Cathal recorded his first solo album, "Handed Down" in 1980, with his close friend and mentor, Arty Mc Glynn accompanying him on guitar. The tunes present on the album were all music that was passed down to him from his father through the years. Mc Glynn went to produce Cathal’s second solo offering, the self titled "Cathal Hayden" in the summer of 1999
During the late 1990’s, "Four Men and a Dog" were touring constantly for up to ten months of the year. In 1998 the band decided to take a break from touring. During his time away from "Four Men and a Dog", Cathal kept himself busy by teaming up with other musicians to play at events all around the world. He remained in contact with Mc Glynn, whose music he felt a deep connection with and used his influence to incorporate rock and bluegrass into his new style. He formed numerous alliances with other musicians, including the renowned accordionist Mairtin O’Connor, Piano Accordion maestro Alan Kelly, Bothy band piper Paddy Keegan but to name a few.
From he first picked up an instrument, Cathal’s only ambition was to be a professional traditional musician, and to make a career out of his dream. After almost 30 years of playing, he had certainly accomplished his desire. He has always striven to promote the music and pass on the musical gene, down through his family line, which is now apparent in the talented playing of his nephew Stephen, an accomplished accordion player. His musical talent is famous, not only in his home villages, but throughout Ireland and the entire world. When not performing to packed venues in America, China or Australia, Cathal is just as content playing to a few people in his quiet local pub.