Cats Listen to Cat Music at a Cat Cafe

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David Teie composes music for cats. Meow Parlour, a cat cafe in New York City, played the music for its cats to see how they would react.

Teie, a lecturer at the University of Maryland who co-authoried a study about how animals react to music and has composed music for cats, says he believes cats enjoy music, or at least display preferences.

Teie released three pieces made specifically for cats, using sounds that appeal to them.

“Any cat person knows each cat has its own personality, and it makes sense that it translates into musical taste,” Teie said.

The music imitates the pitch and tempo of sounds that naturally appeal to cats. Teie says a compilation of sounds such as purring, suckling and bird call are used to create the cat music.

“I can see the cats are really curious about it,” said Meow Parlour co-founder Christina Ha, who played the music for the cafe’s adoptable cats to see how they would respond.

The cats jumped up next to the speakers and stood close by, seemingly listening.

“I heard a lot of low cello music and bass,” Ha said. “I think they really like that.”

Positive responses to the music, according to Teie, include: “things like going toward the speaker, nuzzling the speaker, purring,” Teie said. “They do scent-marking when they like something, so they rub up against it.”

Teie says his music aids in our communication with cats.

“Not only can we care for [cats] better, but we can understand them better,” Teie said. “You have to understand their communication in order to write like this.”

Watch the cats at Meow Parlour (along with some cafe visitors) experience the music in this video report, where David Teie also speaks about his music for cats:

See also, our December 2014 post: Meow Parlour: Inside New York’s First Cat Cafe.


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