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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Music to a cat's ears

Today's Independent carries a fascinating article about work by scientists who have been designing music that will appeal to cats.

The paper says that the scientists have they found most cats respond to music which is a "little like sonic catnip" and using tempos and melodies originating from purrs and suckling:

In a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavioural Science, domestic cats did not respond when played human music, but upon hearing the specially-produced 'cat songs' became excited and started approaching the speakers and rubbing their scent glands on them.

The team uploaded three snippets on its website and is encouraging cat owners to play them and vote on their feline's favourite.

"We looked at the natural vocalisations of cats and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices," lead author Charles Snowdon told Discovery News.

"Since cats use lots of sliding frequencies in their calls, the cat music had many more sliding notes than the human music."

As it happens, the music does sound pretty nice to humans too – Cozmo's Air could easily be an instrumental Bjork track.

This sounds a little harsh on Bjork of course. What I want to know though is who is going to record such music? After all it is not as if cats are able to buy it on Amazon.
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