Most of us cat owners believe that our cat appreciates our taste in music when we make her sit by the piano, or leave on the FM to keep her company, or play classical to soothe their anxiousness. However, many of us witness that they are absolutely indifferent or at times react wildly to sounds that are considered music for human ears. This raises a very natural question that can cat understand music? For humans, music is an important aspect of human experience and expression. Do cats experience sound in the same way as we do?
A sophisticated sense of hearing
When it comes to cats, they have a very acute and sophisticated sense of hearing. Even a deaf cat can catch vibrations in the air on her whiskers. However, there are two fundamental factors that provide some insight into the question, do cats like music? These two factors are the sense of hearing and a different sense of perception. If you talk in terms of frequency, cats can listen to sounds that are two octaves higher than humans. Our average frequency is often too low for cats and since they have very sensitive hearing, certain sounds in our composition of sounds can be extremely irritating for cats. ( Read more – Why Do Cats Drink From Showers ?)
Another aspect is that they have a different way of perceiving sounds than humans. The meaning of certain sound is different for cats. For example, the sound of birds might mean a beautiful morning or a pleasant scene for us. But for cats, the sound of bird might subconsciously mean food. Similarly, the sound of a harp and our words might not mean much to a cat, thus, the indifference. ( Read more – Why Your Cat Stares At You? )
Of cats and music
Based on these two factors, research led by Professor Charles Snowdon created music which was pleasant for the cats. The team created an arrangement of sound on a frequency which was an octave higher than our frequency. The sounds included sounds of purr, suckling, birds, and a lot of sliding notes. The results were amazing. It was observed that cats were more interested, they approached the speakers and rubbed themselves against the speakers. Some cats curiously enquired and sat silently along with the speakers. ( Read more – Why Do Cats Bite? )
It was noted that this music for cats reduced stress level in cats significantly. Thus, it is safe to conclude that yes cats can hear music, it’s just that it might not sound exactly like ours. Further research is still going on as to understand how cats perceive music and create devices that can help with depressed, anxious and frustrated cats.