The Influence of Music on Pets: Do They Have a Favorite Genre?

FFranklin December 16, 2023 7:02 AM

Did you know that music doesn't only affect humans, but our furry friends as well? Research has shown that music can influence the behavior of pets, leading many pet owners to wonder: do pets have a favorite music genre?

The Effects of Music on Pet Behavior

Studies have found that music can have a profound effect on pets. For example, music has been used to help calm pets in veterinary clinics and shelters. It has been found that certain types of music can help reduce stress and anxiety in pets, making their experience in these unfamiliar environments a bit more comfortable. Music therapy for pets has become a growing trend due to these benefits.

Do Pets Have a Favorite Music Genre?

When it comes to the music preferences of pets, there's not a one-size-fits-all answer. Much like humans, each pet is unique and may respond differently to various types of music. However, research has given some insight into the music genres that pets tend to lean towards.

Dogs, for example, have been found to respond well to reggae and soft rock, according to a study conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow. Dogs listening to these genres showed signs of decreased stress, such as lower heart rates.

Cats on the other hand, seem to prefer classical music. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin discovered that cats showed less stress-related behaviors, such as pacing and vocalizing, when classical music was played. Cats also seem to appreciate music created specifically for them, with frequencies and tempos that mimic the sounds of purring and bird chirping.

Pets like birds and small mammals (e.g., hamsters, guinea pigs) have been less studied in terms of their musical preferences. Yet, anecdotal observations suggest that these pets may react positively to classical or soothing music.

How to Play Music for Pets

Choosing the right music for your pet can be a fun and rewarding process. Here are some tips to enhance the musical experience for your pet:

  1. Start off slow. Introduce your pet to music slowly. Start with low volumes and short durations, gradually increasing as your pet becomes more comfortable.
  2. Consider your pet's personality. If your pet is normally relaxed, they may prefer softer, slower music. If they're more active, they might enjoy upbeat tunes.
  3. Observe their reactions. Watch for signs of relaxation or enjoyment, such as lying down, closing their eyes, or wagging their tail. If your pet seems agitated or stressed, it's best to turn off the music and try a different genre or tempo next time.
  4. Try pet-specific music. There's a growing market for music composed specifically with pets in mind. This can be a good place to start if you're unsure what type of music your pet might enjoy.

In conclusion, while pets may not have a particular favorite genre like humans do, research has shown that they can indeed appreciate and be influenced by music.

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