Music therapy can calm your cat

Does your cat seem a bit anxious and your first thought is to play her that one song that calms you down? Stop! You won’t necessarily do her any favours, as cats often don’t like the music we do. If you want to treat your cat to a song, or want to calm her down, try some real ‘kitty’ music.

No Beethoven, please!

If you want to calm down your cat, or hype her up a bit, don’t think that Beethoven is necessarily the answer. Rather play music that she will appreciate – music specially composed for cats. All cat owners know that every cat has an acute taste in everything, and the same goes for music.

Ideal music

Start off with a search on YouTube, where you will find a myriad of playlists for cats. A good idea is to make your search a bit more specific and add the name David Teie. He is a lecturer at the University of Maryland, who composes music specifically for cats. He explains that people like the beat of drums because it resembles our mother’s heartbeat, whereas cats prefer the sound of purring and suckling as those calm them. Cats are not fond of music that contains human singing, so opt for something more instrumental.

Benefits to your feline

Playing kitty music creates a safe environment where she listens to soothing and purring sounds. Not only does it calm her down, it can also have some healing properties – especially for cats who suffer from diseases caused by anxiety. Remember that cats don’t only purr because they’re happy, they also purr when they are sick, and the purring helps them to recover more quickly.

Less is more

It is not necessary to create a spa environment for her, simply play the music in any room and she will make herself comfortable. Some felines might even rub their scent glands onto the speakers from which the music is coming. But don’t be concerned if your cat doesn’t react at all. Some take a while to get used to the sounds and others prefer to ignore them. Take into account that this isn’t a fool-proof exercise, and not all cats are the same.

Whatever works best

If you discover that, against the odds, your cat does in fact like Beethoven, by all means play it for her. Just bear in mind that hard, sudden sounds might trigger her fleeing responses. So, choose carefully when creating a playlist for your friend. She prefers pulling sounds, like that of a violin, and suckling sounds to remind her of when she was young. However, it is important to remember that cats can hear higher frequencies than humans do. We recommend that you keep the music at a lower volume, so as not to damage her hearing.

Choose wisely

The type of music that you play will evoke a certain emotion and behaviour in your cat. Therefore, it is important to decide beforehand what behaviour you are looking for and choose the playlist accordingly. If you want your furry friend to be calm, choose music that is soothing, with a slow tempo and without sudden spikes in rhythm. If you want your cat to be more playful, choose a playlist that contains music with a faster tempo. Try out different songs and make a note of the songs she likes and responds to positively, for future reference.

Examples

Some examples of good kitty music that we found on YouTube include:

 

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