Cat power in music extends beyond the many fabulous feline-themed album covers. Our Top 20 Cat Tracks pays tribute to all the kitties running through a variety of genres, from pop, rock, and country to rap and jazz — even Looney Tunes!
Tom Jones, "What’s New, Pussycat?" (1965)
This ’60s crooner accomplished a lot with a cheeky wink and a smile, making him the perfect choice to sing the title track to the classic film of the same name, starring Peter Sellers. There could be some unscientific proof out there that this is the song most sung to actual pussycats.
Poison, "Look What the Cat Dragged In" (1986)
Next time your pal wants to present you with the remnants of her latest kill, play this ’80s lipstick metal classic and see if it doesn’t help you find the humor in the situation.
Rej3ctz, "Cat Daddy" (2011)
The West Coast’s most recent significant contribution to the world of urban dance crazes came last year with a bouncy song and video by its side. The actual steps of the "Cat Daddy" dance look rather easy to learn — until you realize you don’t have the flexibility of a cat.
Peggy Lee, "The Siamese Cat Song" (1955)
The devious kitties from the classic Disney film Lady and the Tramp were important enough to merit their own tune soundtracking their fish-fetching efforts.
Mel Blanc, "I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat" (1950)
Tweety and Sylvester actually had their own song released on 78 RPM vinyl record. Mel Blanc, who voiced the Looney Tunes cartoon characters, took on both roles on wax as well.
Janet Jackson, "Black Cat" (1989)
Rawr! Miss Jackson (if you’re nasty) rocks out to some power guitar on her memorable ode to feline fierceness. Black cats never had so much shine.
Al Stewart, "Year of the Cat" (1976)
There are a lot of dog days out there in the world of music, but Stewart gave cats a whole year. He was rewarded with a No. 1 hit and more than one million copies sold.
Stray Cats, "Stray Cat Strut" (1982)
This American rockabilly trio enchanted both sides of the Atlantic with this Top 10 hit that bestowed consummate coolness on every cat in the alley. The band also had an adorable logo of a cartoon cat sporting a ’50s-style pompadour, which deserves to be slapped on T-shirts and revived.
Harry Chapin, "Cat’s in the Cradle" (1974)
The song is based on a poem written by Chapin’s wife. He was inspired to put it to the tune of a folk song when their son was born. It remains a powerful testament to father-son bonding.
Johnny Cash, "Mean-Eyed Cat" (1960)
A classic Cash tale of love ends with all appearing to be well under the sun. Well, except for the gaze of her cat, that is.
Ted Nugent, "Cat Scratch Fever" (1977)
Most people would be hard-pressed to name any other song from the famed wild-game hunter. The classic rock riffs and shouty chorus are so much more enjoyable when ignoring Uncle Ted’s icky come-ons in the rest of the lyrics.
Jimmy Smith, "The Cat"
The organ sounds on this instrumental song are indicative of jazz, but since there aren’t any lyrics, not many know that it’s in praise of the cat.
David Bowie, "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (1983)
Yes, he had a whole album called Diamond Dogs. But Bowie gave the kitties some love with this song, too.
Petula Clark, "Cat in the Window (The Bird in the Sky)" (1967)
If any song illuminates why kitties like to gaze at birdies in the window, Petula Clark’s does. It’s not for the sense of conquering, not for delicious food — nope, they just wish they could fly, too.
The Turtles, "Cat in the Window (The Bird in the Sky)" (1970)
This song didn’t remain Petula Clark’s for too long. The Turtles swept in three years later and made it their own with sweet harmonies and a groovy drum beat.
The Cure, "All Cats Are Grey" (1981)
British band the Cure had become known for gorgeously gloomy songs by the early ’80s. This one had comparatively fewer lyrics than most of its songs, with an ominous shout-out to cats: "In the caves, all cats are grey."
The Cure, "The Love Cats" (1983)
A doubleheader from the Cure is appropriate, because the group followed up "All Cats Are Grey" with this considerably peppier song two years later. The howls and upbeat feel of "The Love Cats" led the Cure to earn its first Top 10 hit in the U.K.
The Kinks, "Phenomenal Cat" (1968)
An odd ditty, which is not one of the Kinks’ greatest hits, but perhaps one of the band’s most endearing tunes.
Elton John, "Honky Cat" (1972)
"Get back, Honky Cat!" Elton John’s lively piano number is a loving tribute to country music and has enjoyed longevity across radio formats.
Deee-Lite, "Pussycat Meow" (1992)
It’s not as well-known as the group’s early-’90s dance-pop classic "Groove Is in the Heart," but if you love the bubbly bounce of that one, then throw on some kitten heels and give this a whirl.
Did we leave out your favorite cat tune? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credits: Cat with guitar via Shutterstock.