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The Cat Came Back Lyrics

Looking for a funny campfire song for the whole family? Here are The Cat Came Back lyrics.

There are numerous versions of this song. Some have verses that are too bloodthirsty for my taste - especially for a just-before-bedtime singsong! I like the Cat Came Back lyrics used by Bill Slavin in his wonderful illustrated book.

I first learned The Cat Came Back years ago when I was working at a daycare center. The children loved it!

When I had children of my own, I taught them the song. It became a family favorite. It's just the thing to sing around the campfire!

The words

Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own,
He had a yellow cat that wouldn't leave his home.
He tried and he tried to give that cat away,
He found an ocean liner going far, far away.


But the cat came back
the very next day,
The cat came back,
they thought he was a goner,
The cat came back,
he just wouldn't stay away.

Mr. Johnson gave the cat to a man in a balloon,
He said, "Please take this cat and leave it on the moon."
The balloon came down about ninety miles away.
Where the cat is now, well, no one wants to say...


Mr. Johnson gave the cat to a fellow going west,
He said, "This cat's a present for the one you love the best".
First the train hit the track,
then it bounced and hit a rail,
Not a person stayed around to tell the gruesome tale...


The cat was now a father of a family of his own,
They lived with Mr. Johnson till there came a cyclone.
It tore the house apart and tossed the cats around,
The air was filled with kittens,
The cat could not be found...


Don't know the tune?

Here it is! Download it right now and you'll be singing along in moments!

More About The Cat Came Back Song

  • This is a very old song! It was written by a man named Harry S. Miller and published in 1893!

The song is a popular one with children's singers. I like Sharon, Lois and Bram's version. (Do you know Sharon, Lois and Bram? You should!)

  • A filmaker named Cordell Baker made a seven minute animated movie based on the song. It was released by the National Film Board of Canada in 1988, and was nominated for an Academy Award. It's hilarious!

Are you a cat lover - or not?

Either way, you can enjoy this song!

  • Cat lovers will cheer for the cat and will rejoice in his victories.
  • Non-cat lovers will empathize with Mr. Johnson and will appreciate his inventive attempts to solve his dilemma.

Now that you know The Cat Came Back lyrics, look here for more songs to sing around the campfire.

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