Can Music Relax the Savage Cat?

One study showed behavioral but not physical changes

Feline friendly practices are always looking for ways to make their patients happier and calmer, as minimizing stress makes for a better veterinary experience for the cat, owners, and the veterinarian.

A study from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery investigated the use of music to reduce feline stress in the veterinary setting. Since music has been shown to calm dogs in this setting, the study authors wanted to know if the same is true of cats.

Twenty cats were scheduled for three wellness visits, two weeks apart. At each visit, the cat was exposed to a different 20-minute set of either silence, classical music, or “cat-specific” music, which is music in which the melody is based upon frequencies that mimic feline vocalization.

The cat-specific music used for this study was “Scooter Bere’s Aria” by David Teie. Go to to hear the music.

During the visits, each cat’s stress level was evaluated behaviorally and by measuring the ratio of two types of white blood cells (neutrophils and lymphocytes) in a small blood sample. This ratio is a widely recognized measure of physiologic stress.

The study found that cats listening to the cat-specific music were behaviorally less stressed than the cats that listened listened to classical music or had silence. No evidence of the effect of music on physiologic stress was seen in the cats. The researchers believe the 20 minutes may not have been long enough to cause a shift in physiologic parameters.n