If you love cats, you probably also love songs about cats. It’s a universal truth that cats are great pets, but whether you’re a cat-lover or not, these are 31 songs with a feline feature that no one should go without listening to.
1. “My Cat’s Name Is Maceo” – Jane’s Addiction
There’s an interesting story behind this song. Perry Farrell wrote it as a tribute to his own cat, who he named Maceo after the saxophone player. Later, the band was able to get the real Maceo Parker to play saxophone on the song!
2. “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” – The Aristocats
Disney truly did animated cats right in this amazing cartoon classic. Besides being a great song about cats, this is an excellent introduction to jazz for a generation who might have otherwise left it behind.
3. “Stray Cat Strut” – Stray Cats
Whether talking about literal stray cats or the kind of humans who walk the street as if they are, this is a great rockabilly tune. Fans of “Rock This Town” will love this entry into the bass-heavy, retro-sounding style.
4. “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” – David Bowie
David Bowie is certainly one of the greatest artists of all time and we’re delighted to be able to put this entry on the list of cat songs. This is another great song that refers to our four-legged feline friends for your enjoyment.
5. “Josie and the Pussycats Theme Song” – Josie and the Pussycats
Who doesn’t remember and love the animated series, “Josie and the Pussycats”? Younger fans might have been brought in by the live-action adaptation, but no matter what generation you’re from, everyone can enjoy this upbeat theme about a band of chicks who rock.
6. “Cool Cat” – Queen
Of all the massive hits that this legendary rock band has come out with, this laid-back jam is an excellent alternative to the top charts that sometimes receive excessive radio play. This song is a perfect encapsulation of the “strutting around” that cats and humans alike tend to do when they’re feeling cool and confident, moving to the “beat of their heart.”
7. “All Dead, All Dead” – Queen
Many people don’t realize that this somber piano ballad with a soul-stirring guitar chorale in the middle was actually written about Brian May’s cat who passed away. Knowing the origin of the song only serves to make it more meaningful for those of us who have experienced the loss of a cat companion.
8. “Leave My Kitten Alone” – The Beatles
Here’s a great track from Anthology 1, another of the Fab Four’s resurrected recordings. While they may not literally be referring to a kitten, that doesn’t mean that cat lovers can’t interpret it that way.
9. “Invitation to the Jellicle Ball” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
When Andrew Lloyd Webber made a musical adaptation of the poetry of T.S. Elliot, it produced some of the greatest songs about cats in existence. This one is a prime example, describing the annual gathering when all Jellicle cats meet up and dance, take naps, and introduce each other one by one in song.
10. “Kitty” – Presidents of the United States of America
Here’s a warning that the song gets a little higher than G-rated due to the word choice in the lyrics. The singer in the song is a bit harsher to the feline in the song than some devoted cat-friends might be, but it’s still a catchy jam that refers to our favorite fuzzy, whiskered companions.
11. “The Rum Tum Tugger” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
Probably winning the prize for the spiciest song in the musical “Cats,” this is the theme song for the titular Rum Tum Tugger, a cat who seems to always be in heat. The music isn’t really complete without the visual of a trained musical theater dancer undulating his hips while a crowd of kittenlike female cats gathers around hungrily. Weird? Yes. Fun to watch? Absolutely.
12. “Three Cool Cats” – The Ultimate Coasters
This jam came out in 1958, written by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. It’s a song that many people have covered the song, including the Beatles. The lyrics describe – what else? – three cool cats doing what they do best: being cool.
13. “Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
No list of cat songs would be complete without mentioning those two diabolical criminal cats. While they’re prone to breaking and entering, stealing the valuables and dinners from local humans, they’re still good cats at heart. This is a fun jaunty tune that highlights the excitement of being a pair of tight-knit cat burglars.
14. “The Siamese Cat Song/What’s Going on Down There” – Lady and the Tramp
Who hasn’t had nightmares from this horrifyingly hypnotizing scene in the Disney classic? Two Siamese cats corner our poor canine heroine and make her go through a living nightmare in song form. But if this tune doesn’t give you PTSD, it’s actually quite enjoyable.
15. “The Old Gumbie Cat” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
Back on the West End or Broadway stage, Jennyanydots is a Jellicle cat better known by her feline compatriates as the Old Gumbie Cat. She’s known for training roaches how to sing and dance as well as introducing mice to the art of crochet. Whether you prefer the Anna McNeely in the Broadway version or Rebel Wilson in the movie, this is a great cat jam for the sophisticated feline.
16. “I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat” – Mel Blanc
If you’ve ever appreciated the animated characters as a child or adult, you’ll love this song. What many cartoon lovers don’t realize is that Mel Blanc, the man of 1,000 voices, gave vocal life to both Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat – underscoring the legendary performer’s versatility.
17. “Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
Of course, there’s a railway cat. Exactly what this feline is responsible for on the train is unclear, but he certainly sings about it with enthusiasm.
18. “Cat on Tin Roof” – Blonde Redhead
This is a slow, laid-back, bass-driven groove from the band’s ‘Barragán’ album.
It features the lead female vocals of multi-instrumentalist Kazu Makino.
19. “Thomas O’Malley Cat” – The Aristocats
“O’Malley the Alley Cat” – that’s what this tomcat croons to describe himself in the animated classic.
20. “What’s New Pussycat?” – Tom Jones
This song has been used countless times for comedic effect, but it’s still a masterfully crafted piece of music. From Tom Jones’s irresistible vocal expression to the song’s varied dynamics carried by the diverse instrumentation – including but not limited to an accordion and a punchy brass section – this is a cat song to party to.
21. “Scales and Arpeggios” – The Aristocats
Definitely among the cutest songs featuring cats – and possibly the most adorable animated representation of kittens the world has ever seen. The song even teaches you the basics of scales and arpeggios – in a way.
22. “Pet Me Poppa” – Guys and Dolls
You might not recognize this burlesque tune from the original stage version of the Broadway classic. That’s because this somewhat racier tune replaced “A Bushel and a Peck” for the film version, featuring Vivian Blaine as Miss Adelaide. She and her Alley Kittens perform a heavily cat-inspired dance to this swingin’ big band number.
23. “Cool For Cats” – Squeeze
It’s not easy to keep up with the pace of the lyrics in this exciting Brit rocker, but it’s still fun to dance to. If you learn anything from this song, it’s that it’s cool for cats.
24. “Magical Mr. Mistoffelees” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
If you love songs about cats with magical powers, this is the show tune for you. There’s an exciting build that happens a few times which never fails to excite.
25. “The Love Cats” – The Cure
If you’re a Cure fan and a cat fan, you can’t go wrong with this funky jam. It starts off with shakers and other percussion creating a catchy groove underneath a groovy bassline. Then Robert Smith’s signature vocals take you on a sentimental journey of cat-themed pain, love, and torment.
26. “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
This song is about the cat-Napoleon of crime who crashes the party and catnaps their fearless leader. It’s a catchy jazzy number that ranges from quiet and mysterious to loud and all-out sinister.
27. “Phenomenal Cat” – The Kinks
If you want a song that literally lays down a story about a cat’s life, look no further than this entry from the Kinks. The most phenomenal thing about this cat is its ability to eat as much as it does and still keep climbing back up the tree.
28. “The Minister’s Cat” – Musical Scrooge
Originally part of a parlor game played in the Victorian era, this song describes a cat with a different adjective starting with each letter of the alphabet in sequence. Guests go around in a circle trying to keep the song going as long as possible without drawing a blank on the next adjective.
29. “Pads, Paws and Claws” – Elvis Costello
This fun jam kicks off with a rock ‘n’ roll wail screech from Elvis Costello, followed by a catchy drum groove that meshes with the lively piano and bass. Even a marimba joins the party to form a highly danceable accompaniment to a story about a troubled marriage. Costello uses the metaphor of these particular parts of a cat’s anatomy, which can go from being so soft and cute to sharp and deadly in a matter of seconds.
30. “Meow Mix Jingle” – Tom McFaul
Now, this may seem like something of a novelty song – and some might argue hardly a song at all. But you would be hard-pressed to find a single person who hasn’t had this irresistible meowed jingle stuck in their head at least once, so it has earned its place on this list by default.
31. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – The Tokens
What better song to be the headliner on this list of cat jams? A lion might not be the first type of feline that comes to mind, but since they are big cats, this tune is definitely eligible. It’s an extremely relaxing jungle song that makes as great a lullaby as it does a karaoke song to sing.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.