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What Kind of Music Do Cats Like? What Science Says

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on March 30, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Calico cat sandwiched between two speakers

What Kind of Music Do Cats Like? What Science Says

Cats do seem to enjoy music, but not the same music that humans do—according to the latest research. There are many other forms of soothing music that cats will enjoy listening to, but not all cats have the same preference.

Introducing music into your cat’s life can be entertaining, but it is important to play the right music to your cat. Cats do not care much for the type of music we like to listen to and instead seem to have specific preferences when it comes to the music they like.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about how cats respond to music and which types of music will engage their interest.


A Study on Cats’ Music Preferences

There was a study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour Science1 that stated that for cats to enjoy music, it must be species-specific music that meets the same frequency and vibration as sounds that are comforting for cats.

The University of Wisconsin psychologists and study authors Megan Savage and Charles Snowdown have a hypothesis that for music to be effective for cats, it must be conducted in their frequency range with similar tempos to that used with the animal’s natural form of communication.

cat is lying with music headphones
Image By: Ekaterina Kuzovkova, Shutterstock

To test the researcher’s hypothesis, they turned to a musician named David Teie to create songs that would fit into those categories. In this study, they tested 47 different domestic cats and played specific songs and then compared the cats’ reactions to two human songs.

After these studies, the researchers concluded that the cats showed a “significant preference and interest in” the cat-appropriate music compared to the humans’ songs that they played, to which the cats didn’t respond. In the study, they also found that cat-appropriate music evoked better reactions from both younger and older cats rather than middle-aged cats.

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Can Music Influence a Cat’s Mood?

It is believed that certain types of music can either lower or raise a cat’s stress levels. This can be seen by a cat’s reaction to music with heavy bass (such as rock and heavy metal music genres), which can cause cats to become agitated or distressed, whereas soothing classical music may have a calming effect on your cat.

This makes it important to choose music that your cat will enjoy and, more importantly, will not stress them out. Cats have very sensitive hearing and pick up on sounds and vibrations that might be overwhelming to them but sound like standard music for us.

Cats generally have no interest in the music you will listen to on the radio, even though most cat owners may leave the television or radio on when their cat is left alone so that there is white noise throughout the house.

Gray cat sitting on old music records
Image By: hrypov, Pixabay

What Type of Music Do Cats Like?

Cats enjoy listening to species-specific music. This type of music usually has frequencies that appeal to your cats, such as the sounds of birds or purring vibrations. Music can have a positive impact on your cat, especially if you play them the right type.

David Teie has a variety of different songs specifically made for cats that you can find on his website. This type of music is constructed for cats, and many cat owners have reported that their cats are more enthusiastic and relaxed when this music is played in comparison to human songs.

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Final Thoughts

Cats will appreciate listening to songs that fit into the category of natural sounds and frequencies, soft classical music, or songs specifically designed for cats. You may have to play different tunes to your cat to see which ones they respond to most positively, but most cat-targeted songs will influence your cat’s reaction.

Next time you decide to leave music on when you leave the house to ensure your cat is not left in silence, try playing the music they prefer and see if you notice a significant difference in how they react to the new music!

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Featured Image Credit: Anfesamo, Pixabay

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