By Brian Ives
A new study reports that cats enjoy music. It just has to be music made with cats in mind. Like human children, they don’t like your music, they like their music.
According to Discover News (via Science Alert), the study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science, says that cats respond favorably to music recorded specifically for their species. This, apparently, adds to the growing body of evidence that many animals respond favorably to species-specific music. Who knew?
How is music catered to a specific species? By taking into account each particular animal’s favorite sounds, hearing range and commonly used tone, among other factors. In the case of cats, that means music that sounds like purring.
The report’s lead author, Charles Snowdon of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, told Discovery News that “We looked at the natural vocalizations of cats, and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices. We incorporated tempos that we thought cats would find interesting — the tempo of purring in one piece and the tempo of suckling in another — and since cats use lots of sliding frequencies in their calls, the cat music had many more sliding notes than the human music.”
Most of the cats observed started rubbing against the speakers; cat owners will recognize that behavior as the cat’s way of “claiming” something as theirs, which they do with objects or people that they like.