Does My Cat Like Music?

Here’s what he vibes with 🎶

do cats like music

Do you ever feel like your cat doesn’t fully appreciate that playlist you spent hours putting together?

It probably has you wondering if cats even like listening to music at all.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Amy Pike, a veterinarian from Animal Behavior Wellness Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and Dr. Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian working with Doggie Designer, to find out if cats actually like music.

Can cats hear music?

Your cat will definitely notice if you listen to a song on your Bluetooth speaker, even if the volume’s set pretty low.

“Cats can absolutely hear music, and their hearing is likely better than ours,” Dr. Pike told The Dodo.

Humans can hear up to 20,000 hertz, but cats can hear up to 64,000 hertz — meaning they can hear much higher frequencies than we can.

What music do cats like?

Cats don’t just hear music, they actually like it, too. And there are a few ways you can tell if your cat likes the music you’re playing.

“They won't run out of the room when it's playing,” Dr. Pike said. “It won't cause them agitation, and they will be relaxed and comfortable.”

According to a 2015 study in Applied Animal Behavior Science, cats tend to like music that includes sounds that are similar to the ones they use when they’re communicating — like chirping frequencies or purring rhythms.

Researchers call this “species-appropriate music.”

“The particular music may be soothing,” Dr. Pike said. In fact, a 2019 study showed that cats listening to cat-specific music showed decreased stress levels. That means it could be pretty helpful to play in the car if your cat gets stressed about going to the vet.

“[Looking] for species-specific music rather than human music may be best if you’re looking to comfort or please your cat while you’re away,” Dr. Bonk told The Dodo.

What are the best sounds to play for cats?

There isn’t one exact genre that all cats prefer, as some cats may like one type of music over another.

“Just like humans, there will be differences depending on the cat,” Dr. Pike said. “Some cats may like classical music, some may like country!”

But in general, most cats will prefer species-specific and cat-specific music to classical or country.

While it might be difficult to determine what types of cat-specific music your cat prefers (since he can’t tell you himself), there are definitely certain types of sounds that will energize your cat and other types that will calm him down.

“It seems that cats prefer music that is similar to a purr if they’re looking to calm themselves, or a bird chirping if they want stimulation,” Dr. Bonk said.

Calming music for cats

There’s actually calming music specifically designed for cats, which can be helpful to play when he’s having separation anxiety or is stressed in the car.

“Through A Cat's Ear is bioacoustically altered classical music that can help soothe and relax cats,” Dr. Pike said.

Try the Through A Cat’s Ear speaker with three hours of music from Amazon for $89.95

So music can be helpful to cats, but the music they like most might not sound like what you’re used to hearing.

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