Do Cats Like Music?

They say music soothes the savage beast.  Well, our cats may not be savage, but some of them do appreciate a good tune or two.  There are many reasons for our cat’s music appreciation.  Cats have been shown to to appreciate music.  Music has been proven to be a positive factor in a cat’s environment.  Good music is helpful to cats and their humans for  many reasons…

Cats and Music

All creatures respond to sound.  We are startled when there is a loud noise, such as thunder or the loud banging of a hammer.  Cats respond to our voices and we respond to their purring and meowing.

Mammals are wired for sound.  But does your cat like music?  Some animal shelters play classical music to soothe their residents, so there is some evidence that cats listen to human music for comfort at times.

So there is some evidence that cats like music and that one of their favorite types of music is classical music.  Cats respond to the music and tone of the music.  A gentle piano piece, like the Moonlight Sonata, may soothe your cat.  More lively music may rev her up to run and play with a favorite toy.

Cats Have Very Sensitive Hearing

Cat’s ears are very sensitive.  They use their keen hearing, as well as their sight, to be efficient hunters in the wild.  Cat’s ears are shaped like cones.  Their cone-shaped ears have two functions:  catch the sound and amplify it.

Cat’s ears amplify the sound two or three times within a certain range.  Since cats can also rotate their ears, they are able to lock onto sounds in their environment.  Another efficient hunting tool in the cat’s arsenal.

What Kind of Music Do Cats Like?

Since they have such finely tuned hearing, we would expect that cats would enjoy music.  But, being cats, we can also expect them to be a bit finicky. Some cats seem to tune into the music that their humans like, like classical music.

It is also possible that cats form attachments to certain tunes, possibly those that you played while they were kittens. Like their humans, they go through cognitive development stages as they grow and mature.

What happens in the first several weeks of your kitten’s life will influence behavior for many years to come.   So it’s possible that your love of Beethoven or the Beatles may influence music that your cat is happy to listen to.  Cats may also get songs stuck in their head the way their humans do.

Although your music might work for your cat sometimes, he might want to listen to some tunes composed especially for cats…

Music for Cats

There is actually a scientific theory that each species prefers a certain type of music based on the form of their vocalizations and the pattern of their brain development.  David Teie’s theory states that humans have a pulse in their music because we could hear our mother’s heartbeat while we were in the womb.

Cat’s could not hear their mother’s heartbeat, so their preferred music would not have a pulse in it.  His theory uses the sounds such as suckling for milk as a central sound in cat music.  Cat music is best composed of cat-centric sounds.  Cats show a preference for cat-centric music when it is played for them.  Amazing concept!

Cats Benefit from Music Therapy

If your cat suffers from anxiety or is easily startled, playing soothing music for even an hour a day can help to calm her nerves.  It should be quiet, gentle music.  This is called enriching music and is very good for indoor cats.  Cats who suffer from serious medical conditions can also be helped through music therapy.  Anxiety goes along with any chronic condition and music helps the cats to be calmer and to rest better.

There is evidence that music therapy also benefits feral cats.  The music may help abused cats or nervous strays to gain the confidence to approach a human who is trying to help.  It may also help a nervous cat to be more comfortable to approach a new owner.

Music Leads to a Happier Cat

There are some key times when your cat may benefit from soothing music in the environment. Music can block sounds that irritate or agitate your cat.  It can be played while your cat is left alone in the home to quell her anxiety.  It is also comforting to a cat settling into a new home and new surroundings.  Music can be used to attract your cat into a room that you want him to be in and to stay there.

Cats are very responsive to animal noises and can become very agitated indoors when they hear them.  Music can be used to block outdoor sounds from your cat’s hearing so he won’t be riled up and anxious to prowl at night.  This works for both city and country cats.  There are a good number of animal sounds in the more developed areas that we can’t hear with our limited human hearing that will excite your cat.

Music can also be used to soothe your cat while he is riding in the car.  Many cats become agitated and howl and meow while in the car.  Although he may have figured out that he is going to the vet, he also doesn’t like to motion and sounds that go along with the ride.  Playing a soothing tune will help to ease his anxiety and give him a more pleasant ride.

So, Keep on Rockin’

You and your cat may not see eye to eye on everything, but one thing you can agree on is a love of music.  Kitty may be agreeable to listening to your classical music for a while to chill with you.  It may ease his troubled mind when you are away at work or when he is not feeling well.  He may ask in return that you learn to appreciate his kind of music and hang out with him on the sofa to listen to some good cat tunes.

Please leave me a post and let me know how this is working with your cat.



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