Music could help keep cats calm in your veterinary clinic

Help that fractious kitty relax by playing some relaxing music.
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Aug 05, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

For most cats, visiting the veterinarian is the worst part of their day—or maybe their year. So why not make it a little easier for them by playing music in the exam room?

According to a new study out of Wales, music might be just what cats need to get through a stressful exam. Recent veterinary school graduate Sian Barr spent a year studying the effect of yoga meditation music and Om Shanti tunes on the cats she treated at a rural veterinary clinic in Powys, Wales. She found that the music had a strong effect on keeping them calm.

Barr monitored two groups of cats—one that was exposed to relaxing music and one that wasn’t. She studied the cats’ body posture and respiration rates to indicate which group was more stressed and found that the music had a dramatic effect on respiration rates, with those exposed to music decreasing to a relaxed rate much more quickly than those not exposed.

Barr says she hopes other students will continue her research in an urban setting to provide more conclusive data.

Do you ever notice panicked cats in your reception area? Perhaps it’s time to help them relax by giving them some music to listen to while they wait. And who knows—it might have the same effect on your favorite cranky clients.