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Monday, October 12, 2009

Pet Acoustics app: Worth $1.99?

When it comes to spending $1.99 in the name of science, I'm hesitant. Call me cheap.

But the selling point for Pet Acoustics' new iPhone and iPod Touch app was ultimately this paragraph in its news release:
Animals have extremely sensitive hearing that includes different ranges than their human companions. Janet Marlow, composer and the leading authority on music for animals, has created a musical genre that soothes your pet with separation anxieties, for thunderstorm nerves or just for calm in their living environment. Using limited frequencies, non-jarring volumes, and rhythms designed for an animal’s acute hearing, Pet Acoustics fills your pets’ environment with a sense of safety and balance and calm.
Now if there's anything I wish for my spoiled cats, it's a sense of safety and balance and calm. So I forked over the $1.99, hooked up to a WiFi connection and downloaded the thing.

Its selections vary: music for dogs alone, cats alone, horses alone, dogs and cats, My Dog and Me, My Cat and Me, and My Horse and Me, as well as specific tunes to ease trauma caused by thunderstorms, alone time, car travel, vet visits, grooming, training, boarding, animals shelters, injury and abuse, owners who play silly music for them...

OK, all but the last one.

Other features: various timers (assumably for iPod Touch users, because not in a million years would I leave my iPhone home for my cats to use), hearing analysis for all three types of animals, and environment and best use recommendations for each track.

So now the test. I walked into my kitchen, where Muppet was happily eating some kibble, and started "Dreams," suitable for rest time, introducing your cat to another pet, thunderstorms, kennel stay-overs, sitters' feeding time, a call to come in for the get the picture.

Did it work?

Well, it's hard to say.

Muppet went on chewing. Sister did bound out of the bedroom, but only because she thought I was about to give her a treat. I was in the kitchen, after all.

Marlow says feline hearing is three times greater than human hearing, which explains why Sister's always at the door when I open it. Apparently cats don't have such visible responses to music, though.

Leave those to Muppet's favorite high-tech toy, the Cat Sitter DVD. She eats it up. And yes, I have actual proof of that.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,


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