15 Great Books Cat Lovers Should Read

It’s hard to deny the allure of cats and how they’ve taken such a hold over some of our lives. They’ve become the social media darling as owners share numerous cat photos and videos that garner massive amounts of attention simply for the adorable nature. Cats can also be playful pets who enjoy a good scratching post or catching a toy. They’re also exceptional distractions from work and on rare occasions the perfect snooze buddy considering they’re experts at daytime sleep for being nocturnal animals. But there’s a lot to learn about cats aside from the basics of potty training and getting them used to a new home. These books, of both fiction and non-fiction, should give any reader some valuable insight into felines, whether you’re considering owning one, looking for some tips to use on your current cat, or you just really dig cats in general.

Cat Sense

written by John Bradshaw
Published in 2013
307 pages

The cats certainly seem to be taking over considering there seems to be more of them as pets than there are dogs. Anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes a look at just how far this species has come through many generations of felines that have led to the domestic house cat we have today. Relying on the latest in research, Bradshaw not only divulges the nature of our furry friends but also dispels a few of the misconceptions as well. Based upon thousands of years of research, this is an absolute must of a book for cat lovers who want to know more about their pets than merely which food they prefer.

The Guest Cat

written by Takashi Hiraide
Published in 2001
140 pages

Revered poet Takashi Hiraide gives a rather transient take on cats in this stirring and contemplative work of fiction. The best-selling and award-winning book focuses on a couple residing quietly in Tokyo, working from home and with little to say. Life seems dreary until they invest in a cat and soon they find their home is a much different place, where joy and beauty seem to seep back into their lives. Both brisk and easygoing in its slice-of-life allure, The Guest Cat has a certain tone that will resonate quite bright for anyone who found their lives enriched by a cat.

Catakism: Bow to the Meow

written by Jeff Lazarus
Published in 2017
184 pages

Jeff Lazarus gives a comical and quirky take at just how much cats now dominate our lives. His book asks somewhat uncomfortable and hilarious questions about felines and if we rely on them too much for our reliance on emotional and spiritual needs. As humans, we devote so much attention to our cats in so many aspects, from grooming them to cute perfection to photographing them for all your social media feed to witness. Punctuated with satire, this silly read begs the interesting question of just how much religion has formed around the obsession with cats that have lingered for so long. It’s a jovial read for anyone fully embracing the cult of cats.

Think Like a Cat

written by Pam Johnson-Bennet
Published in 2000
413 pages

Pam Johnson-Bennett has devoted her career to finding out just what’s going on in the minds of cats. Her book not only goes into the communications and motivations that shape feline behavior but way that the bad behaviors can be modified to keep the bond between your bet stronger than a scratching post. No matter what your cat-loving friends may suggest, maintaining a happy cat takes far more than keeping a full bowl and a mess-free litter box. There’s a lot that goes into the health and training of a cat to ensure a good life, making this book an easy recommendation for cat owners both new and seasoned.

The Inner Lives of Cats

written by Thomas McNamee
Published in 2017
288 pages

Thomas McNamee takes note of his pet cat Augusta for more than just cuteness and companionship. He uses her as a scientific basis for divulging the many mysteries of the feline kind that would be of great use to those interested in our furry friends. From a young age, Augusta is examined physiologically and psychologically. In addition, Thomas also explores the evolution of these fascinating creatures as well as colonies from around the world. Coupled with interviews from activists and researchers, this is an all-encompassing book on trying to figure out just where cats came from and what they want as they grow.

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

written by T.S. Eliot
Published in 1939
56 pages

Contrary to what it would be adapted into, T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is not quite the musical adventure that was the musical Cats, spawned from this writing. Someone seeking that level of surreal from this book may be disappointed. That being said, this is still an intoxicating collection of sublime poetry all relating to the playful nature of cats. Eliot is posed in these writings originally intended for his grandchildren as the narrating Old Possum. It’s a fairly light read at only 56 pages but is sure to please those who adore cats, both young and old.

How to Live Like Your Cat

written by Stephane Garnier
Published in 2017
176 pages

French author Stéphane Garnier’s pet Ziggy becomes the focus of how much wisdom one cat can give in their carefree manner of living. It may be true what the musical The Aristocats sang, that everybody wants to be a cat. You may just want to in this well-documented account of the daily routines of a cat and just how wise such a lifestyle can be that’s devoid of much distraction. Sure, this kind of book does tread on some easy comedy but there’s also a bit of earnest insight as to what we can take away from felines that may benefit our own ways of living as well.

Tailchaser’s Song

written by Tad Williams
Published in 1985
364 pages

Tad Williams takes readers on a fantastical voyage of heroes and villains, where cats are the characters at play. The story follows tom cat Fritti Tailchaser as the brave and scrappy hero in a dangerous world of cats that are gods and fur-less giants simply referred to as the mysterious M’an. Fritti must venture into the great beyond to save his friend Hushpad, even if he has to proceed to the depths of hell for such a rescue. Filled with folk allure and rousing excitement, Tailchaser’s Song is sure to be a pleasing adventure for any lover of cats with a vivid imagination.

The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat

written by John Bradshaw
Published in 1992
219 pages

Whether you’re a training vet who wants to absorb as much cat knowledge as possible or just an owner could use some additional insight, John Bradshaw’s The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat is an essential read on the psychology behind our indoor feline pals. This book draws from a wide range of scientific studies on cats but also boils it down into a comprehensive overview on trying to understand cats physiologically, developmentally, and psychologically. There’s even a special final chapter on negative cat behavior written by renowned behavior therapist Peter Neville. It’s in-depth yet easy-to-read on the subject of trying to figure out everything there is to know about domesticated cats.

Cat Confidential

written by Vicky Halls
Published in 2004
272 pages

Vicky Halls had specialized in being a cat counselor to help out frustrated owners with cats that present more problems than affection. Cat Confidential is her first book and it covers quite a bit of ground in how to establish a better relationship with your feline roommate. Is your cat scared? There are instructions within on how to handle a cat with more fear than love. Planning on adding an additional cat to the family? There’s advice on how to handle a home with multiple cats vying for your attention. Need to figure out how to stop the cat from clawing up the furniture? There’s some insight on that topic as well.

So! You Want to Get a Cat

written by Audrey Fox Frederick
Published in 2017
136 pages

One’s first experience with a cat can be quite a big step when you’re not sure what to expect. What if they’re too snooty, too distant, or too destructive? Audrey Fox Frederick aims to curb most of these concerns in her detailed book about how to handle your first cat. She doesn’t shy away from the more stressful elements that may come about, including sleepless nights for the cats who require extra attention. But she does also pronounce the joys that can come from having a cat in the home, for all the playfulness and affection they can exude. It’s an informative guide to navigating the tricky but worthwhile waters of feline ownership.

A Street Cat Named Bob

written by James Bowen
Published in 2012
279 pages

Though it sounds like a playful satire on A Streetcar Named Desire, this novel is actually based on a true story. James himself met the cat Bob on the streets in 2007 and their meeting changed his life forever. Having been down on his luck for being enrolled in a methadone program and living in supported housing in London, he found himself taking the responsibility of caring for an ailing cat. James hoped the cat would just find its way home but ended up following James around to become his best buddy. So inspiring was this story that it led to two sequel books (The World According to Bob and A Gift from Bob) and a movie adaption.

Cats Galore

written by Susan Herbert
Published in 2015
320 pages

If you’ve ever wondered what famous works of art would look like if cats were the main subject instead of humans, then this is just the book for you. Cats Galore: A Compendium of Cultured Cats adapts some of the most iconic images of Western culture and transforms them into feline-infused interpretations. This includes depictions of cats in famous pieces of arts, cats acting out the classics of Shakespeare, and even cats performing in memorable movies. It’s the perfect book for someone who appreciates the cultural impact of Much Ado About Nothing or The Barber of Seville but just needs to see it with a cat-ified revision.

Traveling Cat Chronicles

written by Hiro Arikawa
Published in 2012
288 pages

Hiro Arikawa weaves an emotionally moving tale of the connection between cats and humans. The cat is Nana, wandering roads with no destination in mind. Nana’s owner, Satoru, is a young businessman that drives his cat across Japan, visiting old friends and enjoying the changing of the seasons. They encounter such quirky characters as farmers, B&B owners, and even a dog that changes Nana’s perspective on the nature of canines. But Nana may not be prepared for where this road will take him in this engaging read for anyone who values the emotional depths a cat is capable of experiencing.

Starting from Scratch

written by Pam Johnson-Bennett
Published in 2007
376 pages

Pam Johnson-Bennett is an animal behavior consultant that very much knows how a cat thinks, considering her previous book was literally titled Think Like a Cat. In Starting from Scratch, she specifically tailors towards owners of adult cats and how best to handle them in the home. Some may think that cats are too old to learn new behavioral tricks but Pam aims to prove those naysayers wrong with specific techniques on finding ways towards a better cat. Whether it’s a feline’s lifestyle, behavior, and environment that needs an adjustment, can help make some changes in the home for a cat owner who could use some helpful knowledge.

On Cats

written by Doris Lessing
Published in 1967
256 pages

Though quite an old book, Doris Lessing’s On Cats is a fascinating read of a memoir for Doris’s love of cats that developed on an African farm during childhood. Her lifetime of working with cats is divulged in this enthralling book with engaging stories and anecdotes. Probing through the various behaviors and communications of these furry beings, Doris touches on how large a role cats may play in our lives for all the astounding things they bring to the table.

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