'Yoga meditation music helps cats relax'
London, July 20 (IANS) Cats relax better if they are played yoga meditation music. When they are unwell, cats become less stressed when they listen to relaxing music, a study shows.
Student veterinary nurse Sian Barr carried out the research on cats being treated at a vet's surgery.
She found that those who were played yoga meditation music and "Om Shanti" tunes calmed down and began to breathe more slowly while in cages at the practice in Powys, Wales, reports the Telegraph.
Barr, who has just graduated from veterinary school with a first class honours degree, said: "Stress in small doses can be a good thing, such as if a cat is under stress to eat, then it can perform better."
"But otherwise, it will have a negative effect, such as in a veterinary practice," Barr said.
"This is because a cat is in a cage and isn't able to do what it will like to do, so stress levels will increase and it will become angry," she said.
"This is bad for not only its behaviour, becoming difficult for staff to handle, but also for its immune system and ability to heal," Barr said.
Barr, of Waterlooville, Hants, studied cats when they were first admitted by assessing their ear and eye activity, how they were communicating and respiration levels.
The 21-year-old then split them into two groups, only one of which was played the relaxation CDs.
She added: "I then repeated the test after 40 minutes and was able to assign each cat a cat stress score."
"By comparing the scores, I found the music had a dramatic effect on respiration rates, with those exposed to the music decreasing to a relaxed rate much quicker than those not exposed."