I saw this article, thought this would be benefit those of you that have asked me about those STRESSED moments that our Cats have, when there is more than One Cat in a home:
The other day – I saw a cat that came in and Carol (Buddy's owner) told me a story. Buddy bit her other cat. I asked a bunch of questions because this was very unlike Buddy. He was a very loving cat and generally got on great with the other cats in the house.
On this particular day Carol's son was listening to the Rolling Stones – and had it turned up loud. There were a lot of things going on and she thought it was the music that put Buddy over the edge and made him “mad”.
I'm not sure why Buddy bit her other cat but music can make a difference. There are certain sounds that agitate cats and other sounds that soothe cats. By the way - the other cat was fine. It just surprised and scared Carol.
Well, that situation got me thinking about pet anxiety in general. It's a common problem. We don't use the term “fraidy cats” for nothing; some cats really do just get so stressed and nervous at time. Many of my readers who are cat lovers have asked me what they can do when this happens to their cats. Some of you have said that your pets become upset when they are left home alone for any period of time. That's a common problem. In fact, it's so common that it even has a name: “separation anxiety.”
Other readers and clients have mentioned anxiety or carsickness when traveling with your cat. Most cats dislike the process of traveling anyway, but some are particularly sensitive. Some pets become very anxious when they are in unfamiliar surroundings such as cars. A few actually throw up or chew away areas of their hair and skin when they are stressed out or when they hear loud noises like thunder or fireworks. Cats are excellent at hiding and are prone to sneaking away when they are stressed, potentially putting them in danger (and scaring their owners while they're at it).
Many loving cat owners have tried creative ways to ease their pets' stress, like leaving the TV or radio on for "company" when they must leave their cats home alone. It's a good idea in theory, but that could actually be doing more harm than good in practice.
Studies have suggested that TV and radio can actually CREATE stress for animals because of the drastic changes in programming and the random mix of musical styles. The TV and radio certainly create "noise" but they don't necessarily create a relaxed environment. Just think of some of the stuff that's on TV these days... would you want your beloved pet listening to crime shows with all their gunshots and sirens?
I know that you want to do the best for your cat and most people shy away at the idea of using medications to calm their pets. It's an understandable concern. So when I heard about music therapy being used to soothe feline anxiety I did some research on my own. It made sense…after all, music is good for the soul. They say it calms the savage beast. And it turns out that's more than just an old wives' tale. It's a proven fact.
I'll use an example so you know what I mean. Classical harp music is used around the world to help alleviate stress and heal sickness in cats, dogs, chimpanzees and other animals. Even animal shelters are now investing in sound systems and music to create a more serene environment. Studies show that dogs and cats seem to prefer classical music. Cats will relax in front of the speakers when classical music is playing, and dogs will actually bark less - especially when listening to the music of Bach.
Many pets respond favorably to classical music under stress-inducing situations, often slipping into a very serene and peaceful state of mind after only a few minutes of listening. But all classical music will not have the same calming effect. To sooth your pet the music must have a soothing dynamic from start to finish. But this is not the case with most "off-the-shelf" classical music.
Let me know what you think about "Playing Music" for your pets.