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Album of music for cats scientifically soothes the savage beast

A project aimed at launching an album of music for felines gathers plenty of cat-loving backers on Kickstarter.

CNET test cat Delia listens to Music for Cats.

Amanda Kooser/CNET

If cats were composers, they'd surely develop a unique music scene all their own. Musician David Teie has opposable thumbs, so he's taken on the task of creating music for cats who can't make it for themselves.

The Music for Cats Kickstarter is funding the recording of a 40-minute-long album of songs designed exclusively for kitties.

"Unlike humans, felines establish their sense of music outside of the womb, through sounds heard after they're born, like the chirping of birds, the sucking of milk, or the purring of their mother," Teie notes. He takes those sounds and combines them with cat vocalizations and purring rhythms to generate songs that cats will find enjoyable.

We were first introduced to Music for Cats earlier this year when a team of scientists and musicians shared a set of cat tracks that were tested on 47 domestic felines. They found the cats responded to the music made for them by rubbing their heads on the speakers, a behavior they didn't exhibit when listening to human-focused music.

Music for Cats has a clowder of celebrity feline endorsers, including Internet-famous cats Nala, Bacon, Cole and Marmalade. It also has quite a few human fans. There are over 4,200 Kickstarter backers pledging over $105,000 with 21 days left for the project to run. The original $20,000 funding goal is a distant memory. Keep in mind, of course, that not every crowdfunding project delivers on time and as expected.

Pledge levels range from $5 (about £3, AU$7) for a download of a single song to $15 (about £10, AU$21) for a download of the full album. Other pledges levels get you CDs or signed copies of sheet music. The ultimate reward tier comes in at $2,000 (about £1,315, AU$2,800). This gets you a made-to-order song created specifically for your cat.

I tried out a sample of Music for Cats on my CNET test cats, Archer and Delia. Archer didn't seem to pay it any extra attention, but Delia jumped up in front of my monitor and sat by the computer speakers, bopping her head against the screen. Not every cat may turn out to be a music aficionado, but kitty-obsessed people will find a lot to love here.