Music for cats: These songs are scientifically proven to be your cat's jam

Like 'sonic catnip', they were found to excite felines

Christopher Hooton
Tuesday 03 March 2015 12:47 GMT

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Louise Thomas

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Ever been playing your cat Drunk In Love and been disappointed by its lack of hollering and swooping dance moves? That's because you're playing it music that sounds nice to humans, not cats.

A team of scientists have written music that they found most cats respond to, a "little like sonic catnip" and using tempos and melodies originating from purrs and suckling.

In a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavioural Science, domestic cats did not respond when played human music, but upon hearing the specially-produced 'cat songs' became excited and started approaching the speakers and rubbing their scent glands on them.

The team uploaded three snippets on its website and is encouraging cat owners to play them and vote on their feline's favourite:

- Spook's Ditty

- Cozmo's Air

- Rusty's Ballad

"We looked at the natural vocalisations of cats and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices," lead author Charles Snowdon told Discovery News.

"Since cats use lots of sliding frequencies in their calls, the cat music had many more sliding notes than the human music."

As it happens, the music does sound pretty nice to humans too – Cozmo's Air could easily be an instrumental Bjork track.

"The results suggest novel and more appropriate ways for using music as auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals," the authors added with regards to potential uses for the research.

"A hundred years from now people will have to be taught that music was once available only to humans."

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