iCalmDog

Why Cat Music?

FelineStress

Since the 2008 release of Through a Dog’s Ear, requests for music designed for cats have been constant. As a research-based organization, we’ve demurred; there has been minimal scientific examination of music and sound with cats. However, research by Dr. C.A. Tony Buffington (2011, Ohio State University) caught my attention. While studying feline interstitial cystitis (a leading cause of euthanasia), researchers discovered a primary cause of this ailment: stress! Change in the cat’s physical environment–such as strangers, different food, additional animals, loud noises, etc.–is a major contributor. Cats prefer their homes to be stable and consistent. Acute feline stress turns into chronic irritation, manifesting in disease and behavioral challenges.

Calming is designed to reduce stress in a chaotic or unsettling environment. My sonic toolkit originates from sound therapies with neurodevelopmentally- challenged humans in which tone, tempo, and pattern are specially considered. Frequency ranges have been adjusted to a cat’s auditory range and a technique called sonic anchoring is included.

With best of intentions, people bring pets into a human sensory environment and expect quick adaptation. Sometimes animals adjust easily… and many times they can’t. The goal of BioAcoustic Research is to understand and create positive auditory programs to help domesticated animals find balance.

Similar to people, each animal’s sensory perception is different. Also, what calms your cat one day may not calm him the following. For some cats, our soundtracks are magic. We continue to try new things with the knowledge that beautiful music won’t harm our beloved animals as we continue to learn and innovate.

What is the difference between the calming music for dogs and cats?

The use of Sonic Anchoring and Frequency Modulation (explained in detail below) in music for cats.

Recent research by Dr. C.A. Tony Buffington (2011, Ohio State University) reported a primary cause of feline interstitial cystitis (a leading cause of euthanasia) is stress! Change in the cat’s physical environment—strangers, different food, additional animals, loud noises, illness, etc.—is a major contributor. Cats prefer their homes to be stable and consistent. Acute feline stress turns into chronic irritation, manifesting in disease and behavioral challenges.

We’ve brought consistency to cats with sonic anchoring.

What is Sonic Anchoring?

Our goal is to create a mental and emotional sense of safety that arises from familiarity. We accomplish this through a recognizable sequence of notes. While people hear these interludes as repeating melodic intervals, perhaps cats cognitively categorize this information as a familiar frequency matrix. Cats are not so much hearing the melody, but feeling a sequence of vibrational frequencies, particularly when they are lying near their iCalmCat. Like sensory information we instantly recognize – a favorite taste or aroma, our best friend’s voice, a mother’s touch–familiar sensory cues can have a profound and calming impact on the nervous system while providing psychological security.

What is Frequency Modulation?

To further focus the therapeutic impact, we’ve removed higher frequencies from the re-arranged piano music. Frequency modulation (FM) also takes place in the mid-
and low-frequency ranges. Essentially, by reducing or boosting specific nutrients
of sound, the resonance affects the nervous system. Through progressive FM, “arousing” frequencies are reduced and “soothing” frequencies are increased.

What is the difference between iCalmCat Calming and Through a Cat’s Ear: Music to Calm?
iCalmCat is an expanded three hours of calming music specially designed for cats. Also, it plays on auto-repeat on iCalmCat. Through a Cat’s Ear Vol. 1 is 1 hour of music and only plays on auto repeat if your CD player is set up for that.

Why do indoor cats need Stimulation?

The purpose of Stimulation is to provide sensory enrichment for indoor cats. Why is environmental enrichment important? Because without high sensorial activities, your indoor cat’s nervous system becomes chronically stressed. This leads to difficult behaviors and/or illnesses that impact the entire cat household.

Indoor cats are mostly secluded from their innate and vital activity– hunting! Consequently, they ironically fall prey to a slow and debilitating energy starvation resulting from this lack of sensory stimulation. Essentially, this deficit causes the feline nervous system to back up and backfire.

Conversely, the indoor cat’s feral cousins are always busy. Within a large territory, free-ranging cats are naturally curious, always exploring and hunting for food. Interaction with other cats is common, and feral cats are always on the lookout for dogs!

Outdoor cats are active. Indoor cats, however, usually have little to do, and passivity sets in. Sensory environments are known to shape nervous system organization from kitten age up to late-teens. In response to the desire for healthy and strong house cats, research of sensory stimulation to replace external input ramped up in the early 1990s. All signs since point to the importance of environmental enrichment to preserve optimal physical and mental feline health. As per The American Association of Feline Practitioners, “Many behavioral and physical disorders that are seen in cats are often secondary to stress from lack of appropriate stimulation.” These stress-induced illnesses and conditions include: obesity, aggression, compulsive disorders, and urinary tract or upper respiratory infections. These behaviors and conditions often lead to abandonment or euthanasia. This is not what cat owners want. So, what to do?

Environmental enrichment is the stimulation of the brain by physical and social surroundings. With indoor cats, enrichment strategies include animate interaction with other cats, dogs, and people, as well as the inanimate use of toys, physical space (high structures, textures, places to hide), and sensory input (eyes, ears, nose, taste).

In Calming, our goal was to create calm—often in non- consistent environments. proven sonic techniques to slow primary body pulses.

In Stimulate, our goal is to arouse cognitive and physical function. Using the principles of resonance, entrainment, and pattern identification, we go in the opposite direction from Calming. In Stimulate, we employ high frequency instrumentation, complex melodic patterns, increasing tempos, and frequency modulation. It’s like Sonic Catnip for Kitty!

Why Music for Noise Phobias?

Noise Phobias is a sonic inoculation for Kitty, designed to help cats who are fearful of common household and outdoor sounds. Noise Phobias also helps prevernt noise phobia from ever developing. Repeated playing of Noise Phobias will gently introduce Kitty to common noises. Intermixed with bio-acoustically designed classical piano arrangements, these sound effects will accustom and acclimate your cat to common household and outdoor sounds. The 1-hour of soundtrack comes on a Micro SD sound card that plays (on auto-repeat if left unattended) on Kitty’s iCalmCat. 

Consider the iCalmCat series an adjunct to wonderful enrichment programs. Used together, you can exercise your cat’s innate animal instincts while keeping her safe and sound—purring on the corner of your bed and chasing your playful toes.

What if I have a Dog AND a Cat?

Dogs and kitties alike often enjoy each other’s music. How can you tell? Observe your dogs and cats. Do they show any preference for either iCalmDog or iCalmCat? You can also mix it up and play both for both species.

Consider the iCalmCat series an adjunct to wonderful enrichment programs. Used together, you can exercise your cat’s innate animal instincts while keeping her safe and sound—purring on the corner of your bed and chasing your playful toes.

 

 

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