Cats Do Love Music, Because Science

cats music

Have you ever felt your cat silently judging you every time you rock out to that song you just love? Why the snobby look, why the feline body language equivalent of the word “meh”?

Don’t be sad. It’s just your cat’s taste in music is a little bit more… specialized and eclectic.

Nope, your cat is not really into Sigur Ros before they were cool, it’s just that your lovely fur baby is more into music that sounds closer to the way they communicate.

Researcher Charles Snowdon lead a team of two psychologists and a composer to do a truly lovely experiment at the University of Wisconsin. “We looked at the natural vocalizations of cats and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices,” he shares with Discovery News. “In order 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.”

The sound bites on their website are truly ethereal and dreamy. Listen to “Rusty’s Ballad” here:


Snowdon and his colleague Megan Savage worked with musician and composer David Teie, to create what they call “species-specific music”. They tested these sounds with a group of 47 domestic cats. When the researchers played human music, such as Gabriel Fauré’s “Elegie” and Bach’s “Air on a G String”, they simply stood by idly. (OMG, human music, so gauche.) But when they played the cat-centric compositions, the cats stood up and rubbed their faces into the speakers — which is pretty much the feline equivalent of “Aaaawyiiiis, this is great”.

Not all the compositions are gentle and soothing. Listen to  “Spook’s Ditty”, which kinda sounds like a frenetic chase around the giant canary cage:



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