Do your pets like music?

In this post, Marley linked to a video of an elephant jamming with a pianist. (It’s in an elephant sanctuary and entirely voluntary, no cruelty, no worries.)

It reminded me of how my dog likes the piano. If she had a trunk that would be her.

She loves the guitar and the piano, both live. Pick up the guitar or sit down at the piano, and she’ll be there right away. It soothes her when she’s frightened of thunder or fireworks. It also helps when my sister plays her happy folk music on the guitar and sings. She seems to really like that.

Her best dog friend, a spaniel called Floppy, has an owner who is a very accomplished pianist and has a grand piano. If we go to their house after a walk both dogs run straight to the piano and crash under it, hoping for some music. It’s very sweet.

Music from speakers doesn’t seem to have the same effect. It works for far away thunder so she can’t hear it, but she doesn’t really like it particularly, I don’t think. I wonder if sound through speakers sounds different to her? We tried a thunder cd that slowly gets louder to try to get her used to the sound, and it never bothered her at all. I always wondered if it didn’t work because she hears sound from speakers differently.

My cat never seemed to react to music, I don’t think she cared.

Anyone else notice their pets reacting to music?

One of my cats is very attentive when I try to play the harmonica. I think she likes it. She doesn’t care when I sing or play the piano, ukulele, or recorder.

My dog doesn’t seem to notice or care one way or the other.

I used to play the flute, haven’t done it in years now, but I did play a short piece once that appeared in an English history text my husband was using in class (he’s a middle school teacher). He asked me to do it because he wanted to know what it sounded like. We had our first dog then, and the pup looked at me like I’d suddenly gone nuts – why was I making that strange sound??

One of our other, later dogs was OK with classical music but rock or anything more frenetic would make him restless. And forget about using the surround sound system for watching movies - anything with street noise would freak him right out.

The other dogs have been neither here nor there regarding music.

My Conure (who has the oh-so-creative name “Sunny”) loves to dance to music, especially songs with strong beats. She bobs her head and sways side to side, not unlike this Conure. I’ve found that she likes AC/DC a lot.

My mother’s first rescue-dog loved to listen to her tapes of Big Band/Swing music, hated my rock n’ roll (now called Classic Rock) and loved to sit nearby with her head facing me when I was playing the guitar (teaching myself and trying to transition from acoustic folk to electric blues/rock).

My mother’s second rescue-dog hated Swing/Big Band, loved my Classic Rock, and hated hearing me practice blues/rock on electric or acoustic guitar.

I never understood how they developed their appetites for music.


When I clean the house, I put fairly loud music on the surround sound in the living room and get to work. It seems to really relax my golden retriever - she stays in the living room and snoozes.

In fact, I just got done cleaning and I’m in the office on the computer and she’s still out there curled up on the couch.

She is very scared of noises for which she can’t identify the source - thunder, beeping, dogs barking behind doors. I think being encapsulated in a surround-sound of noise soothes her somehow.

She is, however, not fond of my baritone horn one bit.

I had a cat that was really into music. As soon as I turned it on she liked to settle into her cat bed near the speaker, close her eyes, and concentrate on the music.

I left her with my parents when I went on vacation but didn’t mention the music thing to them. When I came back, the first thing they told me was, “You know she really likes music!”

I can make cats run and hide while singing. Of course, I’d run too if I wasn’t wearing headphones.

This is really interesting, I’ve not thought of it before. I don’t think I’ve ever had a critter respond to music from speakers. Some of them do respond to music from people, though.

I had a cat once that liked techno music. She’d hop up onto the stereo and lay there with her tail twitching, just blissful. The more bass, the more she seemed to like it. No other music seemed to appeal to her, just thumping bass lines and little to no singing.

She hated it when I whistled or played harmonica. She’d try to climb on my head and bite my hair to make me stop. She didn’t care either way about guitar or piano.

An odd cat, more neurotic than most. She liked seltzer water. Liked to worm her way into the sleeves of my old sweatshirts and then chew on the cuffs until they were threadbare. Crazy cat. :slight_smile:

My cat seems indifferent to music. I blast it throughout the day and night, she ignores it and often sleeps right next to the speakers. Unless I sing in French. Then she loses her mind. Flat ears, attack stance. I sometimes lie in bed and sing French folk songs to her. She pounces on me and puts her paws on my mouth. Then I laugh hysterically and she gets a belly rub.

To be fair, I don’t think it’s the singing. She doesn’t like it when I speak French either. That cat does not like French. Pauvre petit chat. She is going to be unhappy with me over the next few months as I try to brush it up.

My cockatiel loves music, from the march from Aida to Freddie the Freshman, and he likes to riff on them. He knows the songs and it’s obvious that he’s playing around the tune, like he’s playing jazz. It’s off-putting.

My cats don’t react to recorded music, buut they hate being near me when I play the clarinet.

I had a clarinet teacher whose cat didn’t mind clarinets being played at all - except when my teacher played the cat’s theme from “Peter and the Wolf”!

Same here. Although they seem edgy when I put music on in the car (maybe too loud) but books on tape they have no problem with.

Good question. I’d guess with my dog it’s just that she grew up with a guitar and piano around, and when they’re being played it’s always a happy, relaxed, everyone-is-together time.

Like when cleaning the kitchen after a big meal I would let my little sister off cleaning if she played for us and we’d all sing along. Jana, my lab, would be there with us in the kitchen. Those are happy times.

I guess it must be something like that, because she doesn’t seem to mind that the piano in our damp holiday cottage is out of tune! :stuck_out_tongue: So possibly for her it’s the association of everyone enjoying themselves and being relaxed?

(Or maybe she actually has very nuanced & elaborate musical taste, who knows!! :smiley: )

Our cat absolutely hates it when I start practicing guitar. She meows pitifully and runs to another room. :frowning:

My late parakeet loved the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth. He always tweeted along with the timpani. I can’t listen to it now without anticipating his contribution.

He hated “1999” by Prince. One day while I was out, the radio station played the song over and over and over for a prank. He was really steamed about that.

I have an image in my head of a pack of wolves howling at the moon. Then the camera pulls back a little to show another wolf off to the side playing a guitar. :slight_smile:

Ha, too true! We were quite distantly related to Bach, but my grandmother was adopted. Dunno how my sister ended up with any musical talent, but the rest of us are just howling at the moon! :smiley:

I keep parrots and they respond to music. Steve bird hated country music and would bite anyone if he heard it. He could do call and response jazz riffs, transpose melodies to different keys when he whistled, and whistle the X-files theme forward and backwards. George the conure divided his love equally between Phillip Glass and the guy who tuned our piano. George hated Johnny Cash and would try to scream him into submission. Jeff bird loves pop music, and will stop whatever he is doing to dance to “Dynamite” by Tiao Cruiz. All of the love live music rehearsal, heavy metal, and being held at microphone distance while you sing loudly at them.