Can Classical Music Calm Your Cat? Researchers Think So!

Classical music could make it less of a chore to take your cat to the veterinarian.(Photo: theogeo)
Classical music could make it less of a chore to take your cat to the veterinarian.(Photo: theogeo)

You may have heard about cats playing classical music (like our furry friend Nora the piano playing cat), but a new study is now also looking at felines as a potential audience for classical music.

The study, designed by Narda Robinson, a veterinarian and Lori Kogan, a psychologist who specializes in veterinary and animal issues (both at Colorado State University), is based on previous research with humans and dogs. It will examine the effects of music on the stress levels of 50 cats and their caregivers.

Research has shown that music therapy can minimize stress in humans as well as reduce pain levels, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, anxiety and emotional distress and can be a boon to children in the classroom.

And non-humans, studies show, appear to respond in the same way. Previous research has demonstrated that classical music has a calming effect on a wide spectrum of animals — everything from elephants to dogs to rodents — and may even stimulate plant growth.

While this new research is focused on cats and their caregivers – and will measure caregivers’ stress and their perceptions of their cats’ stress – there is something to be said for the feedback presumably being passed from kitten to caregiver and vice versa.

Besides reducing stress, the study will be important for veterinarian medicine – a mellowed cat (obviously) makes for a better vet visit.

Help us make a playlist for our furry friends. What classical picks would you include on a therapy compilation CD for animals?

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