Do you ever put on a little soft Mozart, or some easy listening music for your cat? Some people turn on the TV or radio to help their cats pass the time especially when they're home alone. Is your kitty really listening? Does she actually like the tunes?
"While we have no way to determine if cats actually "like" music, studies have shown that a certain type of music lowers cats' stress (classical) while certain types raise it (heavy metal)," says Samantha Bell, cat behavior expert at Best Friends Animal Society. "So, we can say that classical music lowers cats' stress levels, which makes cats feel happier."
Picking the right kind of music
The scientifically created "Music for Cats" by composer David Teie, (yes, music designed for cats is a thing!), might be the best choice followed closely by classical as a second choice. You should likely avoid heavy metal as it's said to raise a cat's stress levels. "'Music for Cats' has classical music at its core with an added layer of cat-pleasing sounds that are familiar and comforting to cats, like purring and suckling," says Bell.
Lifting the mood
You can also use classical music as a cue/signal for your cats to get them in the mood for an upcoming activity. For instance, you can play bright and bouncy classical music when it's playtime or for daytime bird viewing out the window. And then turn on some slow, gentle classical music before you settle down for the evening. Like the way humans listen to tunes that fit their activity and energy level, your cats have similar preferences for their listening pleasure.
Aside from playing music as a pleasurable activity for your cat when you're away from home, you may also use it to help soothe an anxious or stressed cat, help welcome and comfort a new kitty into a new environment, or even just play music for a cat who's been under the weather or is recovering from an illness or surgery.
"When I work with shy cats in a shelter setting, I use "Music for Cats" as a cue to indicate that the upcoming interaction will not be a frightening one," says Bell. "Cats in shelters are often only approached for cage cleaning and administering medicine, causing a distrust and fear of humans. I play "Music for Cats" when I work with them to help build their confidence and trust in humans. They hear this special music and know only good things are about to happen, which helps them to trust," she says.
You can take advantage of playing music for your kitties in any number of scenarios at home, whether cuddling up and listening together, playing lively music to indicate playtime, or just soothing an anxious cat.
So put on the Brahm's, Bach, or kitty-specific sounds to entertain and calm your cat. She is listening and she likes it.
As always, consult your vet about your pet's behavior or any other questions.