The Katzenjammers were founded in 1973 by Peter Urquhart '74 and Mimi Danly '74: the then-music directors of the Nassoons and the Tigerlilies, Princeton's oldest single-sex groups. With repertoire from Bach to the Beatles, the Katzenjammers quickly established themselves as not only the youngest, but the most versatile and musical group on campus. Their incredibly diverse repetoire and wide range of voices formed the basis of a new musical style, a completely different breed of a cappella in the midst of hundreds of single-sex groups nationwide. Today, the group continues to value variety in its music for the purposes of both entertainment and musical integrity; the Katzenjammers regularly perform jazz, classical, secular, sacred, and pop music.

Over 30 years later, the Katzenjammers continue to enthusiastically carry on the co-ed a cappella tradition they began. Their fifth album, Midnight Comes Around (1995), earned the group nominations in all categories of the 1996 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, winning the Best Arrangement award for "Round Midnight." The group's seventh album, Autumn Leaves (2001), and their 2004 release Sassafras and Moonshine, have become favorites among listeners. Their latest album, Scratching Out a Tune, was released in May 2008.

The Katzenjammers share in the rich Princeton a cappella tradition with all-male groups the Nassoons, the Footnotes, The Old Nassoul, and the Tigertones; all-female groups the Tigerlilies, the Tigressions, and the Wildcats; and co-ed groups the Roaring 20 and Shere Khan.