The best songs about cats capture the many facets of these adorable creatures, from their graceful poises to their enviable ability to sleep all day long.
Singers and songwriters have also used cats as a stand-in for various aspects of human behavior and more adult-themed ideas.
Read on, and we’ll break down the best cat-themed songs you can listen to, from Broadway’s biggest musicals to obscure rock gems and one-hit wonders.
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The 23 Best Songs About Cats Of All Time
Cats have been the subject of musicals, cartoons, and stand-alone songs for many years, adored for their quirky habits and graceful elegance.
We’ve selected these songs to reflect these attributes and represent the theme’s various music genres and styles.
Let’s get started and begin our playlist of the 23 best songs about cats of all time:
23. “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber is no stranger to our feline friends, having written and produced the hit Broadway musical Cats.
The song “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” is all about the villainous cat Macavity, with the lyrics bragging about his criminal lifestyle.
This hugely popular music was based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.
22. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – The Tokens
The Tokens took cats to new heights and sang about the biggest cat of all with their hit song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
A popular sing-along piece of music, it explores the habits of lions as they take a well-deserved nap in the nighttime jungle.
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is also one of the most popular songs about sleep, with a wonderfully dreamy harmony running through the tune.
21. “Stray Cat Strut” – Stray Cats
“Stray Cat Strut” could just as easily be about human loners wandering the streets at night and is perhaps the best-known track from the Stray Cats.
“I don’t bother chasing mice around,” the lyrics sing, continuing with, “I slink down the alleyway looking for a fight.”
It’s a lively rockabilly tune with a bass-heavy retro-sounding style guaranteed to get your toes tapping along to the beat.
20. “Cleopatra’s Cat” – Spin Doctors
Released in 1994 by Spin Doctors, “Cleopatra’s Cat” is as much a brief history lesson as a quirky song about cats.
The lyrics explore everything from Cleopatra’s cat to the Roman leader Julius Caesar, who infamously had an affair with the Egyptian queen.
The Spin Doctors were at the height of their fame in the 1990s but continued to release albums up until their 2013 album, If The River Was Whiskey.
19. “What’s New Pussycat?” – Tom Jones
The popular song “What’s New Pussycat?” was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, with iconic singer Tom Jones taking on the vocals.
Recorded in 1965, it was used as the title track on the movie What’s New Pussycat? starring Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress.
Jones enjoyed a hugely successful career, with his song “Green Green Grass of Home” one of the best songs about home you can listen to.
18. “Kitty” – The Presidents Of The United States Of America
The Presidents of the United States of America contributed to great songs about cats with “Kitty,” an unusual tune from an eccentric band.
Featuring some foul language, it’s a song that uses cats to explore more explicit subject matter that you won’t hear in many other songs about cats.
The song was released on their 1995 self-titled album, which featured the popular singles “Lump” and “Peaches.”
17. “The Love Cats” – The Cure
Allegedly written while the Cure’s lead singer Robert Smith was on LSD, “The Love Cats” is a funky take on cats.
It features lively percussion and a cool bassline, with Smith’s instantly recognizable vocal style holding the tune together.
Another great love-themed song from The Cure, “The Song,” proved their biggest hit, charting in second place on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
16. “Phenomenal Cat” – The Kinks
Anyone who has owned a pet cat will appreciate just how great they can be, and the Kinks seem to agree with their song “Phenomenal Cat.”
The song explores the life of a cat, eating and sleeping to its heart’s content, reflected in the lyrics, “He just lived to eat ’cause it kept him fat.”
The track was featured on the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, which was released in 1968.
15. “Pads, Paws And Claws” – Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello took his typically feisty singing style to the topic of cat songs with “Pads, Paws And Claws,” released in 1989.
Made in collaboration with Paul McCartney, it’s a cat song that may be about more than just a cat slinking about a bedroom.
It’s a unique song from one of the UK’s most eccentric and idiosyncratic performers and was released on his seminal album, Spike.
14. “Nashville Cats” – The Lovin’ Spoonful
The Lovin’ Spoonful released “Nashville Cats” in 1966, featuring the song on their album Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful.
The playful lyrics and upbeat style reflect the carefree lifestyle of your average cat as they laze around the house in comfort.
The song also serves as a celebration of the Sun Records label, which released music for Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.
13. “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” – David Bowie
David Bowie wrote the song “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” for the film of the same name, which was released in 1982.
It captures the blend of eroticism and horror from the movie and proved to be one of his biggest hits as a solo artist.
Bowie would become one of the most celebrated artists of his generation, winning five Grammy Awards in addition to nineteen nominations.
12. “Leave My Kitten Alone” – The Beatles
The Beatles wrote and produced hundreds of songs over the years, so it’s no surprise they tackled the theme of cats with “Leave My Kitten Alone.”
Released at the height of Beatlemania, the song is a cover of Johnny Preston’s original version with a new rock spin.
The Beatles covered many other subjects in their music, including releasing one of the best songs about light, “Here Comes The Sun.”
11. “Cat On Tin Roof” – Blonde Redhead
American-Italian alternative rock band Blonde Redhead used lead singer Kazu Makino’s high-pitched vocals to perfect effect on the song “Cat on Tin Roof.”
It’s an ambiguous and mysterious song that many interpret as a metaphor for feeling trapped in a relationship.
Driven by a lush bass and carefully arranged instrumentation, it was released as part of the band’s Barragán album in 2014.
10. “The Alley Cat Song” – David Thorne
Returning once again to the 1960s for David Thorne’s catchy and heartfelt song about cats, “The Alley Cat Song.”
It’s a beautiful piece of music with a sad undercurrent as Thorne sings about the realization that his love is gone forever.
David Thorne has enjoyed an illustrious career as a musician and composer, even performing in front of Queen Elisabeth II at one point.
9. “Mungojerrie And Rumpleteazer” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber is back once again for another classic musical number about cats, “Mungojerrie And Rumpleteazer.”
Like our previous entry from Webber, this is another song about criminally-inclined felines who like to steal valuables from local humans.
It’s a fun tune with a jaunty melody and inventive instrumentation that is something of a trademark for the iconic musical composer.
8. “Honky Cat” – Elton John
Elton John was at the height of his fame in the 1970s when he released the song “Honky Cat” and has performed it live many times since.
A club favorite on its initial release, it’s about life in a small village and is partly inspired by one of the lyricists he worked with.
Elton John has continued to be a massive star over many decades, writing one of the best songs of all time, “Your Song.”
7. “A Year Of The Cat” – Al Stewart
Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart released his song about cats, “A Year of the Cat,” in 1976 and performed keyboard, guitar, and vocals.
It features some lengthy instrumentation sections and takes the idea of cats in reference to the signs of the Chinese Zodiac.
The title track from the album of the same name, “A Year of the Cat,” was Stewart’s highest-placed release, hitting number eight on the Billboard charts.
6. “Cats In The Cradle” – Harry Chapin
“Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, released in 1974, is a powerful ballad from the American singer-songwriter and one of his most popular songs.
It’s about the relationship between a father and his son, with the former being too busy to spend time together.
It is a heartbreaking song about the regrets people have for not dedicating more time to their families; it serves as a cautionary tale for fathers worldwide.
5. “The Kitty Cat Song” – The Troggs
There’s no room for ambiguity with a song title like “The Kitty Cat Song,” and The Troggs don’t mince their words on this catchy song.
It’s all about how the singer’s cat can be compared to his partner and is done with smooth-sounding vocals and pleasing musical arrangements.
A popular garage rock band from the 1960s, the Troggs released several chart hits over the years, including “Wild Thing” and “Love Is All Around.”
4. “Like A Cat” – Cindi Lauper
Cindy Lauper is widely known for her classic pop song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” but also turned her talents toward the theme of cats.
“Like a Cat” is another fun and infectious sing-along song from Lauper that makes the listener want to get up and dance around the room.
Released in 1989, it was featured on Cindi Lauper’s album A Night to Remember, originally set to be released in 1988 under the name Kindred Spirit.
3. “Cool Cat” – Queen
Queen enjoyed many hit songs over the years, including one of the best karaoke songs of all time, “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
With “Cool Cat,” the iconic glam rock band took a more laid-back approach to music that captures the strutting and posing cats sometimes seem to exhibit.
The song was written by John Deacon and Freddie Mercury and taken from the 1982 album Hot Space.
2. “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” – The Aristocats
Disney movies have been made about the animated lives of all manner of animals, with The Aristocats their take on the secret world of city cats.
“Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” is perhaps the most well-known song from the film, introducing jazz music to a new generation of music lovers.
Released in 1970, the movie proved to be one of Disney’s most enduring hits of the era, with a live-action remake set to be produced in the future.
1. “Cool For Cats” – Squeeze
Bring up the topic of songs about cats, and almost everyone will mention the classic song from Squeeze, “Cool For Cats.”
It’s a quirky and highly memorable pop song with fast-paced lyrics and a danceable groove that remains popular today.
The biggest hit from Squeeze, along with “Up the Junction,” was intended as an analogy for the social scene the band grew up around in London.
So there you have it, our deep dive into the best songs about cats of all time, whether you’re a cat lover or simply after something a little different.
These songs capture these feline creatures in all their guises, from mischievous alley cats searching for food to cartoon cats from classic movies.
One of the most popular pets, cats, will continue to endure and inspire singers and bands to write great songs about their habits and lifestyle.
What’s the best song about cats, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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