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20 Awesome Album Covers With Cats on Them

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

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20 Awesome Album Covers With Cats on Them

Cats have been artists’ muses and subjects of art for centuries. So, it’s no surprise that you can find many album covers that feature cats. Some albums have unique drawings of cats, while others include photos of real-life cats. Here are some of our favorite albums with cats on the cover. Even if you don’t listen to the songs, the album art is still worthy of admiration!

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The 20 Cat Album Covers

1. The Very Best of Cat Stevens

Artist: Cat Stevens
Release Date: 01/22/1990

The Very Best of Cat Stevens is a compilation album that mostly features songs that Cat Stevens wrote between 1966 to 1977. Cat Stevens is known for his folk-rock songs, including “Father and Son,” “Wild World,” and “The First Cut Is the Deepest.”

The album art features a drawing of a boy wearing a top hat and an orange cat staring up at the night sky together. The picture is a nod to Stevens’ Teaser and the Firecat album, which features the same two characters.

2. Thriller (Special Edition)

Artist: Michael Jackson
Release Date: 10/16/2001

Michael Jackson’s original Thriller album was released on November 29, 1982. The original album cover doesn’t feature a tiger cub, but the special edition re-release in 2001 includes a photo of Jackson cradling a tiger cub. It’s said that this tiger cub belonged to Jackson and was named Thriller. This same cub was also featured in the music video for Jackson’s song, “Billie Jean.”

3. Taming the Tiger

Artist: Joni Mitchell
Release Date: 09/29/1998

This album is Joni Mitchell’s 16th studio album. The album features Mitchell’s signature jazz style, and her Roland VG-8 virtual guitar system is used heavily in many of the tracks.

Mitchell is also known for her love for cats. So, it’s no surprise that a self-portrait with one of her cats is featured on her album cover. This particular cat’s name was El Café.

4. Surfing the Void

Artist: Klaxons
Release Date: 08/23/2010

Surfing the Void is Klaxons’ second studio album. It has one of the best cat album covers and features a portrait of a cat posing as an astronaut. The album art was inspired by the band members’ random search for cats wearing spacesuits. They thought it would be funny and make quite a statement to see a photo of a cat in a spacesuit blown up on a billboard. They made this idea into a reality by designing their own photo and using Jamie Reynold’s cat as a model for the album cover.

5. Who Let the Cats Out?

Artist: Mike Stern
Release Date: 08/15/2006

This album was released in 2006 and peaked at Number 14 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Album chart. The titular song “Who Let the Cats Out?” is fast-paced and upbeat. It has the same energy as what it would feel like if a bunch of cats were let loose in a room.

Mike Stern is a cat lover and has had multiple pet cats. So, it’s no surprise that many of his songs are inspired by his cats.

6. Alley Cat

Artist: Bent Fabric
Release Date: 1962

Alley Cat is Bent Fabric’s debut album. Bent Fabric was a Danish pianist, and his single, “Alley Cat,” won a Grammy Award. The entire album consists of swing songs, and many of the melodies are reminiscent of cats. They have a playful feel and would be excellent to turn on and accompany your cats while they go about their day.

7. The Pink Panther

Artist: Henry Mancini
Release Date: April 25, 1964

This album features music from the iconic movie The Pink Panther. The album was well received and peaked at Number 8 on Billboard’s pop album chart, and it stayed on the chart for 41 weeks. The album had Grammy nominations for two categories: Best Album or Original Score and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. It also had an Academy Award nomination for Best Score. It was eventually awarded a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2001.

8. With Love and Squalor

Artist: We Are Scientists
Release Date: 10/17/2005

With Love and Squalor was We Are Scientists’ debut album under a major label. The album was a big success and also amassed a cult following. It was inspired by JD Salinger’s short story, “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor.”

The kittens on the album cover were used because the original artist couldn’t deliver an album cover art in time for the release. After that, cats continued to be featured in other projects.

9. Mambo for Cats

Artist: Jim Flora
Release Date: 1955

Mambo for Cats is a compilation album that features songs by multiple artists and bands, including Perez Prado and His Orchestra, Noro Morales and His Orchestra, and The Tony Martinez Quintet.

The album cover features three colorful cats drawn by artist James Flora. He’s best known for his cover art for albums produced by RCA Victor and Columbia Records. The cover art for Mambo for Cats and other artworks by Flora are often sold as individual prints because they’re so unique and eye-catching.

10. Knock Knock

Artist: Smog
Release Date: January 12, 1999

Knock Knock is Smog’s seventh studio album. The album was generally well-received as a breakup album, and it has themes of maturing and finding new ways to exist in the world. Smog himself had stated that this album was for teenagers. Therefore, he chose to place lightning bolts and a wild cat on the album cover because he said that those are things that teenagers would like.

11. Tapestry

Artist: Carole King
Release Date: 02/10/1971

Tapestry is Carole King’s second studio album. It was Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks and was one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album also won four Grammy Awards.

The cover of this successful album features Carole’s tabby cat, Telemachus. The photographer of the album art decided to include Telemachus in the photoshoot because he had read a Kodak survey that cats were one of the most popular subjects to be photographed at the time.

12. Cats Under the Stars

Artist: Jerry Garcia Band
Release Date: 04/15/1978

Cats Under the Stars is the first and last studio album recorded by the Jerry Garcia Band. This album was a side project initiated by Grateful Dead’s singer and guitarist, Jerry Garcia. It also features fellow Grateful Dead band members Keith and Donna Godchaux.

While the album didn’t have as much commercial success as Grateful Dead’s official albums, it was still a project that Garcia loved. The album art was inspired by Grateful Dead’s performance in Egypt and is reminiscent of Egyptian art and pyramids.

13. Forever

Artist: Gato Libre
Release Date: 07/10/2012

Gato Libre is a Japanese jazz ensemble that releases songs inspired by cats. While Gato Libre is often labeled as a jazz band, much of their music is inspired by folk melodies. All their songs also have cover art that features cats, so cat lovers will enjoy exploring their music and album art.

14. Wild Kitten

Artist: Joe Puma
Release Date: 1957

Joe Puma was a jazz guitarist and has performed with many other artists and bands throughout his career. He rose to fame as a session musician during the 1950s and continued to perform and teach music through the late 1990s.

Wild Kitten is a jazz album that features songs written by Joe Puma and other musicians, including Mat Matthews and the Gershwins. The album art features a cheerful cat playing the guitar and is the perfect depiction of what the songs will make you feel like when you listen to them.

15. Tourist History

Artist: Two Door Cinema Club
Release Date: 02/17/2010

Two Door Cinema Club is an indie punk and rock band from Northern Ireland. Tourist History is the band’s debut album, and it won the Choice Music Prize’s 2010 Irish Album of the Year.

It’s unclear as to why a cat was chosen to be featured on the album cover. However, we do know that the cat belonged to the photographer who worked on the album art.

16. Pack Up the Cats

Artist: Local H
Release Date: 09/01/1998

Pack up the Cats is Local H’s third studio album, and tracks tell the story of a rock star. The third song, “Lucky,” depicts the rock star “packing up his cats” and moving to Los Angeles to become famous.

This album was unfortunately released during a time of transition for the band’s record label. So, it didn’t receive as much attention or traction at the time. However, many fans love this album and consider it to be an underrated hidden gem.

17. Cats

Artist: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Release Date: 01/26/1983

Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording is a beloved favorite amongst cat fans. This album has many fun and memorable hits, and just listening to the songs brings you back to the whimsical spectacle of the live musical.

The album was a commercial success and received generally positive ratings. The Recording Industry Association of America gave the album Platinum certification in 1988, and it became the 16th best-selling cast recording of all time.

18. Crazy for You

Artist: Best Coast
Release Date: 07/27/2010

Crazy for You is Best Coast’s debut album. It faced unexpected success and received a lot of internet attention, as the band had been dropping EPs leading up to the album release.

The album art features Bethany Cosentino’s cat named Snacks, along with other elements that depict California. It was designed to have a nostalgic feel, which is reminiscent of the album’s themes of heartbreak and longing.

19. Chien Guêpe

Artist: Emile Parisien Quartet
Release Date: 04/2012

Chien Guêpe is an album produced by the avant-garde jazz band, the Emile Parisien Quartet. It features a 45-minute set that includes intricate experimental jazz tracks. The album cover is just as interesting as the music. It has multiple drawings of cats climbing up a wall and has other creative and curious elements that you can stare at and ponder upon as you listen to the tracks.

20. Eye of the Tiger

Artist: Survivor
Release Date: 05/31/1982

The iconic song “Eye of the Tiger” was written as the theme song for Rocky III, and its album was released the same year as the movie. Sylvester Stallone and Survivor worked on fine tuning the details of the song so that its elements would match some of the film’s dialogue and boxing scenes.

The song saw mass commercial success and was nominated for the Grammy Awards’ Song of the Year and the Academy Awards’ Best Original Song.

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We love that many artists are also cat fans and show their appreciation through their artwork. Now that you know all these different albums with cats on the cover, make sure to take some time to listen to them with your cat. It’ll be a fun time listening and dancing to some fun cat tunes while admiring unique and creative artworks that feature them.

Featured Image Credit: Podfot0, Shutterstock

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