Cats want their own music

As more animal shelters, primate centers and zoos start to play music for their charges, it’s still not clear whether and how human music affects animals.

Now, a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that while cats ignore our music, they are highly responsive to “music” written especially for them. The study is online at Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

“We are not actually replicating cat sounds,” says lead author Charles Snowdon, an emeritus professor of psychology. “We are trying to create music with a pitch and tempo that appeals to cats.”

The first step in making cat music is “to evaluate music in the context of the animal’s sensory system,” he says. Cats, for example, vocalize one octave higher than people, “So it’s vital to get the pitch right. Then we tried to create music that would have a tempo that was appealing to cats.” One sample was based on the tempo of purring, the other on the sucking sound made during nursing...

h/t Gary Rumain

  • David Murrell

    Didn’t scientists experiment with animal behavior as to their responses to different forms of music? E.g, didn’t scientists play soothing classical music to pregnant gorillas — vs. rock and roll — and didn’t the gorilla babies born to classical music turn out healthier? I though this type of research has been done, proving the superiority of classical music.

    Certainly new born gorilla babies born to rap music would turn out mentally retarded.

    p.s. The pic above seems to show a happy cat.

    • mobuyus

      How right you are about rap “music”. That’s the stuff that fueled mike Brown and Ferguson it also fuels thousands of criminal acts and also used in recruitment of idiots and imbecils for jihad.

      • ntt1

        Yep every time I hear rap I get the urge to steal cars and smack up ma bitches

        • Raymond Hietapakka
          • Justin St.Denis

            Unlike chanting monks doing classical music, all islamic jihadi songs sound exactly the same.

            AH-Ooom Durka Durka allah
            AH-Ooom Durka Durka allah
            Durka-boom, Durka boom-boom
            Durka boom-boom BOOM-BOOM
            Allahu akbar

            Ring any bells?

  • Observer

    This goes to prove too much public money is spent on useless “research” by fringe professors.

    • I don’t know if Pip would feel the same way. 🙂

    • ntt1

      too much money is spent on fringe professors .

  • Dana Garcia

    Fantasy bird sounds? I’m trying to listen with a kitty brain.

  • ntt1

    forget the cadence of purring or suckling, my cats would respond well to a looped base of a cat meat tin being opened. then maybe an overlay of distressed shrieks from little furry creatures.

    • Justin St.Denis

      My sister-in-law has a very odd cat, slate grey in colour, with a very long tail. The cat is named “Stupor” because that is exactly how the cat acts whenever an opera CD is played – mesmerized and in a stupor. It’s the weirdest thing. Stupor absolutely loves Sarah Brightman! Cecilia Bartolli is another favourite. No kidding.

      • ntt1

        my cats will come and watch any show if there are sirens, being Siamese they might be picking up rude subliminals from the fire trucks, who knows?

        • Justin St.Denis

          They probably think they are hearing one of their feline sisters in heat. Your cats are either horny or empathetic. 😉

          • ntt1

            hard to say ,they keep this mysterious felines thing going pretty strongly.

  • ED

    just played it to my 3 cats here in the lounge , 6 ears not a twitch , yet they know my cars engine note ,also the click of the electric car park gates , [they don`t want me, just the food the butlers brought home ]

  • Xavier

    Mine like I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, especially when sung by Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

    • Frau Katze

      Good taste, your kitties have.

  • Minicapt

    No Cat Stevens?