Scientists Create Cat Music!

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Scientists Create Cat Music!

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created music especially for cats! Cole and Marmalade give it a listen and their petdad tells us more about the project.

Petdad and video creator Chris Poole writes: I had to play it for Cole & Marmalade to see how they reacted, nothing spectacular but they did seem to be very calm while the music was playing 🙂

They were motivated to create music for cats for two reasons…

1. Many pet owners said that they play radio music for their pets while they are at work and they wondered if this had any value.

2. They’ve developed a theory that suggests that species other than humans can enjoy music but that the music has to be in the frequency range that the species uses to communicate and with tempos that they would normally use.

To create the cat music, the researchers tried to mimic natural cat sounds, using sliding notes and high pitches–cat calls tend to be an octave or more above human voices. They based the tempo of the songs on purring and suckling sounds.

Then came the moment of truth: the researchers tested their compositions on 47 male and female domestic cats in their homes. The kitties heard “Cozmo’s Air” and “Rusty’s Ballad,” along with two human music pieces for comparison: Gabriel Fauré’s “Elegie” and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on a G String.”

What happened? When the cat music was playing, the felines were significantly more likely to orient their heads toward it, walk toward it, and even rub up against the speaker!

They interpreted this as indicating that the cats showed purr-eference 🙂

Now that the researchers have found music cats seem to like, they think it may have some important applications, like soothing stressed-out shelter cats!

“We think of cats as highly independent of their human servants, but there is some research showing that cats experience separation anxiety, which is greater in human-raised cats than in feral cats,” – Charles Snowdon

An article describing the research has been accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science.

Listen to the “Meow-sic” here:

Watch as Cole and Marmalade listen to music created especially for cats:


Video by Chris Poole (click HERE for his Cole and Marmalade YouTube channel). For more wonderful videos by Chris at our site, click HERE.

You can follow Cole the Black Cat and Marmalade at their page on Facebook, Cole & Marmalade.

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