Greetings music lovers of all stripes! Skye Blake here, with an intriguing concept… music for cats! Yes, we fabulous felines love soothing music just like you humans.
But we prefer tunes made specifically for our remarkable ears… I know I love ’em! Let’s discover more…
Science & Your Cat’s Musical Preferences
Scientific studies have been done with people music (from classical to heavy metal) to see how it affects cats.
These didn’t work out very well and the results were often conflicting and unclear.
Hey, have you ever known us cats to be anything but mysterious?
In 2015 a scientific paper was published by Charles T. Snowdon, Megan Savage (Dept. of Psychology, University of Wisconsin), and David Teie, a cellist and academic (School of Music, University of Maryland).
This was the conclusion of a study they did, using both special sounds and human music to study feline reactions.
The questions to answer were “Do cats respond to human music or to other sounds?” “If they respond, in what ways?”
So, David Teie created music designed especially for the feline ear and instincts, using frequencies, tones, and tempos that we kitties are familiar with in our daily lives.
It imitated purring, merps, and other cat sounds, along with squeaks of mice, tweets of birds, and tones from human instruments.
The sounds ranged from low to high frequencies, with specific tempos and rhythms.
The scientists had the cats listen to two different examples of each type of music (cat and human).
They evaluated both the cats’ behavior and the time it took for them to react to the music.
Examples of possible reactions are indifference, interest, rubbing the speakers, hissing, moving away, meowing, hiding, eye closing, falling asleep.
The results showed the cats significantly preferred cat music (familiar sounds) to human music.
An interesting point is that younger and older cats responded more than middle aged felines.1“Cats Prefer Species-Appropriate Music” by Charles T. Snowdon, Megan Savage, and David Teie, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 166, May 2015, pp. 106-111
“Cats-Only” Music & Vet Visits
Another study was published in 2019 by scientists at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University.
It was designed to see if feline stress levels are affected by silence, human classical music, and “cat-specific” music.
It was of particular interest to test this in the high-stress environment of a veterinarian’s office.
The scientists used three measurements to determine results during three different vet exams over a two week period. They are…
“…cat stress scores (CSSs), lower mean handling scale scores (HSs) and reduced neutrophil:lymphocyte ratios (NLRs) in cats during physical examinations”.2“Effects of Music on Behavior and Physiological Stress Response of Domestic Cats in a Veterinary Clinic” by Amanda Hampton, Alexandra Ford, Roy E. Cox, III, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, Feb. 12, 2019, PubMed
In one exam there was no music, another had classical and the third had music made for us kitties.
The results showed the stress and handling scores were significantly lowered with cat music vs. silence or classical music.
The NLR physiological measurement showed no difference between any of them. They responded to it in their behavior, without any physical effects.
The scientists concluded that hearing music made for cats has a calming effect before and during a vet exam.
This could be helpful in all kinds of stressful situations that we furballs hate!
It’s exciting to think of the possible uses this music might have for my fellow kitties. It could help us relax in scary places like shelters, cars, and vet offices.
It’ll be interesting to know if anybody’s trying this in combination with pheromones… hmmm.
I make a small commission on some of the links below… and I get to share profits with qualified cat rescues!
Check descriptions and reviews carefully for any products you wish to buy… quality, sizes, colors, etc., can’t be guaranteed by anyone but the manufacturer.
David Teie’s “Music For Cats”
David Teie, who created the music for the 2015 study, has an interesting website where you can find out more.
Mr. Teie donates his music to shelters and vet offices who don’t practice declawing of cats.
Get them as streaming, MP3 or Audio CD
Other Music for Cats
There are currently a few other soundtracks available that say they’re soothing and pleasant for both cats and people.
More Cat Culture
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|Cats In Books||Cat Culture|
|History of Cats||History of Veterinary Medicine|
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|Poems About Cats – Find Ones You Love!||Paintings of Cats|
|Cats In Movies|
Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.
Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.
Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.
Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own, however, sometimes they refer to primary sources.
When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.
List of Sources
“Cats Prefer Species-Appropriate Music” by Charles T. Snowdon, Megan Savage, Dept. of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, and David Teie, School of Music, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 166, May 2015, Pages 106-111,
David Teie’s Music for Cats, https://www.musicforcats.com/
“Effects of Music on Behavior and Physiological Stress Response of Domestic Cats in a Veterinary Clinic” by Amanda Hampton, Alexandra Ford, Roy E Cox, III, First Published February 12, 2019, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, Find in PubMed
Updated June 15, 2022