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.  

The easiest-to-read arrangement, with doubled timing, is going to be preferred by your students:

The Cat Came Back, with doubled timing for beginning piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

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:

The Cat Came Back guitar tabs
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.

I like to use this VERY EASIEST arrangement for vocal students who have difficulty matching pitch.  The repeated notes in this song help them cement the notes in their memory. 

And this version only uses FIVE NOTES - which makes it attainable for near-beginners.  However, the eighth notes might scare them away... which is why I wrote a doubled-timing arrangement, which you can see at the very top of this webpage!

Simplified melody, The Cat Came Back

 ...and etc.!  I have used this simplest of the melodies for new voice students who have trouble hearing and matching pitch.




The link for the new piano arrangement in Dm with doubled timing:



Download the easy doubled-timing arrangement 



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:


More 5-finger songs at Music-for-Music-Teachers:

Cat Came Back (easiest version) - with fun-to-sing lyrics, many verses!


Erie Canal - Part I has only 5 notes, but is a satisfying introduction to this song


Fuzzy Wuzzy - cute and short!


Go Tell Aunt Rhody


God is So Good - a sweet melody with sweet words


Jingle Bells - every child knows this one


Mary Had a Little Lamb - a song with many uses!


Ode to Joy, the famous tune by Beethoven


Pizza Please (Hot Cross Buns) - 3 notes, arranged for each hand


Sharks (3 notes, for left hand) - this is like the Jaws theme song


Snake Charmer - with fun lyrics and a mysterious minor melody


Tarantelle - the spider dance, with silly lyrics about tarantulas


When the Saints Go Marching In - with several arrangements!








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

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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, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have 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.