Pet Sounds: What Does Your Cat Want to Listen To?

Monday September 24, 2018 Written by Ronan

We know that cats can hear different frequencies to what our human ears pick up. But what do they like hearing? It’s a question that’s plagued humankind for minutes, at least, and thanks to a recent study we have the answer.

Published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science this February, the paper aimed to design “auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals.” Composing music that cats can dig, in other words. The idea is that for music to be enjoyed by animals, it needs to fall within the frequency and tempo range used in their normal barks and mews.

The song the scientists came up with, which combines purring, gentle squeaking and a ghostly rhythm, sounds like Icelandic post-rock meets a nursery rhyme. Played backwards. You can hear it for yourself here.

Interestingly, their tests showed that younger cats responded more actively to the music than middle-aged ones. We can only assume this proves that cats turn into tiresome music snobs as they age, just like humans do.

Image: Corbis