to the body.
- Pain reduction
- Lowered anxiety
- Reduced stress
- An aid to memory
- Help in recovery from brain injuries and strokes
Plus, the use of music in clinical settings has been proven to reduce patient worry as well as treat certain conditions.
So, if music does all this for us, what might it do for our kitty darlings? And do cats like the same music as people?
Building A Happy Cat Playlist
With such questions in mind, a group of researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University Baton Rouge were inspired by previous studies that proved music helps ease cat stress. In these previous looks at cats and music, it had been shown cats responded better to classical music than rock or pop hits.
But Amanda Hampton and team wanted to know if cats responded better to “cat-specific” music rather than the classical genre.
What is “cat-specific” you ask?
Our music typically matches the resting pulse rate of the heart with tones that match the human vocal ranges. “Cat-specific” music is more about melodies that resemble feline vocalizations like trilling meows and rhythmic purrs. Plus, cat vocal ranges sit two octaves higher than our own. This also creates a difference in what’s pleasing to their ears versus ours.
Feline playlists probably won’t crossover with their parents’ tastes in tunes!
Twenty Cats Reveal…
The 20 cats participating in the study were given a base cat stress score before listening to music while receiving veterinary care. Then, each cat was exposed to silence, classical music, and “cat-specific” music. Stress levels were again tested at the end of each exposure and the results were determined.
According to Hampton and team, “We conclude that cat-specific music may benefit cats by decreasing the stress levels and increasing the quality of care in veterinary clinical settings.”
This means the test kitties remained in calmer states during examination thanks to music made to match their physiology.
These results also mean that beyond lowering stress levels during veterinary visits, music designed for cats could have a great impact on reducing the stress levels of cats in shelters. Wouldn’t that be a great win for cats in need!