Cats like music. But, like people, they want music composed for them, not some other species.
You may purchase music for your cats (from the company that made the samples included here).
Our music is based on feline vocal communication and environmental sounds that pique the interest of cats; it is written in a musical language that is uniquely designed to appeal to the domestic cat. All of the music is recorded on traditional instruments and the human voice. No actual cat, mouse, or bird calls are used (although it may sound like it). The songs are written in three different styles – each song style is designed to convey and evoke a particular mood
Kitty ditties are playful and quick
The cat ballad should be restful and pleasing for your kitty.
Feline airs draws sympathetic emotions from the listener based on the sounds of cats purring.
David Teie developed and outlined the first comprehensive theory that attempts to explain the cognitive processes involved in our appreciation of music. Working with Charles T. Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin, they studied the affect of David’s species-specific music on cotton-topped tamarin monkeys, resulting in the first controlled study that demonstrated significant and appropriate responses to music from any species other than human.
Cats Prefer Species-Appropriate Music (closed science publication unfortunately, University of Wisconsin should really stop allowing journals to block access to research by those working for this supposedly public school).
We have developed a theoretical framework that hypothesizes that in order for music to be effective with other species, it must be in the frequency range and with similar tempos to those used in natural communication by each species. We have used this framework to compose music that is species-appropriate for a few animal species. In this paper we created species-appropriate music for domestic cats and tested this music in comparison with music with similar affective content composed for humans. We presented two examples of cat music in counter-balanced order with two examples of human music and evaluated the behavior and response latencies of cats to each piece.
Cats showed a significant preference for and interest in species-appropriate music compared with human music and responded with significantly shorter latencies for human music. Younger and older cats were more responsive to cat music than middle-aged acts. The results suggest novel and more appropriate ways for using music as auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals.
From the music for cats website:
The hearing range of cats is even greater than that of dogs. Dogs get all the press for their high hearing, but cats win the household pet prize (unless you keep a bat or dolphin in your place). The domestic cat’s hearing range is far above it’s own vocal range; it uses this ability to hunt for some of it’s favorite prey. In the next phase of the development of music for cats we will introduce ultrasound music that should be a bit like sonic catnip.