The Cat Came Back
Lyrics & Sheet Music

The Cat Came Back is a fun, silly song that kids love.  Here are several piano arrangements, plus guitar tabs in two keys.  

Scroll down the page for the links to the free downloadable PDFs...

The Cat Came Back guitar tabs

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Additionally, I like to use the VERY EASIEST arrangement (near the bottom of the page) for vocal students who have difficulty matching pitch.  The repeated notes in this song help them cement the notes in their memory. 

And that version only uses FIVE NOTES - which makes it attainable for near-beginners (see down at the bottom of the page for that 5-note arrangement).


With its great repeating bass line, this song is a natural for guitar - but in both keys, there is one hard chord!  The key of Am uses an F chord, and the key of Em uses a B chord.  Both are hard for beginners, but this is good practice:

Guitar tabs for The Cat Came Back

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

In Am, the tab  (melody) is more easily played if your left hand remains loosely in an Am chord shape.  I have played this as a trio with 2 other guitar players, with one on melody, one playing a bass line (a, g, f, e on string 5 and 6), and the other on chords.  It's fun!

The piano solo arrangement has nice energy:

Piano solo The Cat Came Back

The hard thing about this melody, of course, is the way it drops down a 4th from the tonic over and over again. 

One solution is to allow the left hand to take that note, if the arrangement will allow the left hand to be there.  With this arrangement, that could work, the left hand thumb playing B below Middle C just before the Em chord each repetition.

The Cat Came Back lyrics and sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Two lead sheets for other instruments (or piano!):

The Cat Came Back lead sheets in Dm & Em

Though it isn't technically beginner level, you'll find that a left hand descending bass line accompaniment is SO SIMPLE if you choose the Dm lead sheet.

It's identical to the line found in Erie Canal, which even beginners tend to master, because it is repeated over and over again.

They work at it because it's fun.  Or we play it week after week as a duet.

For beginning piano, here is a shared-hands melody arrangement:

Beginning piano melody arrangement of The Cat Came Back

Shared-hands melody for piano, The Cat Came Back

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here is page one of ALMOST the same melody, but with a few alphanotes to help out.  

What's different about the melody?  These oh-so-slightly-altered melodic lines fit entirely in the 5 fingers of the right hand with no movement required!  This is the arrangement I use with beginners.

Lettered notes in easy sheet music for piano version of The Cat Came Back

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

THIS IS A GREAT practice piece for doing left hand bass note plus chords, as I make all piano students do with I Love the Mountains.  (Left hand plays a low "E," for example, then comes an octave higher and plays a full Em triad.) 

If they can play hands together oom-pah chords with I Love the Mountains, then they can do The Cat Came Back just the same way!  

That's one good reason for dropping any extra notes that fall outside of the 5-finger position.  The hand coordination required is a major step forward for many students, and both Cat Came Back and I Love the Mountains provide enough fun to inspire the hard work!

First, I have kids play the chord names only: "E.... D... C... B..." while I play the melody.  

After they get the pattern, then I make them play the triads with their right hands.  

TRICK-Y!  Em and C are easy; but D and especially B are not - but probably your students will have encountered these chords before, if you are doing transposing work with them.  

Then, they put both hands together.  Now we have a duet, with them playing a secondo, in effect.  

It is so repetitious that they will learn it well. In a few weeks, when they have learned the melody REALLY WELL, they will do all of that secondo with just their left hand, and put the song hands together!

The following sheet is a greatly simplified version of the melody - most of the skips (thirds) have been removed:

Simplified melody, The Cat Came Back

I have used this simplest arrangement for new voice students who have trouble hearing and matching pitch.





The links for the free PDFs of the guitar arrangements:


Download The Cat Came Back for guitar in the key of Am


Download The Cat Came Back in Em



The piano solo link:


Download The Cat Came Back lyrics and sheet music piano solo



The lead sheet links:


Download lead sheet for The Cat Came Back in Dm


Download lead sheet in Em



The links for "Middle C" or shared-hands melody


Download easy shared-hands melody, The Cat Came Back


Download easy piano sheet music with lettered notes



The greatly simplified arrangement that fits all in 5 fingers:


Download simplified arrangement of The Cat Came Back for piano



Here's a fun recording from Laurie Berkner that stars a very sweet LIVE kitty:












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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.