Mews and Nips: Cats Don’t Like Human Music


Research has shown that cats respond to music. A study at Colorado State University is investigating whether classical music could make veterinary visits less stressful for cats, and it’s been shown that music and sound therapy techniques can calm feline anxiety. My own highly scientific research has proven that cats to not enjoy loud heavy metal, and as a result, I only play this particular genre in my car… A new study recently published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science believes that in order for our feline friends to enjoy music, it has to be species-specific music. When played songs developed specifically for cats, researchers found that the cats showed a “significant preference for and interest in” the cat-appropriate music compared to the two human songs that were used as a control. For more information on this fascinating study, please visit

If you missed any of the stories featured on The Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Sunday, we told you why it’s good for you and your cats to cross the challenge line, on Monday, we explored chylothorax, a rare condition in cats, on Tuesday, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, on Wednesday, we introduced you to a new book that helps children understand cats better, on Thursday, we covered Operation Catnip, an organization that trains veterinarians to help community cats, and on Friday, we reviewed No Better Medicine: How Caring for Critters Helped Heal the Wounds of the Past.

The cat in today’s video has purrfected the art of relaxation!

I hope your weekend is equally as relaxing!

Image via

16 Comments on Mews and Nips: Cats Don’t Like Human Music

  1. Ka Eaton
    March 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm (6 years ago)

    My cat loves whatever noise she hears, especially family/toddler
    and any uplifting music.
    She reacts when there is violence or angry/attacking animals by leaving the room. She also leaves the room if it is too loud.

    We talk to her and tell her its okay and we can just turn it off.
    Nat Geo is just too much sometimes
    and there is a complaining stray animal in some reality shows.
    Bears do scare here as do birds
    though at home she is fluent in bird, squirrel, duck and frog
    and will tempt them from her window.

    She likes discussing these things and many more.
    She is a very conversational cat.
    “No Out” and “go scratch your chair” she really understands.
    Bella is an active part of our family.

    She is very likely media spoiled like the rest of us
    and lets us know if there is too much silence.
    She has a preference for symphonic instrumental music
    but is not limited to that.
    She rolls around the floor and just listens to an entire soundtrack with her eyes closed.
    She will get bored with the same programming over and over
    and mew in protest.
    I tried a lot of musicians on her
    and she appears to prefer Michael Jackson more than anyone else.
    We all react to sound, even our animals.
    Every now and then she races and leaps around to sports programming
    She will look for the cats mewing on TV or film and
    she will try to answer a doorbell or let us know there’s a phone ringing.
    She stands by the TV until we turn it on if she wants to listen to it.
    She rarely watches it.
    She was a feral cat and adopted us…
    I can only imagine how picky domestics are!
    But any cat owner knows all this.
    You don’t need a study for that.
    Just saying’….

    • Ingrid
      March 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm (6 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing your kitty’s audio experience with us!

  2. Gail
    March 21, 2015 at 11:12 pm (6 years ago)

    My late cat, Thomas, had definite taste in music. He preferred acoustic guitar and was a particular fan of Steve Carlson, swinging his tail to the beat. My sister thought I was crazy until she saw him doing it and his tail swing change with the song. If he had to ride in the car he insisted we listen to “his” music, yowling loudly until I put it on, then riding quietly once it began playing. My current cats have no opinion.

    • Ingrid
      March 22, 2015 at 6:19 am (6 years ago)

      Thomas sounds like he was an amazing cat, Gail.

  3. Sue Brandes
    March 21, 2015 at 9:01 pm (6 years ago)

    So interesting. I have never noticed if mine like a certain kind. I will have to try and see.

  4. Diane Ashton
    March 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm (6 years ago)

    Very interesting stuff! My cats noticed the cat music, as I listened to the PBS links. Routinely, my yellow tabby sits on or near the clock radio, waiting for local classical music- part of morning routine!

    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm (6 years ago)

      That’s interesting that your cats noticed the music used in the study, Diane.

  5. Dorothy
    March 21, 2015 at 9:51 am (6 years ago)

    I play and listen to primarily traditional Irish/Celtic/Americana. One of my cats HATES the fiddle. When I start to play she will immediately come over and start batting my leg, claws extended. I have to put her in a room and shut the door. I try not to take it personally! 🙂

    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm (6 years ago)

      Everybody’s a critic, Dorothy… 🙂

  6. Steve howard
    March 21, 2015 at 8:59 am (6 years ago)

    We play classical at the shelter to sooth the animals. Our vet tech loves heavy metal but doesn’t make them listen to it.

    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2015 at 5:22 pm (6 years ago)

      We used to play classical music at one of the animal hospital I worked at, and it seemed to help soothe the animals.

  7. MittensMom
    March 21, 2015 at 8:56 am (6 years ago)

    Haha my kitties don’t seen to mind rock music abd metal too much, as long add I keep the volume down.

    What’s funny is, many years ago, I used to have a parakeet who had very clear taste in music. Guns N’Roses, loved them and used to whistle along! Ozzy Osbourne, she would squawk and flap her wings until I turned it off. Every. Single. Time! It was totally funny.

    You’ve gotta love the fur/feathered children. 😀

    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm (6 years ago)

      Wow, your parakeet sure knew what she liked when it came to music!

  8. Janine
    March 21, 2015 at 8:22 am (6 years ago)

    I know my cats don’t like rock music either. I can tell by the way they lay low to the ground. But with country music, they don’t seem to mind as much. My ex used to play guitar and we actually had one cat that used to stand up and reach for him like he was trying to tell him to stop.

    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm (6 years ago)

      Maybe your cat wanted to play the guitar? 😉

      • Janine
        March 22, 2015 at 7:48 am (6 years ago)

        You never know 🙂


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