BENGALURU: We’ve all heard of pets singing along while their humans practice music (my cats run up and down the piano keyboard at odd hours), and it’s hilarious. My friend’s son regularly plays a playlist called ‘Calming Music for Cats’ for his Persians, who I must admit, seem pretty calm. Anecdotally, it seems that animals love and engage with music in their own way, so we wanted to see if there was any research to back this.
There’s ample research to show how music helps people of all ages, whether it is to aid brain development or reduce anxiety, but there is also a reputed body of research that shows how music benefits animals, and how animals respond to music.
Monkey Music: A study by the University of Wisconsin – Madison, found that monkeys respond to music specifically composed for them. What does music for monkeys sound like? We aren’t sure, but according to research, it is music that closely mimics the sounds and tones they make.
Music for Cats: TeyusMusic has created a soundtrack for cats, keeping in mind the sound that animals make, and the fact that they have a much broader range of hearing than humans. Their ears are also very sensitive, so they shouldn’t listen to music too loud.
Parrots: In 2009, a study at Harvard University found that parrots were able to stay in time with rhythm and keep a beat. This has been linked to their ability to vocalise. Cows and Music: In a study done by the University of Leicester, cows have been shown to produce more milk while listening to slower music, as opposed to fast, up-tempo music.
Unsurprisingly, music has also been shown to calm domestic animals like cats and dogs, decreasing heart rate and blood pressure, reducing their stress levels. Domestic animals are also very receptive to their human’s feelings, so if people listen to music that they like, their pets are likely to respond well.
So if you’re playing music around the house all day, it not only benefits you, but your pets too!