What kind of music do cats like?

Domestic cats often appear distant and indifferent to their human companions. It’s pretty hard to make a cat show emotions or get excited about a lot.

However, this apparent apathy may be genetically programmed and cats may have more pronounced preferences and rejections than we thought. A recent internet report asked whether cats can indeed have a clear musical taste.

Now they probably don’t like or even approve of Cat Stevens or Cat Cora , but early studies indicate that cats may have definite musical preferences. Remember, not all of us love the same music styles and certainly not all cats will respond positively to a recent study published in the journal, Applied Animal Behavioral Sciences.

It seems that cats and other animals prefer “types of appropriate music” and no, that does not include Kattekrab disease. What kind of music do cats like? Robbie Gonzalez of i09.com reports that researchers found, to capture music and perhaps keep an animal’s attention, “It must be in the frequency range and at a similar pace to that used in natural communication by any species.”

It is possible that cat-suitable music mimics the rhythmic and tonal characteristics of a spider or kitten suckling on its mother’s teat. Almost like a lullaby! I know that my own cat is not interested in my kind of music and in fact it sometimes seems upset when I listen to music.

Feline fitting music, the tune, the researchers write, “has a pulse related to spinning of 1380 beats per minute with melodic sliding frequencies that cover 44% of the sample” (sliding frequencies can be found in a variety of cat voices but are not often found in human speech) 1.

“Cats showed a significant preference and interest in kind-suitable music compared to human music1.” Expressions of approval included spinning and orienting the head toward, moving toward, rubbing against, or sniffing at the speaker from which the music originated. “The results suggest new and more appropriate ways to use music as auditory enrichment for non-human animals,” conclude the researchers1.

I decided to test the theory with my own culturally deprived cat, Ritz. Ritz did not respond to a number of musical offers from my collection. In fact, he got up and walked away. But when I played examples of “feline fitting music,” he rubbed his face over the speaker and pressed his face to my computer.

Scientists have developed what they think is the first species-specific music for domestic cats by replicating sounds such as spider mites and meow to make original music2.

Listen to examples of the music they make. At least these studies give you the chance to experiment with your cats at home. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your vet – they are your best tool to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Resources:
Gonzalez, Robbie. “You can play this music for your cat (and your cat can really enjoy it).” Io9.com .March 4, 2015. Web.
Moss, Laura. “Scientists make music for cats.” Mother Nature Network . 27 February 2015. Web.

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