If you’ve ever been in a humane society or even in a few veterinarians’ offices, you may have noticed soft classical music playing. In recent years, there have been a few studies and a lot of speculation about the topic of animal’s reaction to music and whether or not they’re able to enjoy it.
As more people become interested in the answer to this question, more people and Universities have started conducting experiments to either prove or deny if cats like music. One of the more recent studies was conducted by the University of Lisbon in Portugal. Scientists found that your cat can feel stressed or more relaxed depending on the genre of music that plays.
For the experiment, they took twelve female cats that were about to undergo surgery and played a range of music from classical, rock, pop, and hip-hop. Once the cats were put under anesthesia, a heartbeat monitor was attached to their tongues, and the researchers played different genres of music over two-minute spans.
The researchers monitored the cat’s respiratory rates, heartbeats, and their pupil diameters. They found time and time again that classical music decreased the cat’s pupil diameters, lowered their respiratory rate and heartbeat, and seemed to relax them more overall. Additionally, they found that cats who listened to Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ post-surgery had a quicker recovery time.
Other researchers claimed that in order for a cat to enjoy classical music it had to be species-specific, and it had to have a tempo they were familiar with. The music also had to be within the frequency range that your cat communicates in. Music with mid-to-high-pitched sounds and lower base vibratos would suit your cat the best. One piece of music your cat may enjoy is called “Cozmo’s Air,” and you can listen to it here:
You also have to take your cat’s hearing level into consideration as their hearing is far more sensitive than a human’s hearing. This means louder music can be annoying or even border on painful to your cat. Your cat could also make a connection to the music based on how you feel about it. So if you relax while listening to a certain type of music, you may notice your cat relaxing along with you.
With all of this research, we think it is safe to say that you can enjoy certain types of music. You can try normal classical music or more species-specific music that has been specially made for cats. You can actually purchase CDs or songs that have been designed to relax and engage your cat. Whatever you find, both you and your cat may be able to relax and enjoy it.