Are you a lover of music and wonder if your cat feels the same? Maybe you’ve played music in front of them and noticed that they show little to no interest.
You might have flicked-on the radio, hoping that your cat will be entertained by the sound when you go out. There are even several videos and apps, which offer music for cats suffering from separation anxiety. But the question remains, “do cats enjoy music at all?”
Well, a lot of research has been done in this regard and scientists are discovering a lot of truths about cats and music.
Many believe cats do not like music, but far from that, cats may simply prefer something more on their wavelength.
Do cats perceive music?
As excellent hunters, cats have all their senses designed for that purpose. They feel their environment via the sensitive hairs on their front paws, and they approach their prey without making any sound.
More so, cats are purring seismographs- they can perceive even the slightest of vibrations that humans may not even recognize. Cats’ hearing is developed to an extent that they can hear even a slight peep of a mouse.
The interesting part is that they can hear a very low sound even when they are fast asleep. This is natural for them because, in the wild, they become easy prey to their predators during nap time.
It is no doubt that cats perceive music, even if the composer makes the lowest sound possible.
Extremely sensitive hearing
The ears are always open as opposed to the eyes, so if you make too loud sounds when sharing a flat with your feline friend, the cat would most-likely choose flight over fight- meaning they will run to a quiet place.
Cats have extremely sensitive hearing, and it is far better than that of a dog.
The ears of cats consist of 64 single muscles (32 in each ear) and this helps them move the ear quickly in all possible directions. Most times, they don’t even have to move their head before they hear sounds.
Animals can hear sounds ranging up to 20 kHz to 1.6 GHz, and this is too high for humans- we can only hear sounds between the frequencies of 16 Hz to 20 kHz.
Cats can estimate where a sound is coming from within seconds because their ears are movable and rotate up to 180 degrees.
However, cats suffer hear-loss as they grow older. And this is mainly because blood circulating to the ear reduces and this makes them hear less. At this point, you’ll realize that your cat expresses more jumpiness because they do not hear any sound.
Music produces a calming effect
Many veterinarians use music to calm animals down to make things easier for them. This is mainly because music has an influence on emotions, and it is been proven to work on cats.
Some special types of music are very effective for calming cats. When they hear this music, they quickly relax.
Some relaxing music also helps to clear out stress accumulated from different situations, such as long car trips or New Year’s Eve.
What kind of music do cats love?
Now that we know that cats enjoy some kinds of music, the question you might want to ask is “what kind of music do our feline friends love? Well, many scientists have asked themselves the same question and the good news is that they found the answer.
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin made research and took a closer look at how cats react to a variety of music initially created for humans. The result showed that cats prefer a special kind of music that is pleasant to their ears.
The scientists discovered that the sounds that are pleasant during the first week of childhood remain the most enjoyable for cats.
During the first week of birth, kittens can’t hear or see and they are well-fitted with a number of survival reflexes. It is only in the second week after birth that they begin to perceive their environment with their senses.
The first rhythm they perceive is the vibration of their mother’s heartbeat or the noises they make when sucking. These sounds are often connected with security and comfort.
The purring and sucking noises are the top sounds that lead the feline charts. That said, cats like sounds that have a higher octave than the human voice because they like to communicate in rather higher frequencies.
So if you want to compose music for cats, ensure you include instruments with a high pitch. Some good examples of these instruments include cello, violin, and electronic keyboard.
However, apart from the tone, the tempo and dynamics also matter in making music that sounds pleasant to cats. The purring sounds alone creates 1000 beats in a minute. The tempo and structure of this sound create music that is pleasant for cats.
That said, you need to note that cats don’t like noise. So repeated staccato rhythms, aggressive sounds don’t sound right to your cat’s ear. More so, they are not heavy metal, techno, and trash fans- so if you intend to do any of these, you can stick to your headset to avoid stressing your cat.
Songs that soothe your cat
Now that we know that cats enjoy music, you might want to know cats’ favorites or their ideal chill-out music.
When it comes to songs that are de-stressing for cats, great options include classical songs by Baroque composers like Georg Friedrich and Johann Sebastian. These songs appease and relax cats.
The soft, harmonious sounds promote relaxed breathing and calm your cats, leading to a well-balanced heartbeat.
You can try playing sounds and frequencies that are natural, such as the sound of sea waves. This helps both cast and humans to relax. Its frequency resembles the breathing rhythm during sleep, and we subconsciously connect it with rest and relaxation.
Composed music for cats
Various scientists conducted research on the musical taste of cats, and the results were used to compose music in frequencies that are pleasant for cats. These compositions also include conventional musical elements to make them enjoyable for both humans and cats.
Composers like David Teie, Charles Snowdown, or Oliver Kerschner, created species-specific music that cats love so much.
Cats have incredible senses that are tuned to sound that even a deaf one can pick up vibrations in the air through their whiskers. Our feline companions first find comfort in the sound of the mother’s purr, and gradually grows to love the world around them. When you play the music that carries a feline-appropriate tone, tempo, and pitch, your cat would rub up against a speaker as a sign of enjoyment. And they transfer their scent in this manner when they love something.
As the world of research continues to expand, there is a whole range of cat music to play to your feline friend, helping to enrich their experience of the world. Besides, good and cat-friendly music provides the mental stimulation that helps your cat to de-stress.