Cats enjoy "species appropriate" music, with purring, chirping and sliding tunes topping the kitty charts.

Researchers tested what music cats like to listen to by playing them human music and cat music, composed by composer David Teie (who was not involved in the study).

Publishing their findings in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, researchers noted that many studies have tried to use music to influence the behaviour of animals, but outcomes have been conflicting.

"We have developed a theoretical framework that hypothesises that in order for music to be effective with other species, it must be in the frequency range and with similar tempos to those used in natural communication by each species," they wrote.

The team used species appropriate music composed by Teie and compared it with human music.

The cat music was created by looking at the natural vocalisations of cats, using a lot of sliding frequencies commonly found in their calls, along with sounds they thought would be interesting for the animals, including purring, suckling and chirping.

Speaking to Discovery News, study author Charles Snowdon, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said: "We looked at the natural vocalisations of cats and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices."

They tested the tunes on 47 domestic cats at home with their owners present. While they ignored the human music, they rubbed their heads against the speakers when the cat music played. When cats display this rubbing behaviour, they are claiming that object or individual. Researchers believe this shows the cats wanted to claim the music.

The authors concluded: "Cats showed a significant preference for and interest in species appropriate music compared with human music. Younger and older cats were more responsive to cat music than middle-aged acts. The results suggest novel and more appropriate ways for using music as auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals."

Researchers believe the findings could have implications for helping shelter cats feel calmer: "We think of cats as highly independent of their human servants, but there is some research showing that cats experience separation anxiety, which is greater in human-raised cats than in feral cats," Snowdon said.

Teie's cat music is available to purchase from his site,