Dear Green Gato #9 – Musical Cats

Pretty Western Woman With Guitar And CatDear Green Gato,

I have an odd question for you. My cat, Bootsie, seems to have a passion for music. Whenever I play my guitar, Bootsie comes running from wherever she is and plops down right next to me. If I turn on my record player, she will prance in and grab a seat near a speaker. When it’s time to flip the record, or if I stop playing guitar, she instantly gives a big meow. Even my friends have noticed that she seems to like music. Is this possible? She doesn’t come running when I turn on the television, so I don’t think that it’s just the noise of it. Do cats like music? Do they only like certain types of music? What’s the deal here?

Thanks!

-Max F.

Hey Max,

That is such a great question! I have to say, I can actually relate to you on this one. My cat, Eloise, seems to love music as well. When she was growing up, my old roommate would play the guitar all the time, and Eloise would always be right by her side. Nowadays I just have a record player, but it still appears that she absolutely loves music. Eloise seems to fancy oldies, acoustic, and Elvis.

There are a few reasons for this phenomenon that’s happening with our musical cats. Just like with humans, there is no particular reason as to why cats like music. It could be that it makes them feel calm, they could be picking up on our enjoyment of music, or they simply just enjoy the sound of it. In the womb, both humans and cats begin to become accustomed to the sounds and songs of the outside world. In that case, it would make sense that raising your cats from babies around music would influence their love of it.

Cats have great hearing and super-sensitive whiskers that can pick up sounds and vibrations that humans can’t. This may influence their taste in music, and explain why our cats love pleasant music like classical and acoustic, and may stray away from an out-of-tune performance. The music that you play on guitar must make Bootsie really happy if she comes running every time you start to play!

Hilariously enough, there has been a recent surge in the genre of “cat music.” Yes, scientists and composers have recently begun composing music specifically for cats. They use sounds and tunes that cats already love, like birds chirping, the rustling of trees, and nice overtones, to get your kitty in the zone. These are all over the internet, and sound pretty silly. Another great tune that I would recommend for your cat is “Several Species of Small Furry Animals” by Pink Floyd. Eloise goes nuts whenever I play this, and it wouldn’t surprise me of Pink Floyd wrote it with cats in mind.

So my final answer is: yes, cats can absolutely love music. No, there is no specific scientific data to back this up, and we can’t have hundreds of cats take a survey, but in my experience and what I’ve heard from other cat owners, many cats do love music. Cats that were raised in a more stressful situation may have a harder time calming down and enjoying a tune, but well-adapted cats with music-loving owners can share this truly special thing together. So rock on and let me know if you have any suggestions of songs that you think cats might love!

Happy jamming!

-Green Gato

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