Friday 7 January 2022

Music To Their Ears

Roll over Beethoven. This might not be the first song you would pick when you want to chill out, but I'm assured it's music to the ears for kitty.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US say cats hate music made by humans so they have composed what they claim is a cat-friendly tune that has a positive effect on your pet.

It might sound to you like a seven-year-old practising his violin lessons while kitty purrs in the background but to cats it's top of the pops. It's an octave higher than most human music which, says the scientists, suits cats' extra sensitive hearing. The tempo is that of purring.

In an experiment they played excerpts of classical musical to 47 felines in their own homes before trying out their own catty composition. The university researchers found the reaction was far more positive to their  music rather than to composers like Mozart.

They suggest the music could be used at rescue shelters, catteries or zoos for those who use music to try and stimulate animals in various forms of captivity.

Psychology professor Charles Snowdon, who led the study, said: "We are not actually replicating cat sounds. We are trying to create music with a pitch and tempo that appeals to cats."

When played classical music, there was little or no reaction from the cats studied and when they did react, it took an average of 171 seconds to show signs they noticed the music. But when played the specially composed tunes, the cats purred and walked towards the speaker and rubbed against it - all positive behaviour in the world of cats - and after an average response time of 110 seconds.

Owners who play human music to cats to try and calm them or stimulate them, run into two problems, said Professor Snowdon. Either the cats don't hear it because of the pitch or they do hear it but do not regard it as "music".

We weren't too sure about this composition so who better to review it than our very own Carlton Cat? Take a look at his review  here.

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  1. Some people wonder about interesting things...

  2. I'm surprised that that is in a range cats like. Seems kind of shrill to us, and such tones that show up - say in a snatch of TV commercial - don't seem to interest my crew.

  3. Three of my cats were in the room when I played this and none of them responded to it. :)

  4. I've heard of this fascinating study. Thank you for sharing this reminder.


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