Cat Scratch Fever

Album: Cat Scratch Fever (1977)
Charted: 30
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Songfacts®:

  • Cat Scratch Fever is a real condition: it's an infectious disease caused by a cat scratch that usually affects young children. Nugent, however, changes the meaning to make it much more lustful, with the "cats" being women. The song is about sex and his rampant desire for it, or put more succinctly by Nugent, it's "about pussy."
  • Nugent explained the origin of this song in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock: "I had seen a medical journal back in 1975, I opened it up and at the top, it said, 'cat scratch fever.' I'd never heard of that before. What's that? So later on, that lick was cataloged in my memory bank. I went, 'Cat Scratch Fever!' and I had fun with the lyrics."
  • Nugent sang lead on this one - something he didn't do early in his career. Cat Scratch Fever was Nugent's third album, and featured vocal contributions from Derek St. Holmes, who also sang on Nugent's first album before being replaced by Meat Loaf for the second: Free For All. St. Holmes left for good after this album, as Nugent realized singing the songs himself was the best way to command the most attention.
  • Regarding his songwriting technique, Nugent keeps a notebook with song titles and lyric ideas, but the focus is on guitar. He often writes music in his dressing room before shows, but often does his best work in his home studio after a morning outdoors. When he plays his guitar and some music comes out that fits one of his titles, he puts them together and works on the song, but he never works out the lyric until after he has the guitar licks sorted out.
  • Nugent has a few songs where he makes a clear statement on a social or political issue ("Great White Buffalo," "Death by Misadventure"), but many of his songs are about sex, and he doesn't expect us to take them to heart. "I don't think a whole lot of people sit down and contemplate my lyrics," he told NME in 1979.

    "Oh, I don't know where they come from
    But they sure do come
    I hope they're coming for me
    Cat Scratch Fever'...


    I don't think that it is of too much consequence!"
  • Music supervisers sometimes willfully disregard the song's meaning and use it if they need a song about a cat - it shows up in the 2006 movie Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Other uses of the song include these movies:

    The Stöned Age (1994)
    Private Parts (1997)
    Edtv (1999)
    Detroit Rock City (1999)
    Lords of Dogtown (2005)
    Beer for My Horses (2008)
    Dampfnudelblues (2013)
    Welcome to Marwen (2018)

    And these TV shows:

    Las Vegas ("Mothwoman" - 2005)
    The Simpsons ("Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson" - 2012)
    American Dad! ("Stannie Get Your Gun" - 2005)
    Nip/Tuck ("Lulu Grandiron" - 2008)

Comments: 19

  • Bruce from BgHe hasn’t killed, but he totally would have, if he hadn’t literally s--t his pants to get out of it. Such a badass patriot, as long as all he has to do is run his mouth.
  • Maxwell Edison from Nm"...make my bed"? Earlier lyrics were "...bite my fez". Neither makes sense.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxMark, Nugent hasn't killed anymore and I'll take him over your Donkeycrat girlymen.
  • Baker from Los Angeles, CaI think Ted liked Ketamine too much.
  • Chomp01 from Penargyl, Pa"Ted Nugent is to American Hard Rock music, as what Apple Pie is to the United States. A symbol of American Heritage."
  • Chomp01 from Penargyl, Pa(from Wikipedia): "Cat Scratch Fever" is a rock song by Ted Nugent that appears on thecalbum ofthe same name. The song is well known for its signature riff, which is a 3-tone "blues scale" melody harmonized in parallel fourth. In 2009 it was named the 32nd best hard rock song of all time by VH1. -- (Pantera Cover): The tune was covered by Pantera for the Detroit Rock City CD soundtrack. Their version peaked at 40 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Nugent criticized the version claiming, "It was exceedingly white. No soul, no balls, no feel. Caucasian all the way." Nugent later released more possitive comments on the group and even mourned the death of Dimebag Darrell saying, "It's a heartbreaker." --(song was released on May, 1977 on Epic Records. Length: 3:41 .).
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaStanza two seems to clearly suggest it's some sort of STD (crabs would fit)
  • Squigle from Columbus, OhI know a girl who thought that the title was "Jack Scrath Tea-Bird"!!
  • Squigle from Columbus, OhTed Nugent's best!
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, Patoday , Ted Nugent owns a Archery Camp ; where he teaches young children how to use the bow and arrow for hunting . He spends much of his time hunting dears and has his own hunting show on Outdoor Network . He also hunts his own food (mostly Bucks [ male deers ]). He did a commercial onced for the "Energizer Battery" ; where he pretended he was selling his own pork rinds , and the Energizer Rabbit came in and stopped him as the announcer says , "Still going..Nothing outlast the Energizer battery. ..It keeps going..andgoing..and.." .
  • Robert from Los Angeles, CaAnd mark which is about six mor than you'll ever have for I suspect you are even a more minor player in you narrow world. Enjoy your john lennon yeah he's a rocker.
  • Bryan from Morgantown, KyDerek St. Holmes sang lead vocals on "Just What the Doctor Ordered" and "Dog Eat Dog". Derek St. Holmes did not sing lead on "Cat Scratch Fever".
  • AnonymousI thought this site was about music? Hey Mark from Byrdstown, at least he doesnt play any Dixie Chicks songs in concert! Has anyone seen their latest CD cover? Those broads look like the freakin' Addams Family!...YIKES! Remember music fans...Meat Is Murder...Tasty, tasty murder!
    THE MOTOR CITY MADMAN FOREVER...Guys who bring a knife to gun fight, NEVER!
  • Bam from London, Canada"great song and there is a fantastic cover by pantera" o man panteras version is garbage, its got no feel to it.

    "wow! songfact is incorrect, ted does sing on this song, compare it to just what the doctor ordered or dog eat dog" maybe ur were listening to one of his newer live albums where ted does sing it
  • Carrie from , MiI always thought this song was about a case of the crabs
  • Mark from Byrdstown, TnNugent had about 5 good songs.Now that he has become this crazed macho Republican killing machine I cant even listen to any of his 5 songs.No great loss....Nugent is a minor player in the world of rock.
  • Wes from Sherwood, Ari bet you youngsters never heard of his early acid type album ---journey to the center of the mind! example one song was named why is a carrot more orange than an orange!
  • Luis from São Paulo, BrazilGreat song. Nuge is huge.
  • Justin from Albany, Nygreat song and there is a fantastic cover by pantera
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