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The first commercial recording of the song was ca. 1894 for the Columbia Phonograph Company, Washington D.C., performed by Charles Marsh. "The Cat Came Back" was later recorded by Fiddlin' John Carson in April 1924. Other early recordings include one by Dock Philipine "Fiddlin' Doc" Roberts ("And The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day", Gennett 3235), on November 13, 1925. The song helped launch the career of children's entertainer Fred Penner. The song was used as the basis for the 1988 Oscar-nominated short animated film The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker.