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
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: January 29, 2008
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
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 27, 2018
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: August 15, 2003
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
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: October 15, 2010
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
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 1, 1970
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: January 1, 1970
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
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: May 12, 2015
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
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: April 24, 2012
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
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: August 30, 1982
Sci-fi, Fantasy & Cats
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, 1970
What It's About: This is a beloved children's book about a talking, magical cat named Gareth.Publication Date: January 1, 1970
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: July 28, 2009
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
Heartwarming Stories about Cats
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: January 1, 1970
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
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 28, 2012
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
Illustrated Stories about Cats
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 14, 2020
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
What It's About: Here are the funniest and most feline cats ever assembled in 101 cartoons, the cream of the cream, from sixty-five years of the New Yorker.Publication Date: October 10, 1990
What It's About: Cats again? You can never have too many . . .
Drawn from the hundreds of cartoons published in The New Yorker in the seven years since The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons--as well as from fabulous older cats--this new collection is as hilarious and irresistible as the first.
The cartoons provide a cat's-eye view of the world and the important things in life: food, sleep, love and affection, adventure, food, good friends and doggy enemies, back rubs, and food...Publication Date: December 16, 1997
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
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: January 1, 1970
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: January 1, 1970
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
What It's About: Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves) is back with a mesmerizing and hilarious tale of cats and murder
For people who both love and hate cats comes the tale of Alec Charlesworth, a librarian who finds himself suddenly alone: he’s lost his job, his beloved wife has just died...Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Books about Literary Cat-Lovers
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
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: January 1, 1970
What It's About: Best known for the wild, phantasmagoric satire of works like Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs reveals another, gentler side in The Cat Inside. Originally published as a limited-edition volume, this moving and witty discourse on cats combines deadpan routines and dream passages with a heartwarming account of Burroughs's unexpected friendships with the many cats he has known...Publication Date: January 29, 2002
What It's About: America is cat crazy, and Mark Twain may have been the American writer most crazy about cats. From his boyhood in Hannibal, Missouri, to his last years in Connecticut, Mark Twain spent much of his life surrounded by cats, and they stalk through many of his best-known books, including The Innocents Aboard, Roughing It, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Puddn'head Wilson...Publication Date: September 1, 2016
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.