Following her studies at The King's High School For Girls, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with Arthur Reckless, she began her career as a member of the English Baroque-jazz crossover group, The Swingle Singers (then called "Swingle II"). By 1980 she had begun appearing frequently in the New London Consort and thereafter began performing across the world in Europe, Latin America and the USSR with several other period-instrument groups.
She has recorded extensively, for example as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music in 1994), with the choir of King's College, Cambridge conducted by Stephen Cleobury in Bach's St. John Passion, as Venus in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis with Philip Pickett, and in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea with Sir John Eliot Gardiner. She also vocalized on Trevor Jones's score for The Dark Crystal.
Bott has been used by conductors to perform and record more recent repertoire, for example with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Fauré's Requiem, Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia Antartica, Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 with Bryden Thomson and the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra respectively. She is also in demand among contemporary composers such as Michael Nyman and Jonathan Dove.
With Lucie Skeaping, Bott has been one of two presenters of The Early Music Show on BBC Radio 3 and has also presented Radio 3's Live in Concert. In October 2013, Bott joined Classic FM to present a three-year project covering the entire history of classical music. She currently presents The Full Works Concert on Classic FM every Thursday and Friday between 8pm and 10pm. She can also be heard as a presenter for performances on the Wigmore Hall website.
- "Catherine Bott". Hyperion Records.
- "Governors". Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015.
- Freeman-Attwood, J: "Bott, Catherine", Grove Music Online <http://www.grovemusic.com>, accessed 16 April 2006
- "Radio 3 Presenters". BBC Radio 3. accessed 1 February 2012
- Alex Stevens "Catherine Bott moves to Classic FM for 3-year Everything You Ever Wanted to Know…" Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Classical Music Magazine", 11 October 2013