Philadelphia Orchestra director creates playlist for shelter animals

The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director has gone to the dogs. And the cats.

Yannick Nezet-Seguin has curated a playlist for four-legged friends that's being piped into the shelter at the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA).

He debuted the playlist at the shelter last week. He says he was inspired by watching his own cats' reactions to music and wanted to create a soothing atmosphere for the shelter pets.

Yannick and his partner, violist Pierre Tourville, are self-proclaimed animal lovers who have three cats: Rodolfo, Melisande and Rafa.

"I couldn't resist the opportunity to blend my love of music with my love of animals," said Nezet-Seguin. "Seeing the way my own cats react to the music we play at home, and learning from the PSPCA the benefits of music in shelters, I wanted to do my part to make the experience for the loving animals at the shelter a little bit better while they wait for their forever homes."

Scientific research has shown classical music is beneficial for a wide range of animals, including dogs and cats, by creating a calming environment that hopefully will make them more likely to be adopted.

"A shelter is a very unnatural place for these animals to be residing for any length of time," said Kayla Dorney, PSPCA behavior and enrichment coordinator. "Anything we can do to create a calmer space for them, putting them in a better state of mind, will help shorten their stay and ultimately find them their forever families."

The playlist, consisting of 326 songs for a total of 34 hours, now plays on loop at the PSPCA headquarters in North Philadelphia.

Among Nezet-Seguin's suggestions are Chopin's nocturnes, which he says are ideal for afternoon cat naps.

Nezet-Seguin's playlist is available on Apple Music and Spotify. He also provides a personal note with each selection highlighting why he chose the work.

Those interested in donating to the PSPCA can do so here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.