Do Cats Like Music? It Depends…

Do cats like music? This one seems to be enjoying what's playing into his headphones.

Do cats like music? It depends on the music and the cat.


I have to admit I’m feeling a bit guilty. For years, I’ve been recommending that people leave a radio or TV on for their cats so the house won’t be so quiet when they’re out of town. But it turns out that not all cats like music. For some it’s just white noise. But for others, it’s annoying or even painful. 

Cat ears are a lot more sensitive than ours. While ours stay in one place, theirs rotate so they can hear tiny animals and predators coming from any direction. Their ears can also rotate separately. 

Also, cats can hear from 45 to 60,000 hertz, while humans hear from 20 to 20,000 hertz. So they pick up ultrasonic sounds that we can’t possibly hear. 

Sounds That Really Annoy Cats

Because cat ears are so much more sensitive than ours, sounds that we barely notice are really annoying or even painful to them.

You know that keyboard that you’re constantly clicking? Most cats hate that sound, and it can even cause seizures in older cats.

Other sounds cats hate include crinkling tin foil; high-frequency “tinny” sounds like fluorescent lights and remote controls; loud sounds, and that includes loud music and blaring television sets; the vacuum cleaner because that high-frequency whir hurts their ears; motorcycles and airplanes roaring overhead. 

And it’s not just that loud noises annoy them. A study by the U.S. Army shows that very loud noises can actually damage cats’ ears. There’s nothing you can do about the motorcycles and airplanes. But could you turn the radio and TV down to a level that’s bearable for your cat? He’ll appreciate that!

Cats Like Music That Sounds Like Them

Some cats like quiet classical music and soft jazz. But if the radio’s low enough that it doesn’t annoy them, most just ignore it. It can provide white noise though to blot out sounds from outside that might upset your cat.

And did you know this? There’s music made just for cats. Composed by David Teie, the music uses sliding notes and high pitches, and the tempo is based on suckling and purring sounds. You can hear samples of it on Teie’s Amazon author’s page. At the moment, we’re listening to Scooter Bere’s Aria. Soda seems to like it, but the other cats are sound asleep. 

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