25 Best Books for Cat Lovers

best books for cat lovers books about cats kittens felines literary cats

One of my (many) favorite things about book lovers is that they’re more often than not animal lovers as well. So, what better way to celebrate book lovers than with a list of best books for cat lovers?

There’s a wealth of great books and short stories and whatnot across all genres about cats. My person favorite from this list is The Price by Neil Gaiman, which is a short story about a black cat that shows up one day. Here’s an animated version of it, too.

Table of Contents

Short Stories about Cats
Literary Cats
Sci-fi, Fantasy & Cats
Heartwarming Stories about Cats
Illustrated Stories about Cats
Mystery-Solving Cats
Books about Literary Cat-Lovers

Short Stories about Cats

I’ve listed the stories based on the books they appear in, though many of these stories appear in other anthologies such as Cat Stories or the Sophisticated Cat.

The Price from Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman

What It's About: The Price is a story with an eerie feel, but a surprising and almost touching ending. As mentioned above, it's one of my favorite short stories, and it's about a black cat that shows up at a family's house one day.

Publication Date: November 1, 1998
short stories horror neil gaiman

Puss-in-Boots from The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Angela Carter

What It's About: The Bloody Chamber is a fantastic collection of fairytale retellings by Angela Carter. Puss-in-Boots is a bawdy retelling of the Italian-French fairy tale story of the loyal, trickster cat, Puss-in-Boots.

Publication Date: May 26, 2015
fantasy horror gothic

Goodbye to All Cats by P.G. Wodehouse
P.G. Wodehouse

What It's About: It's humorous, silly story about a guy who tries (and fails) to impress a girl and her animal-loving, cat-owning family.

Publication Date: March 28, 2000
wodehouse humor comic

The Story of Webster and Cats will be Cats from Mulliner Nights by P.G. Wodehouse
P.G. Wodehouse

What It's About: Like the one above, it's an unserious story about nephew who is asked to take care of his uncle's cat, Webster.

Publication Date: January 17, 1933
wodehouse humor humour

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

What It's About: The Black Cat is more of a story involving a cat than it is a story for cat lovers, per se. But it's well-known enough that it would seem odd to exclude it from this list. It's a dark tale, in the classic Poe style, about a guy wracked with guilt and a cat named Pluto.

Publication Date: March 31, 2016
horror short stories gothic

The Cat that Walked by Himself by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling

What It's About: It is a story of the beginning of domesticated life: Man meets Woman and they move into a cave and set up the first household. Dog, Horse, and Cow come out of the Wild Woods and become tame. But Cat refuses.

Publication Date: Not Available
classics short stories children

The Cat from The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
Tove Jansson

What It's About: It's about a girl who gets a cute cuddly cat that grows up to be not quite so cuddly. A short, cute story.

Publication Date: May 20, 2008
classics short stories finland

Literary Cats

Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami

What It's About: Kafka on the Shore tells two inter-related stories, one of which involves a man named Nakata who is a finder of lost cats.

Publication Date: January 3, 2006
magical realism fantasy japanese

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami

What It's About: This book is about a couple and their marriage, with their cat symbolizing the status of the relationship between the two.

Publication Date: April 12, 1994
magical realism japanese fantasy

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Truman Capote

What It's About: Holly Golightly's cat is probably the most famous unnamed cat in literature. But for whatever Holly's flaws, you have to admit she does seem to love her cat.

Publication Date: February 5, 2013
classics books i own short stories

The Familiar, Volume 1
Mark Z. Danielewski

What It's About: In the simplest terms, this is a book about a girl who finds a cat, and this entire series of books (27 volumes planned) are about that cat. Of course, Mark Danielewski likes writing very complicated post-modernist epics, so obviously there's a lot more to the story than that.

Publication Date: January 1, 2015
fantasy books i own dnf

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

What It's About: Most people remember the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland who gets some of the most quotable lines of the book, but it's worth taking a moment to remember Alice's own little kitten, Dinah.

Publication Date: October 27, 2015
fantasy childrens classic

Neil Gaiman

What It's About: Coraline is a story about a girl who discovers a door into a parallel universe and her journey to try to get back home. She travels with her helpful, loyal black cat.

Publication Date: July 2, 2002
horror young adult middle grade

The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov

What It's About: Behemoth is the (utterly fantastic) name of the enormous demonic black cat that is a memorable character in this classic Russian novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. It's a humorous tale of the Devil's visit to Soviet Moscow in the 1930s, but be beforewarned that it's not an easy read.

Publication Date: May 3, 2016
russian fantasy russian literature

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
T. S. Eliot

What It's About: T.S. Elliot will forever be associated with cats and Cats! due to this whimsical book of poetry. A must to complete any collection of literary-cat-related books.

Publication Date: October 5, 1939
classics cats animals

Sci-fi, Fantasy & Cats

Morte (War with No Name #1)
Robert Repino

What It's About: If you're in the mood for some cat-themed sci-fi, check out this series of books. The titular Morte is a cat assassin searching for his lost love in this first book.

Publication Date: January 1, 2014
science fiction sci fi fantasy

Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth
Lloyd Alexander

What It's About: This is a beloved children's book about a talking, magical cat named Gareth.

Publication Date: February 1, 1996
time travel historical fiction childrens

Warriors Super Edition: Bluestar's Prophecy
Erin Hunter

What It's About: A series of children's books about super warrior cats. This installment (Bluestar's Prophecy) is a standalone book in the series, so you can get a sense of whether it's something you'd like!

Publication Date: June 1, 2009
warriors fantasy warrior cats

The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern

What It's About: The Starless Sea isn't really about cats at all, but it's about an underground labyrinth dedicated to storytelling where there are a bunch of cats wandering around.

Publication Date: November 5, 2019
fantasy dnf physical tbr

Heartwarming Stories about Cats

The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Hiro Arikawa

What It's About: From The San Francisco Chronicle: The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice that shows how the smallest things can provide the greatest joy—the perfect gift for cat lovers and travelers.

Publication Date: October 23, 2018
contemporary japan animals

All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot

What It's About: The memoirs of this veterinarian deal with a whole range of animals, including cats. This book is considered something of a classic for animal lovers.

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
non fiction memoir animals

Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul
Jack Canfield

What It's About: Leave your cynicism at the door for this one, and get comfy before you dive into this heartwarming collection of stories. Also, get some tissues ready, since if you don't cry, are you even really a cat lover?

Publication Date: September 27, 2005
non fiction animals cats

The Guest Cat
Takashi Hiraide

What It's About: A wonderful sui generis novel about a visiting cat who brings joy into a couple’s life in Tokyo.

Publication Date: January 28, 2014
japan japanese cats

Illustrated Stories about Cats

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
The Oatmeal

What It's About: If your cat is kneading you, that's not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn't a gift. It's a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is an offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal...

Publication Date: July 15, 2012
humor graphic novels comics

Simon's Cat
Simon Tofield

What It's About: Simon Tofield's animations have taken YouTube by storm. Now, the feline Internet phenomenon makes his way onto the page in this first-ever book based on the popular animated series. Simon's Cat depicts and exaggerates the hilarious relationship between a man and his cat. The daily escapades of this adorable pet, which always involve demanding more food, and his exasperated but doting owner come to life through Tofield's charming and hilarious illustrations.

Publication Date: September 24, 2009
comics graphic novels cats

The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons
New Yorker Magazine

What It's About:

Publication Date: October 10, 1990
cats comics animals

The New Yorker Book of All-New Cat Cartoons
The New Yorker

What It's About:

Publication Date: December 16, 1997
cats comic strips comics

Mystery-Solving Cats

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (The Cat Who Series #1
Lilian Jackson Braun

What It's About: Jim Qwilleran is a prizewinning reporter who's been on the skids but is now coming back with a job as feature writer (mostly on the art scene) for the Daily Fluxion. George Bonifield Mountclemens, the paper's credentialed art critic, writes almost invariably scathing, hurtful reviews of local shows; delivers his pieces by messenger; lives with his all-knowing cat Koko in a lushly furnished house in a moldering neighborhood, and has a raft of enemies all over town...

Publication Date: August 15, 1986
cozy mystery mysteries series

By Book or By Crook (A Lighthouse Library Mystery #1)
Eva Gates

What It's About: Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner...

Publication Date: February 3, 2015
mystery cozy mystery cozy mysteries

Cat Chase the Moon (A Joe Grey Mystery #21)
Shirley Rousseau Murphy

What It's About: Feline P. I. Joe Grey and his friends pounce on three investigations that may connect to one larger mystery—including one case that is very personal—in this hair-raising installment in Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s beloved, award-winning series.

Joe Grey and his partner, Dulcie, are frantic when Courtney, their pretty teen-kitten goes missing...

Publication Date: April 23, 2019
mystery cats cozy mystery

The Cats Came Back (Magical Cats)
Sofie Kelly

What It's About: Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson often seems to gets mixed up in murder, but luckily, her very special cats always find a way to help her close a case . . .

The charming Minnesota town of Mayville Heights is hosting a music festival, and the whole place is bustling with musicians and tourists...

Publication Date: September 4, 2018
mystery cozy mystery cozy mysteries

Cat Out of Hell
Lynne Truss

What It's About: By acclaimed storyteller Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots and Leaves, the mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful.

The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn...

Publication Date: March 8, 2016
horror fantasy mystery

Books about Literary Cat-Lovers

Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen
Sam Kalda

What It's About: A stylish, illustrated gift book from an award-winning artist that profiles notable cat-loving men throughout history in words and pictures.

Of Cats and Men presents a fresh approach to cat entertainment that’s smart, sweet, and driven by beautiful art (instead of tacky photography, as many cat books are)...

Publication Date: April 18, 2017
cats history animals

On Cats
Charles Bukowski

What It's About: Felines touched a vulnerable spot in the unfathomable soul of Charles Bukowski, the Dirty Old Man of American letters. On Cats brings together the acclaimed writer’s reflections on the animals he so admired. Bukowski’s cats are fierce and demanding—he captures them stalking their prey, crawling across his typewritten pages; waking him up with claws across the face...

Publication Date: August 15, 2017
poetry cats non fiction

The Cat Inside
William S. Burroughs

What It's About:

Publication Date: January 29, 2002
cats memoir animals

Mark Twain for Cat Lovers
Mark Dawidziak

What It's About:

Publication Date: May 1, 2015
non fiction cats short stories

Hope you enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed putting it together. For one last piece of cat-related writing, check out this poem entitled “To Mrs. Reynold’s Cat” from an OG cat-lover, poet John Keats.

best books for cat lovers books about cats kittens felines literary cats

Share this post


Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game