Do Cats Like Music?

Studies have been done on whether or not cats like music and what music they prefer, but I think that’s akin to doing a study on what music humans prefer; i.e., completely subjective.

I’ve done my own study: Kodi loves the piano but Shorty bolts like the road runner as soon as I lift the lid. Humans are the same. I love equally hip hop, Broadway, EDM, and whatever leaves Adele’s throat, but I’d join Shorty running for the hills in a heartbeat to escape One Direction and other insanely popular acts these days.

At first, I was very surprised when Kodi became so interested in the piano. When the top is open, it’s very loud, and cats’ hearing is 14 times better than humans! I figured Kodi would only tolerate soft music and thought for sure he would dart away as soon as I pounded out an aggressive section of Beethoven’s Für Elise. But aside from a few startled jumps, he didn’t budge:

It may be the movement of the hammers that fascinates him the most, but even if the top isn’t open, he still sits and seems to enjoy the vibration. Having my very own Piano Cat is great except that as soon as I sit down, he jumps on top, which, if he loses his footing, is actually quite dangerous! For me! DAMN CAT!!!

Depending on his mood, though, he may just sit beside me and demand that my fingers be doing something else other than hitting the keys. Does he think I’m trying to pet the piano and I should be petting him instead?

He does seem to get in a meditative mood on lighter, slower pieces like Moonlight Sonata. Or Yiruma’s beautiful River Flows in You:

Whether or not cats like music is a concept so subjective that trying to study it disregards the individuality of cats. Some do, some don’t. The question shouldn’t be, do cats like music, but what music, if any, does my cat like? Cats are different, thank goodness, just like the music they may or may not like. Whatever your cat enjoys, spoil them! But if your cat hates the music you play, make sure they have a safe spot to hide, and try not to play it too loud as they could see it as a threat to their safety and be a constant stressor for them.

If you have any stories about music and your cats, I’d love to hear them, so please share below. I’ll leave you with Albert Schweitzer’s famous quote: “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

8 thoughts on “Do Cats Like Music?

  1. I love all of your posts but since I too am a musician, these videos are my favorite. I play sax, so I can’t really play as soft as a piano can. My cat before Max, Thor, would put his paw on the horn to get me to stop playing. My present cat, Max, will tolerate it for a few minutes then he takes off to another room. For the next hour or so he gets a good nap. He usually hides in my closet on top of my jeans on the shelf.

    Thanks for sharing these videos. I look forward to all of your posts.

  2. yes, cats definitely love music, different cats, different tastes. I had cats who loved jazz, other loved blues, my black tom loves P!nk from all else and so on.
    after all, great jazz musicians were called “CATS”, weren’t they?

    1. I know, right!? Well, the Purr Elise was filmed before it was ever tuned, and the River Flows in You was a few months after it was tuned a second time. It’s 20 years old so I was told it would need several tunings to get it back in shape.

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