Country music fans stereotypically love songs about their canine friends, with examples ranging from the Red Foley classic “Old Shep” to Blake Shelton’s more recent request for puppy naming rights. In that time frame, country songs about cats remained pretty scarce. It’s as if some kind of back-kennel deal was struck in Nashville between man’s best friend and literal fat cats, with the former keeping its stronghold on country music songs and the latter allowed to run the internet. This, of course, came when the internet was in its infancy and seemed like more of an even trade. Since the advent of social media, (lol)cats win that exchange all the way.
In all seriousness, kitty cats appeared in a handful of really good country and folk songs over the years. These five cat songs could actually be about a feline (even when they’re not), so we’re skipping pop culture tropes about of Nashville cats, Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?,” theoretical stray cats, Ted Nugent’s rocking case of “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Cat’s in the Cradle” unlucky black cats and Disney soundtrack cuts.
“Della and the Dealer,” Hoyt Axton
Applied to an actual cat, Axton’s observations about Kalamazoo make total sense. Seedy types should consider having cats as their best pals–it’s not like they can rat out their human friends.
“The Cat Came Back,” Sonny James
This offbeat novelty song applies to a lot of our feral friends and alley cats that, regardless of how often they hide or get hurt by their adversaries, are rarely gone for good.
Read More: 10 Best Country Music Songs About Dogs
“Cool Cat,” Collin Raye
It’s a stretch to say this doesn’t break the rules and isn’t about a little kid, if only because cat people know better than to try to put their ornery feline friends in “jammies.” The rest of the lyrics of this children’s song apply to those cool customers we choose as pets.
“You Know Me Better Than That,” George Strait
In one of Strait’s greatest singles, his current flame doesn’t seem to notice that he’s not exactly a cat lover. Surely he grew to love cats and still visited his fuzzy buddy after inevitably getting back with his ex-lover.
“Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog,” Norma Tanega
Tanega, a roots-honoring pop and folk singer, always wanted a dog, but her living situations better suited cat ownership. The cure for what made her blue was simple enough– she leash-trained her cat named “Dog.”