Animal Psychologists Discover Pets Prefer Their Own MusicPublished March 21, 2012
Ever thought that your pet marches to the beat of a different drum? Well, you just might be right.
Animal psychologist Charles Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has discovered further proof that animals like music, but not necessarily the same music that their human companions might love, MSNBC reports. Instead, Snowdon says, animals enjoy music tailored to their specific species in terms of tone, pitch and tempo.
Humans enjoy music that falls within our vocal range with a beat similar to our heart beats. Music pitched too high or too low or a tempo that is too fast or too slow is not enjoyable for humans who would not connect to the music.
Such a feeling is often felt in animals while listening to the music that we humans hold near and dear. Because of their differing vocal range and heart rate, animals are not inclined to enjoy the same music as humans. So, to suit the musical desires of pets, Snowdon and composer David Teie worked together to develop music specifically for animals.
Previously working together to compose music for monkeys, Snowdon and Teie are currently working on composing music for cats and dogs.
After studying cats’ reactions to various types of music, the pair discovered that cats possess more of an affinity for music within their frequency and tempo instead of human music. From their findings, Teie has started selling songs for cats through a company called “Music for Cats,” for $1.99 per song.
Developing music for dogs has proven to be more of a challenge, mainly due to the great disparity between dogs in terms of size, vocal range, and heart rate. For example, it can be inferred that a large dog such as a German Shepherd with a deeper vocal range will enjoy music of a lower pitch than a small dog such as a Yorkshire Terrier.
Some dogs, however, do respond to human music—adapting their behaviors according to the music. Dogs will adopt a more relaxed disposition when listening to classical music, but will become restless when listening to heavy metal music.
More progress is bound to be made in the field of animal music—maybe even eventually pets will need their own iPods!
Does your pet like a specific type of music? Share your thoughts in a comment below.