Do Cats like Music?

Do cats like music – is a question that has haunted people for long, especially cat owners. Animals show diverse response to music, while music is almost universally enjoyed among humans. However, a few scientific studies have favored the feeling of many cat owners that their pets love music.

The University of Lisbon Study

It has been scientifically proven that cats find the sound of classical music relaxing for their ears. A study conducted by the University of Lisbon scientists included making cats listen to music through headphones placed on their ears. They were put under anesthetic, and their pupil movements and breathing were monitored. When the cats were made to listen to the classical piece ‘Adagio for Strings’ by Samuel Barber for a focused burst of 2-minute period, they found that listening to it made a prominent difference to the animals, making them more relaxed. When scientists conducted feline tests to check the type of music preferred by cats the best, they found that ‘Adagio for Strings’ had the best effect, much better than ‘’Thunderstruck’ of AC/DC and ‘Torn’, the micro-hit of Natalie Imbruglia.

A veterinary surgeon associated with the University of Lisbon, Dr Miguel Carreira, informed the Journal of Feline Medicine that during his consultations he found most cats enjoying classical music, especially the compositions of George Handel – which made them more tolerant, confident and calm all through the entire clinical evaluation.

The Charles Snowdon-Megan Savage study

A study conducted by a University of Wisconsin-Madison psychologist, Charles Snowdon, and a SUNY-Binghamton Ph.D. student, Megan Savage, showed that cats display a positive response to music. The two went to as many as 47 homes with cats and then played music, which included 2 classical songs – two of them being developed for cats. When the two played the classical songs being developed exclusively for felines, the cats were likelier to rub against the speaker or at least move to it. Both old and young cats were found to make a positive response to the cat songs, while those in the middle-age group displayed more indifference. This study was posted earlier this year in the Applied Animal Behavior Science journal.

It could be argued that the liking for music is subjective in cats, and differs across felines. Play different types of music and check which type your cat enjoys the most. Avoid playing the music that your cat seems to hate, and play the ones that they like the most – although not too loudly.