In Pangkor, Malaysia, street musician Jass Pankor was having a frustrating evening busking. Nobody was stopping to listen to him play the guitar, so he decided to call it a night. He played one more song “just for fun” and finally got a very unexpected audience.
Four kittens that all seemed to be around three months old appeared, sat down, and listened to him play. One of Pankor’s friends saw the feline audience and videotaped the performance. The kittens sat raptly, giving the busker their full attention. They even bobbed their heads in time during the song. At the end, Pankor thanked the kittens for listening.
Cats actually do seem to like music. They have keener, more sensitive hearing than humans do and can thus appreciate music on some level. Classical music actually calms cats, so many animal shelters will play classical music to soothe them.
A composer, David Teie, has actually written music especially for cats. He has put together a website creatively called “Music for Cats” that includes samples of his compositions and sells his songs and albums. On his website, Teie comments that, “Felines establish their sense of music through the sounds heard after they’re born: birds chirping, or their mother’s purr.” The music sample on the site includes thrumming sounds suggestive of a cat’s purr.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin conducted a study that demonstrated that cats do have a musical sense. They especially enjoy “species-appropriate” music like “Music for Cats.” The researchers define “species-appropriate” music as having similar frequencies and tempos as the sounds cats use in communication.