Cats and Music

Cats and Music


Cats enjoy music that uses similar frequencies to those used to communicate with other cats.


share Share

Ever wondered why your cats don't share your appreciation of Johann Sebastian Bach or aren't as enthusiastic to rock out to an old Led Zeppelin record? Turns out, it's not their style.

Cats, in fact, do enjoy music, but they don't enjoy human music — at least according to new research. A study recently published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science believes that for our feline friends to enjoy music, it has to be species-specific music.

The trick for getting pets to listen is composing music that fits into how the animal communicates, writes University of Wisconsin psychologists and study authors Megan Savage and Charles Snowdon. "We have developed a theoretical framework that hypothesizes that for music to be effective with other species, it must be in the frequency range and with similar tempos to those used in natural communication by each species."

To test their hypothesis, the researchers turned to musician David Teie to compose songs that would fit into those parameters, which resulted in the tracks, "Cozmo's Air," "Spook's Ditty," and "Rusty's Ballad." Testing 47 different domestic cats, the researchers played the cat-targeted songs and compared the felines' reactions to two human songs: Bach's "Air on a G String" and Gabriel Faure's "Elegie."

After their tests, the researchers found that the cats showed a "significant preference for and interest in" the cat-appropriate music compared to the two human songs, to which they didn't respond at all. The study also found that cat music also evoked better reactions from younger and older cats than middle-aged felines.

The research team wrote that these results "suggest novel and more appropriate ways of using music as auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals."


Effects of Music on Physical Performance

Listening to music while working out measurably improves physical performance.

Read More
Effects of Music

You don't like the original version of a song because it's better. You like it because it's the one you heard first.

Read More
Beatles

None of The Beatles could read music.

Read More
Music and Heartbeat

Your heartbeat is affected by the music you listen to.

Read More