Cats and music – do cats like music?
Do you like music? And do your cats like the same type of music?
Maybe you have never thought about it, but animals are as much influenced by sound as humans are. And, actually, even plants have favorite types of music, believe it or not!
But back to our beloved pets: They don’t like all kinds of music, it depends much on the range of sound and the rhythm. They love calm music, well, at least my cats and dogs do. And they don’t like very strident sounds or heavy loud drums which cause fear and they begin to whine and want to flee.
Cats don’t like every sound and they chose their music
As a singing teacher and singer I often practiced with my cats nearby. They were fine when I or my students were singing in a low range, but as soon as we went into high pitches, the high C with full voice, they couldn’t stand it at all, complained, ran over the piano keys and the furthest corner of the room. On the contrary, when we did sound meditation and overtone singing, they came near and jumped on our laps, they seemed to want to be part of the music by purring their favorite song. No doubt, cats like music, but not all music. And so do dogs. But here I want to focus on cats.
Cats as musicians – always “Katzenmusik” ?
Some cats even like to play music themselves. Mine just ran up and down the keyboard, but there are more sophisticated musicians among them, no doubt.
Listening to this video, despite my amazement about the cat handling the keyboard and listening to the sounds they create, I feel reminded of what we call in German “Katzenmusik” (=”cat-music”). We usually used that term when the result of our musical attempts was not really pleasant to listen to, out of pitch or rhythm, squeaky or rumbling, something noticeably wrong. Wikipedia says that the term comes from the strange sounds which cats make during their mating time. Anyway, calling a performance “Katzenmusik” is not at all a compliment.
Cats as attentive audience of live music
Maybe cats are not meant to become full term classical musicians – but they definitely love classical music. I can observe this with my cats – and you can see it here in this beautiful short video where the Turkish musician Sarper Durman plays a “night music” for his three cats, one of which is actively present on the keyboard – by not contributing any “Katzenmusik”, but only supervising his master‘s play.
Specially gifted cats as performers on stage!
But, sometimes, cats are good enough musicians to play with an orchestra on stage – as in this piece of music, “CatCerto”, composed especially for “Nora the cat”. This is the moment when “Katzenmusik” gets elevated to the concert hall: