"Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent:

Well I don't know where they come from
But they sure do come
I hope they comin' for me
And I don't know how they do it
But they sure do it good
I hope they doin' it for free

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

The first time that I got it
I was just ten years old
I got it from some kitty next door
I went and see the Dr. and
He gave me the cure
I think I got it some more

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

It's nothin dangerous
I feel no pain
I've got to ch-ch-change
You know you got it when you're going insane
It makes a grown man cryin' cryin'
Won't you make my bed

I make the pussy purr with
The stroke of my hand
They know they gettin' it from me
They know just where to go
When they need their lovin man
They know I do it for free

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

This song is a lament of the consequences of the narrator's love for women — just replace "they" with "women" every time you see it. The song makes a comparison between the consequences of involving oneself with women to contracting Cat-scratch Disease, Bartonella henselae, a disease transferred to humans via bite or scratch from an infected cat, usually (but not necessarily) a kitten. The offending organism is transferred to cats from fleas; it lives in fleas' guts and feces. Complications may arise and could include problems with the central nervous system, liver, spleen and lungs. The disease was not recognized until 1946, when a doctor in New York who owned a tiger contracted the "fever," and after another case developed in France four years later, it was called la maladie des griffes de chat. Normally, a week to two weeks after the scratch occurrs, the infected human (usually a child aged 2–14 or a veterinarian) will develop a few pimples at the site of the scratch and, once these disappear, the closest lymph nodes will enlarge and become sensitive. About a third of those with the disease develop the trademark fever and may also feel fatigued, have a headache or decreased appetite, or feel generally sick. The disease will usually go away after four to six weeks, but a there are a few antibiotics that can help expedite the process.

"Cat Scratch Fever" (as are most of Ted Nugent's songs) is a very basic song, owing most of its popularity to the success of simple hard rock and not to its expert composition. Also, the main guitar riff is almost exactly the same as Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water," an observation made by Phish during their 7/18/99 show (Oswego County Airport, Volney, New York) when they began playing "Smoke on the Water" and effortlessly segued into "Cat Scratch Fever."

Cat Scratch Fever is also the name of the album this song is on, released in 1977 on Epic. Rolling Stone says it's "a manic meditation on good sex, difficult sex, imaginary sex and Alice Cooper." Sony re-released it on June 22, 1999 and it saw a small rise in popularity afterwards. The song also appears on Double Live Gonzo, a live album released in 1978, and Live at Hammersmith '79, another (you guessed it) live album released in 1997.


  1. Cat Scratch Fever
  2. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
  3. Death by Misadventure
  4. Live It Up
  5. Home Bound
  6. Workin' Hard
  7. Playin' Hard
  8. Sweet Sally
  9. A Thousand Knives
  10. Fist Fightin' Son of a Gun
  11. Out of Control
  12. Cat Scratch Fever (live) [only on some releases]
  13. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang (live)

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RollingStone.com: http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/cd/review.asp?aid=59538&cf=1374
BNR Metal: http://www.bnrmetal.com/groups/nuge.htm
Dr. Greene: http://www.drgreene.com/21_821.html
Cat-scratch Fever: http://www.kcom.edu/faculty/chamberlain/Website/lectures/lecture/catfever.htm

Inclusion of lyrics is in compliance with E2's interpretation of fair use.

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