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Classical violin music helps to relax cats

Tuesday March 31st 2015

Cats prefer a human Bach to a canine bark, new research suggests.

Portuguese researchers have found that few things help felines to relax more than violin-heavy classical music.

They played the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, but their findings suggest that any such sounds, including those of famous composer Bach, may suffice.

That's because it was shown that this kind of music helps cats to relax and could even assist them to make speedy recoveries after operations.

The experiment, which was reported in the Journal of Feline Medicine, saw 12 cats donning headphones during neutering surgery at a vets where they heard two-minute sections of music.

Pupil diameters, respiratory rates and heartbeat were all tracked. Classical violin sounds were shown to make pupil diameters smaller and to lower respiratory levels, indicating the cats were calmer.

Researchers found that AC/DC's Thunderstruck seemed to raise cats' stress levels, while Torn by Natalie Imbruglia fell somewhere between AC/DC and the classical music.

Copyright Press Association 2015