How Dogs and Cats React to the Noise of the Television or Music Left on When Their Humans Leave the House

Today I Found Out host Simon Whistler reports on a study of British households with dogs showed that a good percentage of the humans left the television or music playing when they left the house for the day. A separate study in the same played music for cats to understand the results.

The question posed to each set of researchers is, do the animals appreciate the peripheral noise of electronics that humans believe will keep their pets company when their gone?

These researchers found that dogs would calm down to classical music, but heavy metal music just agitated them.

The study found that classical music appeared to have a definite calming effect on the dogs with there being a noticeable decrease in the amount of noise and activity, and an increased number of dogs choosing to simply lay down…Meanwhile, music by the heavy metal band Metallica seemed to agitate the dogs present. Finally, pop music, which included the likes of Britney Spears, much like the sounds of human conversations, appeared to have no observable effect on the animals.

Cats, on the other hand, have no use for human music, instead preferring “cat music”, which is tonally based within their own vocal range.

it turns out, when playing this music to 47 cats in the study compared to playing two different classical music pieces, the cats did indeed react significantly more positively and pay more attention to the cat music, whereas the human classical music garnered fewer positive responses and reactions, and even those that did react positively to this music took approximately an additional minute to seem to notice it at all.