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90 Songs With "Cat" in the Title

Marshall Fish has written clues for Jeopardy!'s J!6 website as well as trivia questions for Hasbro, Screenlife Games, and more.

What's your favorite song with "cat" in the title? Did it make the list???

What's your favorite song with "cat" in the title? Did it make the list???

Many pop stars have a great love for cats. Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus are prime examples. So, it’s no surprise that the word cat has been used in the title of several songs written over the years.

90 are listed below. Perhaps they can help you in creating a playlist to share with the feline fans in your life.

1. “Stray Cat Strut” by Stray Cats

  • Album: Stray Cats
  • Released: 1981
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

Rockabilly revivalists the Stray Cats found their initial success in England, with a self titled debut album produced by Dave Edmunds. The record contained the single "Stray Cat Strut," a Top 20 British hit in April 1981.

Two years later, the track made the Top Five in America, aided by the group’s retro sound and exposure on MTV. The visual look of The Cats (Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom, and Lee Rocker), with their quiff hairdos and tattoos, was perfect for the early days of the then music video channel. The "Stray Cat Strut" video, directed by Julien Temple (father of Ted Lasso’s Juno Temple), was a good visual illustration of this. The trio lip sync the tune on a set resembling a New York alley way, with Phantom using garbage cans as his drum kit, Rocker plucking his upright bass, and Setzer crooning and playing his guitar, Meanwhile, a woman wearing an 80s style tube top and leather skirt saunters by and two others wearing 1950’s vintage dresses dance beside the band.

“Stray Cat Strut” and “Rock This Town” were hits taken from the group’s U.S. debut LP, Built For Speed, a compilation of tracks from their first two albums.

The band would split up in 1984, but have reunited several times since. In fact, in 2020, Stray Cats Rocked This Town: From LA to London, an audio document of the band’s 40th Anniversary tour, was released on CD, vinyl, and streaming platforms from Surfdog Records.

2. “The Love Cats" by The Cure

  • Album: Standing on a Beach/Staring at the Sea
  • Released:1986
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

The goth pop band led by Robert Smith had their first UK Top Ten hit with this bouncy, playful tune. However, Smith was not a big fan of the track's pop music style.

In 2003, he told France’s Rock & Folk magazine, “The Love Cats" is far from being my favorite song: composed drunk, video filmed drunk, promotion made drunk. It was a joke.” As for the music video, it was taped in an old mansion, up for sale, in London's Hampstead area. The band had contacted the manor's estate agent, with the ruse that they wanted to buy it. The next morning after the video shoot, they returned the house key.

Paul Anka covered the song, as well as Oasis’ "Wonderwall," Van Halen’s "Jump," and Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on his album Rock Swings in 2005.

3. “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart

  • Album: Al Stewart
  • Released: 1976
  • Genre: Pop/Rock
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Song Facts

“On a morning from a Bogart movie/ In a country where they turn back time/ You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre/ Contemplating a crime.”

How many songs name drop 1940s Hollywood movie legends Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre, stars of Casablanca? Jon and Vangelis’ 1981 song "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" featured voice impressions of Bogart and Lorre, as Cairo’s the character Lorre played in The Maltese Falcon. But just one references the two stars in its opening, Al Stewart’s Year of the Cat.

The song’s Tinsel Town inspired lyrics came to the Scottish born Stewart when he was watching Casablanca on television. The track’s title was inspired from a book of Vietnamese Astrology left by Stewart’s girlfriend at his home, opened at the page for “The Year of the Cat.”

The Top Five U.S. hit was produced by Alan Parsons at London’s Abbey Road Studios. Parsons was behind the mixing board for Stewart’s follow-up album and its title tune hit, "Time Passages."

4. “Cat Scratch Fever” by Ted Nugent

  • Album: Cat Scratch Fever
  • Released: 1977
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

“The Motor City Madman” Ted Nugent seems to be more in the news in recent years due to his political activism instead of his music. But, "Cat Scratch Fever" was the song that put the artist on the musical map. The track, known for its signature guitar riff, was a favorite of American Album Rock radio of the late 1970s.

Medically, Cat Scratch Fever is a real condition, a disease that’s caused by an infected cat scratching or biting a person, or licking an open wound. Kids seem to be vulnerable, as they’re more likely to play with cats and be bitten or scratched. But in this song, Nugent is using "Cat Scratch Fever" as a euphemism for women and sex.

The single for "Cat Scratch Fever" was Nugent's only U.S. Top 40 hit, peaking at number 30 in October 1977.

5. “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin

  • Album: Verities & Balderdash
  • Released: 1974
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

Chapin based the tender and reflective song on a poem penned by his wife Sandra. The lyrics tell the story of a father and son who don’t have time to be together. The dad is career oriented, and obviously, working to pay the bills. By the end of the tune, the roles have been reversed and the father wants to spend more time with his son. But, the son doesn’t have time to be with the father, as he’s now prioritizing his career and has a family of his own.

"Cats in the Cradle" has been used in parts of several U.S. TV shows, including Modern Family, The Goldbergs, and Gilmore Girls.

In 1975, Chapin co-founded the WhyHunger organization to help fight hunger and poverty.

Ugly Kid Joe covered "Cats in the Cradle" for a 1993 Top Ten U.S. hit. A documentary Harry Chapin: When In Doubt, Do Something, was released in theaters and virtually in 2020.

6. “Cool for Cats” by Squeeze

  • Album: Cool for Cats
  • Released: 1979
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

The songwriting duo of Chris Difford and Glen Tillbrook were referred to as the new Lennon and McCartney upon releasing their initial group recordings in the late 1970s. Two would be a good number for "Cool For Cats," the song written for their band, Squeeze. It was the title track of the group’s second album, as well as the second British single released from the record. Plus, it reached second place in the UK charts. The "Cool For Cats" title came from the name of a 1958-1961 series, noted as Britain’s first television pop music program. The tune itself featured Difford on lead vocals, one of the few Squeeze singles to do so.

Difford told Uncut magazine’s Peter Watts in a 2015 interview that, surprisingly, British TV comic Benny Hill inspired the "Cool For Cats" song. “The metre of the songs on his show were so simple, like nursery rhymes. If you read the lyric you can put it into a Benny Hill song” Difford said.

7. “Black Cat” by Janet Jackson

  • Album: Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814
  • Released: 1989
  • Genre: R&B

Song Facts

The rocking tune "Black Cat" topped the U.S. Billboard Singles Chart just days before Halloween, 1990. The track was one of four American number one hits taken from Jackson’s Rhythm Nation album. Jellybean Johnson, drummer for The Time, produced the song, instead of his ex-bandmates, Jackson's usual team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Dave Barry, who also worked on other Jackson albums including Janet and The Velvet Rope, provided "Black Cat"'s lead guitar. The song itself was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Performance, Female category, losing out to Alannah Myles’ "Black Velvet."

The music video, directed by Wayne Isham, contained footage from Jackson’s 1990 tour stop at Bloomington, Minnesota’s Met Center. For a short time in that concert run, an actual black panther appeared on stage during the song’s performance. But due to safety concerns, the panther was taken off the tour. Or like an Elvis concert, “The panther had left the building.”

8. “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” by David Bowie

  • Album: Let’s Dance
  • Released: 1983
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

Bowie recorded two versions of this song. The original was the featured tune on the soundtrack of the 1982 horror film Cat People, starring Nastassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell. Giorgio Moroder composed the music and Bowie wrote the lyrics. That rendition is preferred by many critics for its dark, moody tone, to match the Paul Schrader movie.

The second, and more familiar rendition, is included on Bowie’s mega hit album, 1983’s Let’s Dance. The tempo is faster in comparison to the first recording. Stevie Ray Vaughan provides some stinging lead guitar to the track, while the record’s producer, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, also joins in on guitar. Bowie would perform the song in Let’s Dance style on his Serious Moonlight tour that year.

During the 1981 recording session for the first "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" in Montreaux, Switzerland, Bowie met up with the members of Queen. The result was the classic UK number one hit, "Under Pressure," later sampled in Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby."

9. “Honky Cat” by Elton John

  • Album: Honky Chateau
  • Released: 1972
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

"Honky Cat" is the lead off track from John’s fifth studio album, which also contained the record's first single, Rocket Man. "Honky Cat" and the rest of the LP were recorded at the Château d'Hérouville in Hérouville, France, then known as the “Abbey Road Studios of France.”

Lyrics like "You better get back, honky cat/Better get back to the woods/Well, I quit those days and my redneck ways/And, ooh ooh ooh ooh, oh, the change is gonna do me good” refer to John’s songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin’s, life growing up in the rural and agricultural area in Lincolnshire, England.

Honky Cat peaked at number eight in the U.S. Singles Chart, just two spots higher than Rocket Man.

10. “Three Cool Cats” by The Coasters

  • Album: 50 Coastin’ Classics: Anthology
  • Released: 1992
  • Genre: R&B,Pop/Rock

Song Facts

The music of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Coasters was a mixture of R&B, rock and comedy, with songs written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Their hits "Searchin’," "Young Blood," and "Poison Ivy," were covered by such artists as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Manfred Mann.

"Three Cool Cats" was the B-side of the 1958 "Charlie Brown" single. The Beatles versions of "Three Cool Cats" and another Coasters recorded song (not penned by Leiber and Stoller), "Besame Mucho," were performed at their unsuccessful audition for the Decca label.

The original Coasters version of "Three Cool Cats" featured a sax solo by King Curtis, who in 1971 played on the John Lennon track, "It's So Hard."

11. “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones

  • Album: What’s New Pussycat?
  • Released: 1965
  • Genre: Pop/Rock, Vocal

Song Facts

Burt Bacharach and Hal David received an Oscar nomination for writing this theme song from a 1965 comedy film starring Peter O’Toole and Peter Sellers. Sir Tom Jones recorded the most well known version, for a number three U.S. and number 12 UK hit. But did you know that a ska rendition was released that same year by The Wailing Wailers, led by a young Bob Marley? Or that British experimental new wave band The Flying Lizards produced their own take nine years later?

In 2021, Jones released his 41st album, Surrounded By Time, which topped the UK Albums Chart. With that success, Jones, at 80 years and 10 months, became the oldest male artist to hit number one on the chart. Jones continues as a judge on the UK version of The Voice reality TV competition series.

12. “Cleopatra’s Cat" by Spin Doctors

  • Album: Turn It Upside Down
  • Released: 1994
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

New York City’s Spin Doctors achieved great success in 1993, with their two year old album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite and the singles "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong." The follow-up record, Turn It Upside Down, did not achieve the same success as Kryptonite. Its second single, "Cleopatra’s Cat," scraped the bottom of the U.S. Singles Chart, peaking at just number 84. Yet, it has a funky feel to it, and is a highly dance-able track with a bit of a "Two Princes" flavor to it.

The Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra’s designation, has been the title of songs by Weezer and The Lumineers.

13. "Look What The Cat Dragged In" by Poison

  • Album: Look What The Cat Dragged In
  • Released: 1986
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

This debut album from Hair Metal band Poison, led by singer Bret Michaels, has sold over four million copies worldwide. The title cut, "(Look What The Cat Dragged In)," was not released as a single at the time. However, the track is popular enough that it’s the standard opening song in the band’s concert tours.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Michaels and drummer Ricki Rockett began together in the group The Spectres, which evolved into Paris, and then founded Poison in the early 1980s. The group’s biggest hit was the 1988 U.S. number one, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," but they also had success with "Unskinny Bop," "Talk Dirty to Me," and a cover of Loggins & Messina’s "Your Mama Don’t Dance."

Michaels was the winner of the American Celebrity Apprentice TV program in 2010.

14. “Cat Among The Pigeons” by Bros

  • Album: Push
  • Released: 1988
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

British twins Luke and Matt Goss, along with their childhood friend Craig Logan, formed the dance-pop/R&B trio Bros in 1986.Their hits included "When Will I Be Famous," "I Owe You Nothing," and "Chocolate Box.“ "Cat Among The Pigeons” was a two sided single release for the trio in 1988 with “Silent Night” as the B-side.

Bros split up in 1992. 25 years later, the group, minus Logan, reunited for concerts in London and Manchester. A documentary of the reunion and the first show at London’s O2 Arena, Bros: After the Screaming Stops, premiered at the 2018 BFI Film Festival.

For over a decade, Matt Goss performed as a solo act at The Palms, The Mirage, and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

15. “Phenomenal Cat” by The Kinks

Album: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

Released: 1968

Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

“A long, long time ago/ In the land of idiot boys,/There live a cat, a phenomenal cat/
Who loved to wallow all day.”

The quaint and imaginative song penned by Ray Davies describes a fictional cat who wants to relax and eat all day. A flute-like sound heard throughout the track is actually Nicky Hopkins playing a mellotron. The voice of the cat is Dave Davies, with his vocal sped up.

16. “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful

Album: Hums of The Lovin’ Spoonful

Released: 1966

Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

“Nashville Cats,” the seventh consecutive top ten U.S. hit by the New York City based Lovin' Spoonful, reached number eight on the U.S. Billboard singles chart in 1967. Frontman John Sebastian said the song came after he and the band’s lead guitarist, Zal Yanovsky, had played a concert in Nashville.

After the show, they headed back to the bar at their hotel. Performing there was teenage guitarist Danny Gatton, who greatly impressed Sebastian and Yanovsky. Sebastian was then inspired to pen the tune. Gatton would later receive the nickname “The World’s Greatest Unknown Guitarist” from Guitar magazine.“Nashville Cats”has been covered by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Homer & Jethro, and The Del McCoury Band.

17. "Mean-Eyed Cat” by Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two

• Album: Johnny Cash Sings Hank Williams
• Released: 1960
Genre: Country

Song Facts

In 1960, Johnny Cash left the independent Memphis based Sun label and signed with Columbia Records. Sun had been the early recording home of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, as well as Cash. That year, Sun released their final single from Cash, “Mean-Eyed Cat.”

Contrary to the album's title, "Mean-Eyed Cat" was written by Cash, not Hank WIlliams. The rockabilly tune tells the story of a man who gives his wife money to buy groceries at the general store, but instead she purchases “a ten-cent hat for ten bucks and “store bought cat food for that mean-eyed cat.” She then leaves the husband a “Dear John” note, and takes the eastbound train out of town. The hubby then goes to find the wife, and bring her back home.

Cash re-recorded the track for his 1996 album, Unchained. In tribute to Cash and the song, the Mean-Eyed Cat Bar opened in Austin, Texas in 2004.

18. "Cats Without Claws" by Donna Summer

  • Album: Cats Without Claws
  • Released: 1984
  • Genre: R&B

Song Facts

In 1983, the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, had a smash hit with “She Works Hard For The Money.” For the single and album of the same name, Summer teamed with producer Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross’ “Sailing”).The duo co-wrote all but one of the “She Works Hard For The Money” LP tracks.

Summer and Omartian joined together the next year for the follow-up album, Cats Without Claws. The title track is very much of its time, with synthesizers prominent in the mix. Summer speaks the verses and sings the chorus.

Omartian explained the meaning of the cut in the album's press kit. the "It's taken from scenes of New York City life – gangs, drugs, street people – who are trying to be tough but are really like anybody else" he said. "They've got barks worse than their bites, and they've really been deceived, tricked into living this negative life. They're like cats without claws."

Cats Without Claws was not a a big success, reaching just number 40 on the U.S. Billboard chart and number 69 in the UK. It would be five more years before Summer had her last big chart hit, "This Time I Know It’s for Real," produced by Stock/Aitken/Waterman.

19. "Like a Cat" by Cyndi Lauper

  • Album: A Night to Remember
  • Released: 1989
  • Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, one of the top songwriting teams of the 1980s and 1990s (The Bangles "Eternal Flame," Heart’s "Alone," Whitney Houston’s "So Emotional") composed “Like a Cat.” The pair also wrote Lauper’s 1986 U.S. number one hit “True Colors,” and for “Like a Cat” were joined by The Divinyls lead singer Christina Amphlett.

The bright, keyboard oriented musical backing is in contrast to the lyrics, which deal with a man who wants to control his wife/girlfriend and treat her like a pet or a cat. “And when you could never tame me/That made you mad/No you could never tame me/Like a, like a, like a cat.”

"Like a Cat" is featured on Lauper's A Night to Remember disc, which included the Top Ten U.S., UK, and Canadian hit, "I Drove All Night." Roy Orbison first recorded a demo of the song, also written by Steinberg and Kelly, in 1987. Jeff Lynne would finish up the Orbison track, and it was released in 1991.

20. "The Most Effectual Top Cat"

Album:Toon Tunes - 50 Favorite Classic Cartoon Theme Songs

Released: 1997

Genre: Pop/Rock

Song Facts

"He's the boss/He's a pip/He's the championship/He's the most tip top, Top Cat."

The Hanna-Barbera animated Top Cat series, loosely based on The Phil Silvers Show, ran for just one season (1961-1962 ) in prime time. The title character, voiced by Arnold Stang, led a group of New York City alley cats in a number of schemes usually aimed at local cop Officer Dibble.

Like another Hanna-Barbera network show, The Jetsons, Top Cat joined the U.S. Saturday morning cartoon lineup after its nighttime broadcasts, airing on ABC and NBC until 1969. The series proved to be popular, too, in Mexico, South America and the U.K., When Top Cat first aired on the BBC in 1962, it was called Boss Cat to differentiate it from a brand of cat food named Top Cat.

Hoyt Curtin, Hanna-Barbera’s longtime music director, composed the Top Cat theme song.

Even More Songs With Cat in the Title

SongArtistYear Released

21.The Cat in the Window

Petula Clark


22. Thomas O'Malley Cat

Phil Harris


23, They Call Her The Cat

Elton John


24. Cat Size

Suzi Quatro


25. China Cat Sunflower

Grateful Dead


26. The Cat Crept In



27. Tommy the Cat



28. The Kitty Cat Song

Lee Dorsey


29. An Cat Dubh



30. Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat

Scatman Crothers, Phil Harris, Thurl Ravenscroft, and Liz English


31. Pussycat Meow



32. Copy Cat

Gary U.S. Bonds


33, Stray Cat Blues

The Rolling Stones


34. All Cats Are Grey

The Cure


35. Cats Under The Stars

Jerry Garcia Band


36. Siamese Cat Song

Peggy Lee


37. Facts About Cats

Timbuk 3


38. I Am a Cat

Shonen Knife


39. Black Cat (different from Janet Jackson's song)

Ziggy Marley


40. If You Play With Cats

Charles Brown


41. The Kitty Cat Song

The Troggs


42. Old Black Cat

Ian Anderson


43. Go Little Go Cat

The Four Teens


44. Cats vs. Dogs

Matthew Sweet


45. Cat on the Wall

PJ Harvey


46. Tom Cat Goodby

Laura Nyro


47. Tom Cat

Tom Scott & the L.A. Express


48. Crosseyed Cat

Muddy Waters


49. Wild Cat



50. Scare the Cat

Joe Perry


51. Wild Cats of Kilkenny

The Pogues


52. Hell Cat



53. Pussycats



54. The Cat

Jimmy Smith


55. Alley Cats

Hot Chip


56. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Dinah Washington


57. The Cat Came Back

Sonny James


58. That Darn Cat

Buddy Greco


59. Cat Holp

The Dodgers


60. Morph the Cat

Donald Fagen


61. The Cat Walk

Donald Byrd


62. Techno Cat

Tom Wilson


63. Whoopie Cat

Whoopie Cat


64. Cat Claw

The Kills


65. My Cat's Name Is Maceo

Jane's Addiction


66. Josie and the Pussycats (feature film theme version)

Josie & the Pussycats


67. The Old Gumbie Cat

Andrew Lloyd Webber/Original Broadway Cast of Cats


68. Cat on Tin Roof

Blonde Redhead


69. The Minister's Cat

Various-Scrooge: The Musical (Original Cast Recording)


70. Black Cat Blues

John Lee Hooker


71. Bought Me a Cat

Pete Seeger


72. The Dancing Cat

Henry Mancini


73. Yo Cats

Frank Zappa


74. I'm the Cat

Jackson Browne


75.Pink Pussycat



76. Red Cat Till I Die

Ry Cooder


77. Cats Eye in the Window

Tommy James


78. El Pussycat

Bad Manners


79. Me and My Friend the Cat

Loudon Wainwright III


80. Long Tail Cat

Loggins & Messina


81. Sprung On The Cat

Sir Mix-a-Lot


82. Pussy Willows, Cat-Tails

Gordon Lightfoot


83. Cat Food

King Crimson


84. Hell Cat

The Bellamy Brothers


85. Smelly Cat Medley

Phoebe Buffay & The Hairballs (Lisa Kudrow with The Pretenders)


86. Fat Cat

Culture Club


87. Copy Cat (Wack a Doo)

Quincy Jones


88. Bear Cat

Rufus Thomas


89. Cat Man

Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps


90. Cat's in the Well

Bob Dylan


© 2022 Marshall Fish

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