Catchy songs that are music to your pet's ears

Good news for cat lovers: There is music that is composed specifically for your feline.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created tunes that are in the hearing range of cats, which tend to be higher than that for humans. The music is also based on the tempo of cats' purring and suckling noises.

In a field test, they found that domestic cats do prefer the "species-specific" music. They played two pieces of their "meow-sic" and two pieces of classical human music to 47 cats in their homes with their owners present.

The cats were indifferent to the human music - Gabriel Faure's Elegie and Johann Sebastian Bach's Air on a G String - but they walked towards the music and even rubbed themselves against the speaker when Cozmo's Air and Rusty's Ballad were playing.

The two pieces of cat music were composed by cellist David Teie, who has created music for animals since 2005.

When a cat rubs something or someone, this means the cat is claiming an object or individual by leaving its unique scent. The researchers interpret this as the animals liking the music.

The results of their study were published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science on Feb 20.

Lead author Charles Snowdon of the University of Wisconsin, Madison says the research could benefit cats in shelters.

"We think of cats as highly independent of their human servants, but there is some research showing that cats experience separation anxiety," Dr Snowdon was quoted as saying in Discovery News.

Other animals have been found to enjoy music. Humans, too, tend to prefer music that falls within their hearing range and is played at a tempo similar to that of their heartbeats.

Dr Snowdon has also conducted similar research on tamarin monkeys. The primates responded best to specially created monkey music and were soothed by heavy metal band Metallica in the 2009 study.

"Why should a tamarin find our music comforting? I find the monkey music quite irritating," Dr Snowden told The Guardian then.