This Music Calms Cats, But It Scares The Hell Out of Buddy

In case you didn’t know, music written specifically for cats is a thing.

I’d heard about it a while back, and the project seemed impressive: “Music for Cats” composer David Teie is a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, and he worked with animal behaviorists and veterinarians to come up with kitty-soothing sound textures and test the music’s efficacy on cats visiting the veterinarian.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery concluded “Music for Cats” could help our furry friends relax and ease their stress. Keeping in mind an earlier study that suggested cats prefer “feline-centric sounds,” Teie incorporated audio of events cats associate with happy times, like kittens suckling milk from their mothers.

Using Buddy as my test subject, I went to Youtube, selected the track Cozmo’s Air from “Music for Cats” and sat back, expecting Bud to start nodding his furry head at any moment.

Instead his ears pricked up, did their radar-dish swivel toward the speakers, and his eyes went wide. As the song gained volume and intensity, Bud’s ears and whiskers snapped back and he let out a clearly anxious “yerrrrrrrrrrppp!” I tried to calm him down, to no avail, and a second track didn’t improve things.

He wasn’t having it.

This pretty much sums up Buddy’s reaction to cat music. Credit: Creative Commons

Teie’s cat music is back in the news with the release of the Kickstarter-backed Music for Cats 2, and there are quite a few imitators on Youtube hawking their own supposedly cat-soothing musical efforts. (Though your cat might think she’s in Guantanamo Bay if you subject her to six-hour videos of “cat lullabies.”)

Should I test some of the new music on Buddy to see if he responds more favorably? And for our fellow readers and cat servants, have you played any of this stuff for your cats? If you have, how’d it work out?

5 thoughts on “This Music Calms Cats, But It Scares The Hell Out of Buddy”

  1. This sounds like a lot of unnecessary effort. What cats really want to hear is a bird feeder soundtrack, though I guess that would be a little impolitic in the office of a vet who also treats birds…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I never tried anything specific for cats. But I swear my cats have musical preference. My cat Chelsea liked The Everly Brothers and my cat Holly likes mid-late 1960’s stuff like Len Barry (even though she was named after Buddy Holly) Maybe it’s just my imagination. One thing’s for certain, though. Birds have definite musical preference. They tend to like high-pitched sounds, that emulates other birds chirping. My bird Micki enjoyed reggae.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A reggae-loving bird haha. That’s awesome. Buddy doesn’t respond well to anything heavy, but he seems to like a lot of the funk, soul and hip hop I play. I don’t recall exposing him to much classical.

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