Scientists have found that music can also have a calming effect on cats. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the songs are the right ones…
The fact that cats have extremely sensitive ears and can react sensitively to noise of any kind is not groundbreaking information for most. After all, cats’ hearing is one of the best among mammals: With a hearing capacity of up to 70,000 Hz, our beloved velvet paws perceive even quiet noises intensively and loudly.
For comparison: We humans with the best hearing ability – and only then – can hear just up to 20,000 Hz. A completely normal conversation between humans, therefore, sounds to the ears of a velvet paw, for example, almost like screaming. We don’t even want to imagine the sound of cat cooking pots falling on stone floors, or even loud techno beats.
Fascinating: Cats hear perfectly even in deep sleep. Important in the wild, when potential dangers lurk. But their extremely sensitive sense of hearing also pays off when it comes to looking for food: cats can even hear a mouse perfectly 20 meters away, which makes it much easier for them to choose a menu.
Music has a calming effect on cats
But don’t worry, you don’t have to turn your home into a dead-quiet zone to do something good for your cat. On the contrary, put in a CD for your purring roommate. Music? Yes, you read that right: Scientists have found that music has a calming effect on cats.
No wonder cats love to lazy around their cat beds when music is playing in the background.
Music for cats: How to make the right choice
Of course, you shouldn’t reach for the CD shelf indiscriminately or throw on the playlist that otherwise drives you to top performance in sports. With loud beats, booming bass, or booming drum sessions, no cat will, we can say for sure, fall into a relaxed deep sleep.
Cats prefer classical music
No, cats tend to like it quiet: A behavioral biology team led by Prof. Dr. Bubna-Littitz from the University of Vienna recently found out in various tests that gentle classic music is particularly popular with velvet paws. While the music was playing, the cats sat an unbelievable 655 times closer than 50 cm to one of the loudspeakers set up in the room or even on top of it than without or with the “wrong” music. The way they interact with each other also changed: Without music, the scientists recorded 28 cases of aggressive behavior among the 21 cats, but only twelve with soft classical music.
Read also: Advantages of Listening to Music in the Workplace
Compositions for the cat
A study that has made tone poets prick up their ears: Professor Charles Snowdon, a psychologist, and expert on animal behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has collaborated with professional cellist David Teie, who plays with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and at the University of Maryland Music teaches special “Music for Cats” composed – the world’s first album for cats.
The special feature: All songs sound in frequency ranges that are imperceptible to humans and in which cats communicate with each other. And purring noises were also incorporated into the pieces. So that masters and mistresses can also enjoy the pieces, the scientists have incorporated elements of conventional music.
The truly impressive result: A total of 77 percent of the cats showed positive or relaxed reactions to the cat sounds, while just 38 percent of all kitties reacted to conventional classical works such as Bach’s “Air in G major”. With that, Teie has pulled off a revolutionary coup that could please, uh, appease millions of cats around the world. It’s just a shame that the star cellist himself has a cat hair allergy suffers. Maybe he should consider sharing his home with an allergic cat.