Music for cats. A real hit?

Cats need an awful lot of music – at least that’s what Disney’s “Aristocats” claim. But do our cats really like music? And if so, which genre do they prefer?

Grau getigerte Katze liegt auf einer Keyboard-Tastatur

It is generally known that cats hear better than humans. Cats not only perceive sounds that are outside the human range of perception because of their low volume. They also detect other frequencies. Whilst the human ear perceives only vibrations in the range between 16 and 20 kilohertz, cats can hear in the ultrasonic range up to 60 kilohertz. They pick up the vibrations not only with their ears but also through their paws and tactile hairs.

Classical music for cats. Love at first sound?

Science has discovered that cows respond particularly well to classical music. They relax to Mozart and give more milk. When it comes to cats, researchers have come to different conclusions. In one study, our feline friends didn’t react at all to classical music; in another, cats under anaesthesia for surgery calmed down noticeably to classical music and soft pop music, whereas AC/DC made their pulses beat faster. Even without scientific evidence, many veterinarians and cat owners are convinced that chill out music, calm classical compositions, or relaxation CDS have a calming effect on our feline friends. One thing is certain: One thing is certain: if we listen to music that makes us feel more relaxed ourselves, our feline friends will orient themselves to their human.

Sounds that cats love.

But are there perhaps also sounds that touch cats directly? Yes, there are. Together with scientists, the American cellist and orchestral musician David Teie has investigated which sounds are particularly appealing to cats. The result was that cats generally prefer to hear tones that are an octave higher than our usual pitches in “human” music. In Teie’s experience, the violin, cello, and keyboard are suitable instruments for producing cat music. Cats also seem to have a different preference than their owners when it comes to beat rate. We humans can relax best to music at 60 to 70 beats per minute (bpm) – the same as our heartbeat. Cats, on the other hand, love a beat rate of more than 1,000 bpm, which is the same as the beat of their purr. Finally, Teie found another sound that is pure music to cats’ ears: the sucking sound of drinking from its mother’s teats. The musician implemented his findings in composition under the title “Music for Cats”. So that humans could also tolerate this “cat music”, he added sounds that would not disturb cats and would be pleasant for their owners. And lo and behold: And lo and behold: in a scientific study, 77% of the feline subjects reacted positively or even relaxed to the work created especially for them.

Summary: Cats prefer it gentle

It’s clear to everyone that cats take tend to avoid loud, restless music – whether it’s heavy metal, techno, or jazz. You simply have to experiment whether your feline friend relaxes with soft classical compositions or chill out music (e.g. when spending time together on the sofa). If you play an instrument like a violin or keyboard, you can test whether you can please your cat with certain sounds. In any case: it’s important that you like the music yourself. Because your cat will come to rest only with a content person.