An album created especially for cats is being lapped up by humans too, topping two classical music charts.
Despite being allergic to cats, cellist David Teie, a soloist with America’s National Symphony Orchestra, released Music For Cats through the Universal Music label last week.
On the album, which features five instrumental compositions, Teie’s cello playing is accompanied by bird-chirping and purring noises.
The music is based on Teie’s theory — researched for two years — that mammals have an intuitive response to sounds present in their early development.
“Felines establish their sense of music through the sounds heard after they’re born,” the Music For Cats website read.
This was the premise Music For Cats was created on, “incorporating feline-centric sounds and their natural vocalisations and matching it to a cat’s frequency range”.
“If you play an actual purr, the cats will habituate to it,” Teie told the Washington Post.
“What I’m trying to do is tickle their brains so they think, ‘I don’t know what that is, but it gets to me. It makes me feel good’.”
Songs elicit a positive response from cats, study finds
The idea has scientific backing.
A 2015 study by University of Wisconsin researchers and published in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science journal found the songs elicited positive reactions from 77 per cent of cats that heard them.
The researchers wrote that “cats showed a significant preference for and interest in species-appropriate music”.
Director of the Animal Behaviour Program at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Nick Dodman, said as far as he knew it was “the first study showing that cats respond to music at all”.
“It appears cats are responding to music if it’s properly designed and delivered in the cat idiom,” he told the Washington Post.
Album available for shelters free of charge
Universal approached Teie after spotting his Kickstarter campaign — which raised more than $US200,000 and sold more than 10,000 copies of the album.
The viral crowdfunding campaign was helped along by a video featuring a group of Instagram-famous kitties, including City the Kitty, Nala, and Bacon, a Scottish Fold living in Australia.
Teie is purring over the positive reception for his feline music, which has climbed to number one on the iTunes Classical Music Chart and Amazon UK’s Classical Orchestral Music Chart.
“Many of the cat owners have told me they find it pleasing for themselves too, and so there’s a kind of a shared experience for the cats and their cat owners,” he said, after a live performance at a cat cafe in east London on Tuesday.
The album is also available, free of charge, to animal shelters, hospitals and veterinary clinics that do not practice declawing.