David Teie has developed music that’s designed specifically for cats. As the above video shows, Teie has been working on “species-specific” music since 2009. He figured starting with cats would be more practical than starting with, say, elephants. The music is supposed to offer our beloved fuzzballs a comforting, enriching experience that allows us to bond more deeply with them.
Teie is a successful cellist who’s been with the National Symphony Orchestra for 20 years. He’s conducted and composed for various great musicians, and has even played “lead cello” for Metallica in a performance with the San Francisco Symphony. The video says Teie’s cat music is backed up by leading animal scientists, among them Jagmeet Kanwal, associate professor of neuroscience at Georgetown.
The process of designing cat music began with studies to figure out what sounds “elicit feline feelings.” As opposed to feline “Feelings.” We get our first taste of rhythm in our mothers’ wombs, but cats encounter them only after they’re born. I checked this out, and it’s true: Newborn kittens arrive deaf and blind. (I also learned they have belly buttons. Just saying.) So a cat's first comfort sound, for example, is likely its mother's purr, a very different rhythm than our moms’ slow and steady heartbeats. Cat music is based on this and other sounds that make a cat's ears pivot.