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Inconclusive Evaluation of Music Therapy to Reduce Stress in Hospitalized Cats

What can one conclude from playing music for a few stressed cats? A new study suggests the answer:

Evaluation of Music Therapy to Reduce Stress in Hospitalized Cats,” Juliane Eg Paz, Fernanda Va da Costa, Luciana N Nunes, Eduardo R Monteiro, and Jenifer Jung, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, epub 2021.

The authors, at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, report:

This study aimed to evaluate the use of two different types of music – cat-specific music and classical music – compared with no music, to reduce stress in cats during hospitalization.

Thirty-five hospitalized cats were randomly divided into three groups and each group received a different stimulus – cat-specific music, classical music or no music (control) – throughout their hospitalization. Respiratory rate, salivary cortisol and social interaction were documented. A blinded researcher performed the Cat Stress Score (CSS) during the video analysis of recordings at five specific times over 31 h of hospitalization….

Here is what the authors report finding:

[O]wing to the low and unrepresentative number of samples, it was not possible to perform statistical analysis on these results or a group sample comparison.

Here is what the authors conclude from that:

Conclusions and relevance — Both cat-specific music and classical music seem to have some benefit to hospitalized cats.

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